What if my credit score is really low?
Fixing a low credit score is kind of like losing weight. It won’t happen overnight. But, by making better money choices, over time, you credit score will improve. Here are the top things you can do right now:
- Check your credit report. This time you’re not just looking for that magic number. Your report will show everything, good and bad, that’s impacting your score. So, look for errors. Make sure there are no late payments showing up that you’ve actually paid. And, if there are any errors, dispute them with the credit bureau.
- Set up automatic payments or payment reminders. Not paying your bills on time can be of the biggest negative factors impacting credit scores. You may just be a few days late, but over time, all of those late payments add up. So, take the time to set up reminders or auto drafts to start cleaning up your payment history.
- Reduce the amount of debt you owe. Don’t get overwhelmed by your total debt. Take it step by step and create a plan. Look at each credit card balance. Figure out how much you owe on each and how much you’e being charged in interest rates. You may even consider consolidating your balances onto one low-interest card and commit to paying a specific amount each month. When it comes to credit cards, less is more; fewer cards and lower balances will help improve your credit score.
- Don’t open any new credit cards. We’ve all been there. You’re checking out of a store and they offer you 20% off your entire purchase if you open up a store credit card. Repeat after me, “Just say no!” Seriously, it doesn’t matter how much you might save or how cute the accessories are. Each time you get a new credit card, your credit report, and chances of getting a good home loan, go down. So pass up the store cards and store up credit for that dream house you’ve always wanted.