Whether you want to buy a house or just get a better rate on your credit card, your credit score will play a big role in how well you do and how much you have to pay.
If you do not know your three digit credit score, now is the time to find out. There are plenty of places to get a free copy of your credit report and your credit score – some credit card companies are even printing customer’s current credit scores on their monthly statements. Once you are armed with that vital information, you can take steps to improve your standing and get a better rate on the loans you need. Here are five ways to improve your credit score today.
- Put your bills on automatic pilot. One of the best ways to raise your credit score is to pay your bills on time, but it is easy for payments to slip through the cracks. Avoid late payments and credit score hits by paying your bills automatically from your bank account.
- Sign up for payment reminders. If you are not comfortable with debiting your checking account automatically, at least sign up for payment reminders. These reminders are a great way to prevent missed payments and late fees.
- Pay down your debt. The less you owe the easier it will be to deal with debt and avoid late payments. Put bonuses, raises and other extra money toward paying down your debt and stay on track to get rid of your existing balances once and for all.
- Avoid opening new accounts or closing old ones.
- Question errors on your credit profile. You should be checking your credit report at least once a year. Doing so gives you a chance to spot problems early and get them corrected. Question errors on your credit report right away – and follow up to make sure they have been corrected.
Whether you are a recent college graduate just getting your start in life or a recent retiree getting ready for a whole new chapter, having a great credit score can make things a lot easier. If your credit score has taken a hit due to past mistakes or just plain bad luck, the five tips above can help you get back on track.