These days so many companies require a credit check that it’s difficult to advance in life with a bad credit score. You’ll need good credit to rent a house or apartment or even to get a credit card for large purchases. Credit mistakes can follow you around for along time, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process and improve your credit score.
Reduce Your Debt
A large part of your credit score is based on the amount of debt you’re carrying. Reducing your credit card balances can raise your credit score as soon as the new balance is reported to the credit bureaus. It’s best to keep your balances below 30% of the credit limit.
Related: The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Get Rid of Credit Report Errors
There’s a good possibility that your credit report contains an error serious enough to hurt your credit score. Thankfully, you have the right to dispute inaccurate credit information. You can dispute errors by writing to the credit bureaus or by contacting the company reporting the error.
To catch errors on your credit report, you must pull an actual copy of your credit report and read through the information in it.
Pay On Time, Early Even
Payment history is the most important factor in your credit score. The more on-time payments you have, the better your credit score will be. Paying on or before the due date will ensure your payment is reported on time. While it’s best to pay your full balance each month, defaulting to the minimum is ok if that’s necessary to ensure you’re paying on time.
You can build a positive payment history by using one of your credit cards each month, sending monthly payments. For example, you can use a credit card for your daily purchases, then pay off the balance daily to show credit card usage and positive payments. Managing your credit this way also helps you avoid paying interest on your balance since you’re not carrying the balance into a new month.
Improving your credit score is a long-term goal, similar to weight loss. It takes time and effort and making the right decisions every time. It’s important to resist taking on more credit card debt than you can afford. This can lead to financial troubles that eventually cause you to miss payments and hurt your score. As long as you’re making the right moves, your credit score will climb and eventually you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of a good credit score.
Start a Business If You Can’t Get a Job
Potential employers are among the many businesses that use credit as a tool to screen applicants. That means bad credit can keep you unemployed. Consider starting your own business if you find that your credit score is keeping you from getting a job. Partnering with someone else may be a good idea if your credit score isn’t high enough to qualify for a small business loan or business credit cards. You can use the money from your business to pay your bills and improve your credit score.
If your credit needs work, begin right away using the tips in this article. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can enjoy the benefits of having a good credit score. Don’t be afraid to get help from a financial professional if you have a hard time doing it on your own. It’s better to ask for help than to continue struggling with bad credit.