45 Minutes to a Better Credit Score
Improving your credit score is not painful; in fact you can do it in less time than it takes to watch a movie. With that said, it’s also become a sort of phenomenon, there are whole industries built around it. You see ads on TV, hear it on the radio, and read about it online, but you can improve your score for free and on your own in a quick 45 minutes by reading on.
Let’s get started, spend the first 15 minutes reading your credit card statement, especially the fine print. You will soon be able to determine if your spending complements your budget. In other words, don’t charge more than you earn. This will also educate you on how your credit card programs operate, so you don’t break the rules and damage your credit score. Become a credit card expert.
You can use the next 20 minutes to setup automatic payment of debts. Your card company can debit your bank account for the minimum payment each month, or more if you can handle it, and you’ll remove the hassle of late fees from your life. Building a strong history of on-time payments improves your credit score.
Take 10 minutes to check your credit score once a year at all three credit report agencies for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. You should look for problems with your credit history; you may find wrong information on your credit report and you’ll have a chance to correct it. There may be inaccurate records showing missed payments or late payments or even evidence of identity fraud. Be thorough as you scan your report.
And finally a tip that will take no time at all – don’t apply for new credit cards. Here’s the general picture, every time you apply for a credit card the company generates a credit inquiry. Each credit inquiry lowers your credit score. Also, the more cards you have then the better chance you have of charging too much.
In today’s credit-inundated society, improving your credit score is a fact of life, especially if you want to own a home or other high end products. But it takes work and dedication. Become educated about your credit cards, make payments on time and try to pay off your balance as soon as possible. Become your own financial expert and slowly but surely you’ll see your credit score rise and your pride and sense of accomplishment will follow along with it.
About the Author
Kathryn Katz is a Certified Personal Finance Counselor who works for Consolidated Credit in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Their non-profit agency helps families through financial crisis using credit counseling, debt consolidation and financial education.