Have you considered purchasing a home, but know that your credit score isn’t quite up to par? Maybe you’re prepping for that big purchase and trying to give your score a little boost. We’ve compiled 4 easy ways to give your credit the boost you’re looking for.
1. Investigate & Challenge
Before you really take any steps towards improving your credit score, it might be a wise decision to take a thorough look at your own credit report. Investigate any negative marks and make note of any discrepancies. It’s not all that common to find an error, but if you do, it’s worth it to then dispute any errors by writing a letter to the specific credit reporting agency. Explain the mistake and include a copy of your report along with some kind of documentation proving your case. The reporting agency has 30 days from the receipt of your letter to respond. Some bureaus allow you to submit your dispute on their website too, but be sure to keep record of whatever communication occurs between you and the bureau. The Federal Trade Commission provides advice on contacting the credit bureaus about discrepancies. We’ve attached that link here. In addition, here are the contact numbers and web addresses for three credit bureaus:
- Experian: 1-888-397-3742 – www.experian.com
- TransUnion: 1-800-916-8800 – www.transunion.com
- Equifax: 800-685-1111 – www.equifax.com
2. Pay on Time
Really no other way around this one. Payment history has the single biggest effect on credit scores. It’s imperative to begin making all payments on or before their due date if you want to have even the slightest chance at raising that score. So do whatever it takes to get you back on schedule – Set up a calendar update in your phone, schedule automatic payments, or tattoo it on your forehead (Hey whatever works!). While you won’t necessarily get a credit boost for paying basic bills on time, you will take a hit if you don’t pay them. Some have seen credit boosts by paying their monthly bills with a credit card, and then strategically paying off that same credit card each month. Two birds with one stone right? (Be sure to check with a lender or financial advisor to see if this method is best for you – See #4.)
3. Pay Down But Don’t Close Out
Even if you’re under your credit limit on your credit cards, it’s still best to work towards lowering those balances and eliminating some of that debt. It’s important to keep the accounts open though and not to close them out completely. Closing them out can actually lead to a lower score. So use those cards sparingly and in small amounts to keep them active, but be sure to keep that balance low.
4. Call Your Lender
A little louder for the people in the back… A lender can give you a customized approach about how to boost your current score. They have the capability to dig a little deeper and give you the right advice that will work best for your specific case. Plus, keep in mind that when you go to borrow money for a home loan for instance, a good credit score does not guarantee a good interest rate — or even approval. Nor does a lower score indicate you cannot get credit at all. Lenders look at your financial stability from all angles and so they’ll be able to give you the straight truth about your current circumstances, and how to better them. Go straight to the experts first, before you make your next move.
Keep in mind that buyer consultations with us are free, and so even if you’re years away from making a purchase, it would be worth your time to sit down with one of our real estate buying experts to go over your options and guide you through the WHOLE process. Get ahead of the game and call us at the Ryan Reynolds Team today.