Whether it’s good or bad, your credit score will follow you everywhere. Whenever you need a home loan or a credit card, your lender will check your score to determine how likely you are to pay back the money you borrow. It will also play a huge part in determining how much interest you’ll pay. Your credit score may even help or hurt your chances of getting a job or a renting an apartment. Fortunately, if your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, there are several ways you can improve it. First, you must be able to access it easily.
Accessing Your Credit Score
Although you are entitled to one free credit report every year, free credit scores are not included. However, you can purchase your credit score as an add-on feature when you obtain your free reports from AnnualCreditReport.com. You may also purchase your credit score directly from FICO, Equifax, Experian or TransUnion.
Keeping track of the factors that raise and lower your credit score helps you manage it more effectively, but credit reports can be confusing and difficult to understand. It was only a few years ago that accessing your credit information required waiting and wading through paperwork. Today, new generation consumer credit management websites make the task easier than ever. You can have instant access to relevant information, dynamic tools to help you decipher your score and helpful advice about key credit issues that are affecting your numbers. Memberships may also include educational resources, fraud protection and the ability to dispute damaging credit report errors online.
If a low credit score is standing between you and desperately needed financing, managing your score online is your best move. You can track your progress in real time, catch and resolve errors quickly, and detect evidence of identity theft before extensive damage occurs. Once you attain a good credit score through diligent monitoring and careful financial choices, your credit management services can help you keep it by informing you of credit inquiries or suspicious activity.
Five Simple Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
Pay your bills on time. Late payments have a significant negative impact on your score.
Try to keep the balance on your credit cards below 30 percent of your total credit limit.
Only apply for loans and credit cards you really need. A high number of credit inquiries may worry prospective lenders.
If you find errors on your credit report, correct them immediately, and don’t forget to inform your lender if you’re applying for a loan.
Be aware that closing older accounts can appear to shorten your credit history.
How Long Does It Take to Improve a Credit Score?
The length of time it takes to boost your score depends on a variety of factors unique to your credit history. Online calculators available through credit management websites can help you determine the fastest ways to raise your score.