Credit is something that some take lightly or give little thought to until it’s really needed. There are 10 things that you can do to make sure that your credit is always in good standing so it will be available when needed.
1) Pay your bills on time. A consistent history of timely payments will greatly improve your credit profile and will, therefore, make you more desirable to lenders. In many cases, a strong payment history in your credit reports will also result in better interest rates.
2) If possible, pay your bill in full every month. This will help to save you money in finance charges, especially credit cards with high interest rates, and will make your credit reports even stronger.
3) Avoid carrying a balance of more than 50% of your total credit limit on any credit card.
4) If you notice any incorrect information on your credit reports, dispute it in writing with the credit bureau immediately. You may also find it helpful to contact the creditor directly, notify them of the incorrect information and ask that they correct it with the credit bureau and on each of your credit reports.
5) If you have recently filed for bankruptcy, start rebuilding your credit with either a secured credit card or one that is known to be bankruptcy-friendly. The latter often requires higher interest be paid, but your credit score will begin to rise after three months of a steady payment history is listed in your credit reports.
6) If you have old accounts that are listed as being open, but are actually closed, call the creditor and send a letter to the credit bureau. Often times, creditors simply never report an account as being closed with the credit bureaus. If you have a lot of available credit on your report, potential lenders may wonder why you need all of this open credit and what your plans are for it’s use. A large number of apparently open accounts with a zero balance may put you in the high risk loan category if the lender suspects you plan to increase your debt load substantially with your unused credit.
7) Avoid excessively applying for credit as this may lower your credit score because of multiple inquiries.
8) Use your credit cards for necessities only and avoid spending more than you could repay within six months.
9) If your credit cards have excessively high credit limits that you never plan to use, call the creditor and ask that they reduce your credit limit to an amount that you are comfortable with. This will not only reduce the temptation of overspending, but will also prevent potential lenders from seeing that you have a lot of available credit and suspecting that you plan to go into serious debt.
10) The best way to improve your credit reports is to review the information filed with each of the three major credit bureaus every six months. These include TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. A free copy of credit reports can be obtained every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com
10 Tips To Improve Your Credit Score
These days most of us avail loans to buy a house, set up a business, or buy a car. Many students take loans to further their education. How soon the loan is sanctioned, the rate of interest, and the amount sanctioned will all depend on your credit score which is based on your credit report. People with scores of 700 and more are the beneficiaries of lower interest rates and quick sanctions. Imagine if your score is greater than 700 and another person has a score of 698 then the person with score 698 will have to pay interest that is higher by one-half percentage point. And, this means over a year a person with a lower score will pay USD 19,000 and more as interest on a loan of say USD 165,000.
A credit score takes into consideration: payment history, current earnings, current debt, length of credit history, types of credit utilized, and your new credit. If two or more members of your family are earning then apply for a loan jointly.
You can take a few simple steps and ensure that your credit score is higher than 700.
• Maintain a long healthy credit history. Keep alive your oldest credit card and be sure to pay all bills in time. Never keep bills pending over a 30 day period. If in a crunch at least pay the minimum charges due.
• Do not have too many credit cards. Learn to say “NO,” to offers of free credit cards. And, maintain a good credit limit. Avoid using all the available credit on the cards.
• Ensure that the credit report you have is accurate and that there are no errors clerical or otherwise.
• Plan your finance such that it is healthy. Consider debt consolidation.
• Never suddenly close or open accounts. This leads to suspicion that you are trying to manipulate your credit report.
• If you are having problems speak to your creditors well in advance and work out a stage wise repayment. Request the creditor to refrain from reporting the late payment.
• Late or delayed payments drive your score down so always pay bills dead on time. Keep a tab on due dates and ensure that all bills are paid.
Learn all you can about credit reports and scores and keep the criteria in mind while managing your finances. Maintain the debt-to-credit limit ratio and, if need be take the help of a finance planner. A useful source to learn about managing credit is: http://www.balancepro.net/services/index.html they provide in depth coverage on money management, debt management, and credit report review.
Even if advised refrain from filing for bankruptcy. All you need to do is to sit down and curtail expenses, plan you income-expenditure , and avoid spending what you have not earned.