One sign of maturity is when you hit that point you realize you need to improve your credit. That moment it hits you that you may not have made the wisest choices and you want to do better for yourself. Improving your credit can help you save on your auto loan or pay off your mortgage faster. The good news is it can be relatively simple to improve your credit.
Prepare to improve your credit
When it comes to the point you want to improve your credit a great place to start is by building emergency savings. This will give you padding to fall back on should things get tough while you are working to improve your credit. Take the time to build a small emergency fund now at the start of your journey.
Check your credit report on a site like Credit Karma and see just what is or is not on it. Depending on where life has taken you this will either show things you need to pay off or dispute to improve your credit or show you that the real issue is that you never took the move to build credit.
Start small to improve your credit
Dispute items on your credit report that should not be there. Most stuff will fall off your credit report in 7 to 10 years. If you find any negative old things sitting around you want to clear it off to help raise your credit.
Do not close open positive accounts. When it comes to your credit the longer you gave open accounts the better they will work to help improve your credit.
Get a credit card and use it right. If you do not qualify for a credit card get yourself a secured card where you prepay. Use it to pay a bill, gas, or other monthly expenses you already have than paying it off right away. This will build up good credit.
Do not use all the credit you do have. When it comes to your credit it helps to have unused available credit to show that you do not spend just because you can. Lenders want to see that others have trusted you and you have kept that trust before they do.
Dive into the hard part over improving your credit
Start paying down credit on your report. Start with the smallest thing and pay it off. Then move to the next. This will improve your credit and show that you are making and effort. Plus watching items fall off your credit can be really encouraging to keep going when it gets hard.
Make some phone calls before paying off debt. When ready to pay something off we call the company that owns the debt. Some have literally written off our debt and removed it from our credit reports just because we called to set it right. Then we could use that money to pay the next thing on our list.
Negotiate high debt. Some debt is high and will feel like it will take forever to pay off. The good news is that you can often negotiate to pay your debt down for less. While it can feel scary to ask it is well worth the effort to improve your credit and do it without putting yourself in a whole. Many companies will take a fraction of what you owe when you offer to pay it then and there.
Transfer credit card debt to clear old accounts and lower payments. If you have found yourself having racked up debt on multiple credit cards it can help to transfer that debt to one card lowering overall interest and monthly payments making it easier to regain your credit health.
How have you worked to improve your credit?