Establishing and maintaining a good credit score may not seem like a priority, but in the least, it can save you money in the long run and make your financial life much easier. However, a poor credit score may impact more facets of your life than you realize, including influencing how much money you can borrow, your living options, and even how you look to potential employers. If you are struggling with your credit, it is not too late to turn it around, and at Berken Cloyes, we are happy to help assist you.
Ways to Improve Your Credit
- Become Informed
Before you do anything else, make sure you are aware of where you stand credit-wise and what that means. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with the “good” credit scores typically landing between 700 and 740. Most times, this score will allow you to qualify for the lowest insurance and mortgage rates, higher credit limits, and easier approval on things like renting houses and apartments.
You can easily obtain your credit scores from Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Many choose to use a combination of the three bureaus and may opt to obtain a score from all three to receive the most accurate picture. You can also get your reports for free annually by going to annualcreditreport.com.
- Dispute Errors
Mistakes happen, but if they happen at your expense and pertain to your credit, you should absolutely take action. If you suspect your credit may be off, contact your credit bureaus and file a dispute. In this dispute, you will need to explain the mistake and submit documentation verifying it. Although you will most likely be able to submit disputes online, you may also choose to send documentation through verified mail. Either way, make sure to store a copy for yourself as well.
- Take Control
Once you are aware of your credit score and any errors that may have occurred, you can take action regarding your finances.
First, make sure you are paying all your bills and loans on time. Set automatic payments if possible, or at the very least, set reminders for yourself. That way, when the time arises to pay bills, you can avoid being late, accruing fees, and allowing it to impact your credit negatively.
Next, work to pay down any existing debt you may already have, especially credit cards that tend to have high-interest rates. But, again, make sure you are aware of maximums and avoid overspending, which can lower your score.
Finally, avoid opening up new credit if your current score needs improvement. There are a few reasons for this. For one, it may tempt you into spending more, possibly accruing more debt and interest if the bill cannot be paid off right away. But also because opening a new line of credit invites a credit inquiry, and if you have too many within 2 years, it can lower your score.
Stop stressing about how your credit is affecting your life. Call us today at (303) 623-4357 to schedule an appointment. At Berken Cloyes, we are happy to help guide you in getting your credit and finances back on the right track.