One thing many Americans struggle with is maintaining a good credit score, which has a huge impact on finances and can even provide access to the most competitive interest rates for home and auto loans. For those whose credit score still has room for improvement, a proactive approach must be applied. The 3 tips below are designed to help individuals with low credit scores to improve their credit.
Review Annual Credit Reports
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans have the legally protected opportunity to request a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting companies once each year. (Requesting all three reports at once will allow the individual to make sure there are no errors with any of the companies, while requesting just one at a time will allow the individual to monitor his or her credit more frequently at no cost.) These credit reports may not include a credit score, but they do provide a detailed report of all information pertaining to the individual’s credit history.
It’s a good idea to make it a habit to review each page, debt, and line of the credit report at least once annually. During the review, keep an eye out for both areas of opportunity for improvement and errors on the report. Some errors could be small, such as a closed account still showing as open—while others could be as large as an unauthorized credit account. If these errors are not identified, they can wreak havoc on a person’s credit rating.
Pay All the Bills On Time
There are many factors that can negatively impact an individual’s credit score. While allowing debt to go into collection is an obvious one, paying bills late is another. One way to ensure that all the bills are paid in a timely manner? Forbes contributor Curtis Arnold suggests setting up automatic withdrawal for all of their bills. This can be set up either through an individual’s bank or directly through the company to which money is owed. Just keep in mind that every time a new bank card is issued it will be necessary to update billing information with all the companies to which payments are regularly made to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Find a Legal Service to Start Repairing Credit
Those who have a good or above average credit score and who are simply looking to boost their credit score may just need to make a few minor changes to their financial habits. However, those who have a low or middling credit score are likely to have far more areas with room for improvement. By working with a legal service that specializes in repairing credit, individuals can gain access to their full range of options. This could include methods by which bad debt can be removed from a credit report.
The experts who offer this kind of legal service know the appropriate steps to take to ensure that errors on credit reports are removed in a timely manner, as well as how to help repair credit after identity theft. They are also experts at negotiating with creditors to improve credit. While a legal service may not have success removing or repairing all bad debt, the individual will still be able to get his or her credit back on track faster than going it alone.