Years ago you could get a loan from a local banker who knew you personally. Your reputation and your relationship with your lender were often enough to get your loan approved. Nowadays, your credit score is the factor that determines whether or not you can get credit.
Improving your credit score is the same as improving your credit. Don't fall for the easy promises of so-called credit repairers who advertise that for a fee they can make all your negative credit entries disappear. However, here are several ways you can improve your credit score in a relatively short period of time.
Stop applying for credit! Every time you apply for credit, another credit inquiry appears on your credit report. Cumulatively, they can lower your score.
Pay down or pay off your credit card balances. Try to keep your balances no higher than 50% of your credit limit on each card. Credit scores are heavily weighted on how much of your lines of credit are in use.
Consolidate student loans if you can get better terms and a lower total payment.
Dispute and correct any incorrect information. You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus. Don't confuse this with FreeCreditReport.com, which is only free if you purchase their related services. Have any incorrect information on your credit report removed.
Close any accounts that you do not use. The exception here may be unused credit cards with zero balances. Such cards may improve your credit score because of the zero balance versus the available line of credit. However, having an excessive number of credit cards will also lower your score.
Lower your payments on fixed payment loans like your house or car by refinancing. This is easier said than done in today's credit atmosphere, but if it is possible to lower your payments, your monthly debt-to-income ratio will be reduced, which increases your credit score.
If there is negative information on your credit report that you cannot remove, the best way to improve your score is to let some time go by - without incurring any new negative information. The older the negative information gets, the less it affects the formulation of your credit score.
But while you are waiting, do the things I suggest above to improve your score.
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