A high credit score automatically increases your chances of getting approved for just about anything and if your score crosses the winner’s line and gets into “excellent” status, you stand to reap many benefits. Paying for bills and loans on time are just some of the ways that you can get a higher credit score.
Improving your credit score quickly is possible. Having a plan in place to improve several factors immediately will get the ball rolling in the right direction. Learning to avoid all the negative actions that will bring your credit score down again is crucial. All this may seem intimidating in the beginning. It might feel like your efforts will not make much difference toward improving your credit score.
How Long Until I See Improvement On My FICO Score?
That is a question many have asked. However, after you begin you will find that most of these actions for raising your credit score to make a difference and are not so difficult to accomplish. It’s more like running a marathon than a short race like the fifty or one hundred yard dash. But it is definitely worth the effort. A low credit score can cause you to lose a lot of money over the course of your life. For most, it is likely in the tens of thousands. For some, it can even be one hundred thousand dollars or more.
What Is Considered A Good Score?
On the usual scale of between 300 and 850, 700 and above is considered high. And 800 and above is considered to be excellent. If you have an average credit score and would like to improve your current credit status then adopt these habits that successful people use to make their credit score excellent.
Check Your Credit Score and Credit Reports Regularly
Individuals whose score range between 700 and 800 know what it means to have an impressive. The higher it is, the more likely they will qualify for better perks such as competitive cards and loan rates. Additionally, they review their own credit report at least once a year. Just like these successful people, check your rates frequently to see if there is anything you can do to improve it. Also, review the report frequently to see loan providers you work with, the amounts that you owe each of them, and your payment history. If you spot an error on the report, inform your creditor for further action.
Negative Effects of Bad Credit
There are also other problems that go with having a bad credit score. In life, other issues can arise when you really need to have good credit. For example, you might find yourself suddenly needing to purchase a car for transportation or needing a home for your growing family. Unless you have an abundance of cash in the bank somewhere or a financially secure relative or friend willing to lend you the money, then to accomplish your goal you will need a loan from a bank or other financial institution.
Restoring Your Credit Score to a Good Level
One of the first steps to restoring good credit is to check your credit report with all three major credit agencies. These would be Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Sometimes your credit report could have a few errors within the report. The Federal Trade Commission has stated that about twenty percent of credit reports have an error somewhere in the review. Being sure everything is accurate with your credit report is a significant factor with the task of improving your credit score. If there are one or more errors on your credit report it will reflect negatively upon your credit report making it more difficult to accomplish the goal of improving your credit score.
Obtaining Your Credit Reports
It is actually quite easy to receive your credit reports from each of the three credit agencies. Everyone is allowed to receive a free credit report on themselves one time a year. This is known as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The most trusted place for getting your credit report online is AnnualCreditReport.com which is a government-approved site that is actually operated by the major credit bureaus in the United States. The FICO score is the most common and typically most trusted credit score rating. It was invented by the Fair Isaac Corporation for determining an accurate rating of an individual’s credit rating. It is used by banks, finance companies and other lenders for analyzing your credibility as a borrower. Your FICO score is the most popular, however, is not the only credit score available.
Credit scores are rated from a range of 300-850. Anything above 750 is considered excellent. A rating from 700-749 is considered good. A score of 650-699 is a fair credit standing. 600-649 is seen as poor credit and any rating below 600 is viewed as bad credit.
After you have received your three credit reports you can begin going over the important questions concerning your mission to improve your credit score. The first thing to check is that all your personal information is accurate like your name, date of birth, address and social security number. If everything looks good there then the next thing to check is that all of your credit accounts are being reported. This will reflect upon your credit score. Another thing to check is to see if there are any payments you made on time showing as missing or late. You can often straighten problems like these out by making a few phone calls. Don’t forget to check and be sure if there are any bank accounts or credit applications that are not something for which you opened or applied. Lastly, be sure there is nothing from decades past dragging down your credit score. Most bad credit situations should be off your credit report after seven to ten years.
Pay Bills On Time & Track Expenses
These individuals know that their payment history determines their score and have systems in place to help them keep track of everything. You can also set up automatic bill pay or designate specific dates each month when you sit down to sort out these issues. People with high credit scores have some systems in place that always track where their money is going. This way, they have control over their budgets and spending patterns and are less likely to miss a budget. Adopt this habit, and you will be less likely to miss a payment and find at the last minute that you cannot pay a bill. Paying your bills on time will also have a noticeable effect on your credit rating. Learning to budget your expenses versus your available income is all it takes to keep this portion of your credit rating in good standing. Some find it helpful to use financial software for keeping bills paid and paid on time. Many of these software programs have the capacity to not only help budget your income for paying bills but even have the ability to keep reminding you of upcoming bills until they are paid. All the user has to do is enter all the needed information concerning your monthly salary and when each bill is due and how much is owed for that month. The software will do the rest.
Check With Creditors For Lower Rates, Offers, And Higher Loan Limits
People with high scores also have a habit of checking with their creditors for the lower rates, great offers, and high limits. Increase your score by increasing the ratio of their debt to the total loan amount. Card companies often give their clients offers to increase their debts. Accept but don’t use the added debt. Also, you can call your creditors or cards at least twice a year and ask if they can lower interest rates for you or offer you a way to save some money.
How Long Until I See Improvement On My FICO Score?
That question has no single answer for everyone. It all really depends upon what factors have brought your credit score to the number that it is. For example, if your credit score is low simply because you have not built up much credit then you can typically raise your credit score within a few months. For those who have not built up any credit, signing up for new credit card accounts is one way to increase credit quickly. If you have bad credit from a year or two of struggling to pay bills on time or missing occasional payments then it will likely take a year to a year and a half to see significant improvement. However, if you are way behind on paying all your bills for a year or more and continue to have unpaid outstanding balances then you will very likely be spending more than 3 years minimum trying to rebuild your credit.
What Cards Could Help Improve Credit Scores Quickly?
There are a variety of different credit card accounts that can help anyone build positive credit. Some of the more popular ones are Visa, MasterCard, Capital One, American Express, and Wells Fargo. These are merely some examples of the most popular. There are many other credit cards that can also help to build good credit for increasing your overall credit score.
Avoid Unnecessary Credits
Before you apply for a new loan, think twice. You can sign up for a new card and take advantage of new special offers and discounts. After having the card and receiving the bonus for signing on, you should get rid of the credit card. This is necessary because credit bureaus are suspicious of people who suddenly have many new credits in their name.
Minimize Overusing Your Credit Cards
Just like other smart people, if you want to succeed, don’t overuse credit cards. Although it is recommended that you have active accounts in your report, don’t entertain high balances. When your bureaus want to establish how responsible you are with money, they calculate the ratio of your card balance to your loan limit.
Mitigate The Damage Of Identity Theft
It’s not easy to totally protect yourself from identity theft. Mitigate the damage by always checking your report for inquiries you didn’t initiate and any other discrepancies. Some people with high scores sign up for ongoing monitoring services to monitor their report and alert them to any changes made. If you really suspect your security of your financial information is at risk, you can sign up for these services or report to your service providers. Follow these habits of successful people and improve it.