Your credit is important, as part of your financial picture. This financial picture is the deciding factor for loans you may apply for in the future. Everyone needs credit; whether you are applying to rent an apartment, trying to get loans for vehicles, homes, college tuition or just want to buy a cell phone or a major appliance; unless you are a Rockefeller, Gates, or a Trump, you will need to apply for credit. You should do all you can do to protect and improve your credit score, if you intend to buy any large ticket items that may require asking for credit. Here are a few good tips that will help you to improve your credit.
First, know what is on your Credit Report. There are three bureaus that receive reports about your credit; Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The information they contain, may differ from each other because not all creditor give information to all three bureaus. So it is important that you find out what each of the three bureaus say about your credit. Once you have reports from all three bureaus, read the reports carefully and make note of any discrepancies (errors).
If you paid something off, and the creditor is still showing the bill as being delinquent and you have proof you paid it in full, it is important for you to first, try to get the creditor to correct the mistake by sending them a copy of your payment, but if they refuse to correct the situation, then send a copy of your payment in full to each of the bureaus. The bureaus are required to investigate an error within 30 days.
Do not have too many credit cards. Creditors you apply to for credit look to see if you have the ability to borrow too much on credit for what you can pay back; making you look like a risk to them. One to two credit cards are a good number to have.
Paying bills on time is very important, even if you only make the minimum payment. Paying even a few days late can look bad on your credit report.
Not having any credit cards can hurt you. Having at least one major credit card, where you make purchases on occasion and pay it off each month or at least make on time payments each month will help to build a good credit history for you.
When you use existing credit cards be sure to keep the balances at 25% or below what your credit limit is at any given time. Having high credit card balances signals to companies looking to give you credit that you may be having trouble paying on credit you already have outstanding, so you look like a risk to them and they are not likely to give you more credit.
Do not overdraw your bank account, you may end up having to pay fees and you may damage a good credit reference from the bank when someone calls to check on them as a reference.
There you have them; a few tips on improving your credit. Now it is up to you to plan for your financial picture. Make the right decisions now regarding how you use the credit you currently have. Find out what your credit report says and make sure it contains correct information. Take the necessary steps to clean up any bad marks on your credit report and do anything possible to raise your credit score.