Baby Steps To Better Credit: How To Boost Your Score
For many people, the idea of cleaning up damaged credit and improving their score is a daunting one. If your credit is poor, fixing it might seem like an insurmountable task. But if this is you, don’t worry. There are actually small things you can do that make boosting your credit score and rebuilding your credit history a completely achievable goal.
The key is to think about baby steps. You don’t need to take your score from the basement to the penthouse all in one day: in fact, you can’t. Improving your credit will take time. But don’t be discouraged by this reality. Instead, be inspired to act. Small steps, taken over time, will get you where you want to be.
The first baby step to take is to take a look at your credit report. This is free, and easy to do. Simply order your report online at a site that offers free credit reports. You will need some personal information, such as your Social Security number, former addresses, date of birth, and legal name – it’s nothing too extensive. Once you get your report (one from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) you’ll need to look over it carefully to make sure all the information is accurate. Many reports contain mistakes, so don’t be surprised or alarmed if yours does. Contact the credit bureau, as well as the place that provided the wrong information, to request a correction. That’s the second baby step.
Once you’ve made these two small steps, you’re ready to list your accounts and figure out how much you owe, and to whom. If you have any accounts that are past due or otherwise not in good standing, now is the time to bring them up to date. Contact the credit issuer to make a plan if you’re having trouble making payments.
For the final baby step, simply make payments according to the arrangements you’ve made with your card issuer. Over time, your credit will start to improve. If you want to take one more step, you could even do a balance transfer to a new card, in order to lower your interest rate. But if that seems like too big a step, don’t fret. The important thing is that you now have your accounts in good standing and are making regular payments. Before you know it, you’ll have baby stepped your way to better credit.
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