Credit Repair 101: How to Improve a Bad Credit Score
- That’s your credit score. It’s not horrible, especially considering that the FICO score ranges from 300 to 850. But since it falls into the general “fair” category, it certainly isn’t prestigious as a score of 750, which is considered “excellent.” With this score, it wouldn’t be unusual to have to pay a higher interest rate than you would with a better score. Naturally, you want to repair credit, but how?
Here’s a look at some pointers on how to improve a bad credit score:
- On-time bill payment: Pay your bills on time! Even bills that are a day or two late can have a big impact on your credit score. If you need to, set up reminders or automatic payments.
- Check your report: Be sure to keep an eye on your credit report. Look out for errors – you’d be surprised at how often they occur. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of all credit reports contain some type of error. If you find any errors, dispute them to help improve your score.
- Reduce debts: Come up with a payment plan to pay down the debt on major accounts. Focus on paying off the high-interest accounts first. With credit cards, try to keep the balance within 30 percent of your overall credit limit. This is key to credit repair.
- Credit cards: Don’t close unused cards and don’t open any new cards as a means of increasing your score or raising your credit limit, respectively.
And most importantly of all, use common sense when trying to improve a bad credit score. Don’t move debt around – pay it off. Manage credit cards responsibly and know the basics about your credit score and what can make it go down and up. If you feel like you’re really in over your head, consider consulting with a credit counselor.