We all know the importance of our credit scores. If your score is not where you want or need it to be, is there anything you can do? Sure is. And it can all be done for free. The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report. You can get on free credit report per year. Check out www.annualcreditreport.com to get your free credit report.
Once you have your free credit report, check out all the information on there to make sure it is accurate. Review all the accounts, the histories, the inquiries, everything. If there is anything that is not accurate, contact the creditor to review with them and to have the information corrected. You can file a dispute with the credit bureau. They will then contact the creditor to have the information checked into.
Another way to repair your credit score, is to always always always make your payments on time. That is probably the absolute most important thing you can do to help your credit rating. Even if you can only make the minimum payment, make it on time. Do not allow your payments to be late, this will hurt your score.
Your credit limits are a little trickier. You do not want to have a large outstanding amount of unused credit. But, you also do not want to have your credit card balances near the top of your limits. Use credit wisely, do not max out your credit limits. Do not have over 75% of your available credit being used. This will hurt your credit score. Make your payments on time and keep balances well under your credit limits.
Believe it or not, inquiries also hurt your credit score. Anytime you apply for a credit card, loan, some jobs, some apartments, certain insurances or almost anything else these days, your credit reports will be run. You have to sign to authorize your credit being run. Don’t go from one bank to another looking for a better rate and letting them pull your credit. Have an idea of what your credit score is and inquire on what rates you can expect to get. They will not be able to give you an exact rate without running your credit, but by rate shopping first without your credit being run, you will save yourself from having your credit score lowered by unnecessary inquiries. Sometimes there is no way around an inquiry and that is okay. Just avoid the unneeded inquiries.
The best way to repair and maintain your credit score is to be wise about credit. Don’t buy things you know you don’t need or you can not afford just because you have credit cards. Not only will you pay interest but you may hurt your credit rating in the long run. Always make sure to make your monthly minimum payments on time! Check your reports every year and make sure all the information is accurate. Following these very simple and free ways to repair your credit, will also help you maintain the good credit score you worked so hard to achieve.