Credit Scores can seem tricky if you don’t understand exactly how it’s calculated and what you can do to improve and maintain a good credit score. Credit bureaus calculate credit score based on four main areas: your payment history patterns (such as late payments), any outstanding debt that you may have, the length of your credit history, and how much new credit you have applied for.
Here are 8 tips you can follow to help improve your credit score:
- After bankruptcy, if you are left with no debt obtain a low-limit or secured credit card to begin re-establishing your credit history.
- Try to attain a low limit retail or gas credit card
- Be sure to pay back any remaining debts regularly and on time. It is also best if you pay off your entire balance each month.
- Open a new checking and savings account after researching the interest rates and fees that each banking institution has to offer.
- Differentiate between your wants and needs when it comes to living expenses. Set a strict budget for essential expenses, i.e. the things that you need to live and make a living. This will help you to be able to track how much you have to spend and avoid the pitfall of having more monthly expenses in credit than monthly earnings.
- Attempt to build a cushion of savings as a buffer for your budget. This way, in the case of a minor emergency like an unexpected car repair, you won’t need to use credit (or at least as much credit).
- Check your credit report annually for accuracy and dispute any incorrect information.
- Get copies of your credit report from all three major bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion) for free each year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar to get next year’s round of free credit reports. Use this as your appointment to check up on your progress from year to year.
With these tips you are sure to be on your way to credit recovery!