Celebrating Credit Education Month with 5 Quick Tips
5 Ways To Improve Your Credit
If you don’t already have it on your calendar, March is Credit Education Month, which means it’s time to request a free credit report, roll up your sleeves and start looking for ways to improve your credit.
Here are our top five credit-improving tips:
1. Make Payments On Time
When it comes to your FICO credit score, your payment history is the most important consideration. Whether it’s credit cards or utility bills, the more recent the item on your credit report, the more heavily it weighs on your credit score. That’s why it’s so important to make payments on time; the sooner you start making the right choices, the sooner it will be reflected in your credit score.
2. Reduce Your Amounts Owed
Nearly as important as making payments on time is the amount of debt you have. Put a plan in place to pay off your debt, determining what you can afford to pay and when. Bear in mind that credit card debt weighs heavier on your report than installment loan debt, so start paying down your credit cards first.
3. Reduce Your Credit Usage
4. Fix Credit Report Errors
One of the best habits you can form when it comes to your credit is checking it regularly. Use a site like www.annualcreditreport.com to access your free annual credit report. And when you check it, make sure that there are no errors or discrepancies. If you find any, contact the credit reporting company with a written breakdown of the discrepancy.
5. Use a Variety of Credit Types
Though it may seem counterintuitive, using a variety of credit responsibly is actually an excellent way to prove to lenders that you’re a safe borrower. If you already have a credit card and installment credit, such as a mortgage or auto loan, it’s simply a matter of making payments on time and consistently.