A good credit score can open doors in life. It can help you buy a home, start a business, or buy a car as transportation to a new exciting job. If you have a 480 credit score, or some other sub-par score, achieving your goals or taking advantage of opportunities will be difficult. Fortunately, there are easy ways to drastically improve your credit score.
Do NOT Close Accounts
Closing unused accounts will more than likely cause your credit score to go down. Your credit utilization is used in the calculation of your score. Closing accounts will increase your utilization percentage, causing your score to go down. Additionally, the age of your oldest account is also used in the calculation of your score. If you happen to close the account you’ve had the longest, your credit score could be affected.
Sign up For A Free Credit Monitoring Service
There are services available that will give you free information regarding your credit score. For example, Credit Karma provides your TransUnion score as well as some information about your credit report (accounts as well as activity). It tells you when your score goes up or down, and the reason why.
Check Your Credit Report For Errors
Many people unknowingly have errors in their credit report dragging their credit score down. Everyone is able to get one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus. Get your hands on a copy and verify each account listed is actually yours. Also, look at each negative mark and verify it’s correctness. If there are errors, there are paths to dispute them and clean up your credit report.
Open A New Line Of Credit
This might seem counter-intuitive, especially since a hard credit inquiry will be performed which may ding a few points off your score. The upside is that any new line of credit will decrease your credit utilization percentage resulting in your score heading in a positive direction. Just make sure to not run up a balance, negating the positive effect of opening the account.
Use A Dormant Account
I can’t find any reference to why this is, but my credit score got a positive bump when I used a store credit card I hadn’t used in over a year. I found this out via Credit Karma indicating my score increased due using a dormant account. If you have any lines of credit that haven’t been used for awhile, use them and pay the balance off immediately. It might just get your score moving in the right direction.
Get Authorized On An Account
If you are unable to open a new account of your own, have someone you know and trust add you as an authorized user on one of their credit cards they keep in good standing with a low balance. This gets your name associated with an account that is being managed well.
Having a good credit score makes achieving lifelong goals easier, as well as taking advantage of financial opportunities. If you have a 480 credit score, or a similarly low score you can drastically improve your score by doing some simple actions. It won’t happen overnight, but if you exercise self-control and discipline you can improve your credit score.
How about you, Clever Friends, what other actions would you add to the list?