To improve your credit score, learn what credit bureaus are looking for and follow their guidelines for responsible credit behavior.
Credit bureaus reward good behavior by raising your credit score. With a credit score of 600 (or any score you want to improve), use your credit responsibly and do what credit reporting agencies like best.
Part of the appeal of credit cards is the opportunity to extend payments on your purchases. You don’t have to pay for big-ticket items all at once.
It feels like a great deal, but using too much of your credit (more than 30% of it) can ding your credit score.
The interest charged on any balance carried from month to month is usually extremely high too. That deal is probably more expensive than you think.
Try using your cards for purchase within your budget. So you can afford to pay off the full balance. Instead, build savings funds targeted on big purchases and spend that money when you have it.
Not everyone knows this. But when you make more than one payment between your official due dates, credit reporting agencies take notice and reward you with a credit boost.
Few banks or card issuers will prompt you to do this. (They both can charge you penalties when you miss your due date.) Set up automated calendar reminders – or use apps like Bright – to help make extra payments. Even small ones in the same billing cycle can boost your score.
All three credit bureaus are required by law to provide a free credit report every 12 months. They’re not always 100% accurate. Mistakes happen. Look for errors in purchases, charges and payments.
You might find mistakes that are impacting your score. Credit bureaus provide straight-forward ways to challenge your credit history and raise disputes.
If you’ve defaulted on cards or you have any debts sent to collections, it’s painful to deal with. But resolving debt in collections is the first step to getting on track.
You’ll probably be offered a payment plan. Negotiate for monthly payments you can afford. Suddenly, a plan with fixed payments is right in front of you. You’ve got a path forward – and can stop incurring more penalties and interest charges.
With a postgraduate degree in commerce from The University of Sydney, Pranay has his finger on the pulse of the finance industry. Breaking down complex financial concepts is his forte.