Do you know what your credit score is? An excellent credit score is in the 800s, but how can you achieve that? It’s not as hard as you think it is. Follow these tips for boosting your credit score to over 800 and see how much easier (and cheaper!) it is to get the credit you need for a personal loan, a new car or a new home.
One thing that could make your credit score lower than it should be is an error on your report. You can request a credit report each year from FreeCreditReport.com. Check it over for discrepancies — if someone else in your area has the same name as you, it’s possible that their debts could be reported as yours. Similarly, if someone steals your identity or your credit card numbers, you might have debts that you didn’t know about. Follow the credit bureau’s directions on fixing any errors that you find. If you need help, consider using one of the best online credit report monitoring services to stay on top of it.
It’s best if you can pay off your credit card balance each month. If you can’t, though, strive to keep them as low as possible. Charging your card up to its maximum can negatively affect your credit score, so try to keep your balance on each card to half (or less) of your credit limit.
You probably already know that it’s important to pay your bills on time. What you might not know is that “on time” really means within 30 days of the due date. If, for example, you have a payment due on the first of the month but you can’t pay until the fifth, it will not negatively affect your credit score. You might be charged a late fee, though, so try to pay your bills before their due dates.
If you are having trouble paying your bills on time or you can’t get your score up by paying your bills and paying down your balances, a credit counselor can help by telling you whether debt consolidation or other measures are good for you to consider. Be aware that it does take some time to clean up poor credit; this is not an instant fix.
If you follow the above steps for a year or two, you will see that your credit score improves substantially. In time, you should be able to achieve a score in the 800s.
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