Bad Credit? Here's How To Fix It
Your credit score is becoming more and more important as the years roll on. Now, your background can be checked with the same frequency as your credit when applying for a new job, a new rental apartment, or a new mortgage. For those of us that have made mistakes in the past, it may seem futile to try to improve your credit score. Here are some tips on how to do just that:
1. Pay Your Bills On Time
A major component of improving your score is proving your creditworthiness. One of the first steps you can take to improve your credit score, no matter the credit reporting agency, is to pay your bills on time. Improving your score won't happen overnight, but over time your score will improve.
2. Low Revolving Balances
This issue is harder to solve, for those that have run up a massive bill on their credit cards, but keeping the total usage of your available credit to a minimum is a good way to improve your score. Since the interest on your account could hurt your ability to pay off your principal balance, consider the Chase Slate card. It offers no fees for balance transfers, and 0% APR for 15 months, so you can pay off those bills over time without accruing interest.
3. Don't Open New Credit if You Don't Need It
Opening more credit cards won't help your score, and may encourage you to spend more. Try to focus on the two above tips and using the credit you've already been granted.
4. Don't Get Your Identity Stolen
If you are unfortunate enough to have your identity stolen, it could have everlasting effects on your credit score, whether or not it was your fault to begin with. Keeping your social security card in a safe place, rather than your wallet, and always paying for items securely on the internet are some ways to ensure this doesn't happen to you.
5. Give it Time
Experian, one of the credit reporting agencies, has stated on its site that it's not rebuilding a credit score, but your credit history, and rebuilding history takes time. If you choose to be a more wise spender in the future, your score will absolutely increase. Delinquencies stay on your report for seven years, and bankruptcies for ten, so it's best to avoid these.