How to Improve Your Credit Score
A higher credit score increases your chance of obtaining a loan approval. It also helps get you better rates and terms on loans, which ultimately saves you money.
One of the most common types of credit score is the FICO® Score, which ranges from 300 to 850. A score of 700-plus is considered good; 800-plus is excellent. A good credit score is your ticket to competitive interest rates for mortgages, cars, credit card offers, insurance premiums and more.
The best way to improve a credit score is to manage it responsibly over time. To start, here are three important things you can do right now, according to myFICO™:
- Check Your Credit Report – Credit score repair begins with your credit report. If you haven’t already, request a free copy of your credit report and check it for errors. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your credit score and it may contain errors. In particular, check to make sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts and that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them with the credit bureau. Tip: You’re entitled to one of each of your three credit bureau reports (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) for free every 12 months through AnnualCreditReport.com. If you stagger them, and send for one every four months, you can monitor your credit for free all year long.
- Set up Payment Reminders – Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. You should consider enrolling in automatic payments through your Adirondack Trust Credit Card and other Adirondack Trust loans to have payments automatically debited from your bank account. Tip: Pay your bills as soon as you receive them on those accounts where you cannot set up recurring, automatic payments to minimize the risk of forgetting about the bill and missing the due date.
- Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This is easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe is going to be a far more satisfying achievement than improving your credit score. Use your credit report to make a list of all of your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are charging you. Come up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts. Tip: Collect all of your credit cards on which you have small balances, and pay them off. Then select one or two go-to cards that you can use for everything.