7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
When you're embarking on the adventure of buying a home, your credit and finances immediately move to the forefront of your mind. After all, your credit score has a substantial impact on your ability to get a mortgage (among other things).
If your credit score isn't where you want it to be, here are seven strategies you can use to boost it.
Shrink your existing balances
By paying down or paying off your credit cards, you're improving your overall debt-to-credit ratio which has a huge impact on your credit score.
Don't just know your score...
Your credit report is a lot more than just a score. You'll want to ensure that all the information that's included in your report is accurate. From personal information to credit accounts to bankruptcies.
Dispute any errors you find
As a member of the military, you are susceptible to incorrect information on your credit reports. Perhaps you have accounts open from when you PCS or issues due to Tricare. Be sure to dispute anything you see that's incorrect.
Write a letter asking for goodwill adjustments
Write a goodwill letter and request that the bank, lender or other creditor remove your old, late or missed payment or other mistake from your credit report. While they are under no obligation to comply, it's worth asking. ALWAYS ask in writing.
Request a credit increase
Remember when we said you'll want to increase your debt-to-credit ratio as much as possible? One of the easiest and best ways to do that is by asking for a credit increase. If you have credit cards in good standing, simply ask for an increase.
Don't automatically close accounts you don't regularly use
We know, it sounds counterintuitive. But closing a credit card account can actually affect your credit score negatively. Building up your history with a lender will be valuable in the long run.
Try to keep your accounts active
A great way to keep your credit card accounts active without drowning yourself in debt is by setting up some of your monthly payments to be automatically drawn from these accounts. By setting up small, monthly payments to be paid with your credit card, you're improving your score and building more credit history.