How to Improve Your Credit Score

February 29, 2008

An individual’s credit history is calculated by the three main credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. Your personal credit history ends up being calculated into an overall credit score that is used whenever you decide to finance a purchase. Your credit score is vital and it’s important you take it seriously so you can fix any mistakes before it becomes a real problem. The main reason why most people never work to improve their credit score is that they don’t have a clue as to where to start. In order to improve and maintain you credit score you need to take the appropriate actions.

Everyone should periodically review their credit report which can be obtained for free once a year through AnnualCreditReport.com. You should check the details of the credit report so that if there is anything that does not look right, you can immediately get it corrected. If there are lots of errors in your credit report and you don’t keep a vigilant eye on it, your credit score will definitely suffer, and you have only yourself to blame. This is because the credit bureaus don’t take the responsibility for the accuracy of the credit data provided to them. To remove errors in your report, make sure to request documentation as you’ll need receipts and other hard copy documents to facilitate the removal of inaccuracies in your personal credit history.

If you find an error in your credit report, you will have to file a dispute with the credit bureau and it is advisable to file only a single dispute in a single envelope (multiple disputed items can confuse the credit bureaus, it’s best to take it one item at a time). Within 30 days the credit bureau will either verify the data or remove it from your credit report. If you are sure that the data is incorrect and the bureau reports it to be correct even after verification, then you will have to contact the creditor who has reported it. This may seem like a lot of work, but it’s not that difficult and is definitely worth the extra effort.

There are some quick steps that can be taken to improve your credit score:

  • - Request a copy of your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com
  • - Review your credit report for errors and inaccuracies
  • - Make sure that all mistakes (if any) on your credit report are fixed.
  • - Open new accounts with high credit
  • - Maintain a credit card balance but handle it responsibly, keep the balance low.
  • - Don’t have too many credit cards
  • - Pay your monthly installments on time

Any of these steps will improve your credit score substantially and within a couple months you will notice that your overall credit score has improved dramatically.

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