Newsletter- February 2020
Your credit score is an important part of your financial health. Having a higher credit score can open up many doors to financial freedom. Improving your credit now is a great way to start off the new year.
Here are some great ways to get on the right path to increasing your credit score and decreasing debt:
Make Sure Your Credit Report is Accurate-
If you discover any errors or suspicious information on your credit report, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) gives you the right to dispute any errors with the three credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian). Credit report errors should not be ignored, because they can be unnecessarily damaging to your credit scores or could be a sign of identity theft.
Resolve Any Collection Accounts-
For all your credit mistakes, your credit score takes the biggest hit when it first hits your credit report, but its impact will decrease over time and eventually will become outdated and can be removed from your credit report.
Take Control of Your Debt-
High-interest debt can deflect your plans. Analyze how much you owe and map out how to start paying it down. Pay off the newest ones first; that way you’ll increase the average length of credit, which should help your score, but you’ll also be able to more quickly avoid paying relatively high interest.
Pay Down Outstanding Balances-
You need a higher credit score because you want to borrow money; if you had the money to pay down your balances, then you might not need to borrow. Decreasing your percentage of available credit used can make a quick and significant impact on your credit score. Paying down balances may be tough to pull off as a short-term move to increase your credit score, but it should be part of your long-term financial plan.
Get a Secured Credit Card-
If you’re building your credit score from scratch, you’ll likely need to start with a secured credit card. A secured card is backed by a cash deposit you make upfront; the deposit amount is usually the same as your credit limit.
Secured credit cards aren’t meant to be used forever. The purpose of a secured card is to build your credit enough to qualify for an unsecured.
Make Your Payments on Time-
Make 100% of your payments on time, not only with credit accounts but also with other accounts, such as utility bills. Bills that go unpaid may be sold to a collection agency, which will seriously hurt your credit.
Keep Your Credit Utilization Low-
Credit utilization is the percentage of your credit limit you use. We recommend keeping your credit utilization below 30% on all cards.
Avoid applying for multiple credit accounts close together-
Applications for credit can cause a small, temporary drop in your score. Multiple applications can cause significant damage.
Keep credit card accounts open-
Consider keeping your credit accounts open. Unless you have a compelling reason to close an account, closing an account can hurt your credit utilization and reduce your average account age.