We all know how to clean out our closets, and garages...but what about the unseen? YOUR CREDIT. This invisible number is very powerful. I don't know about you, but I do better when I can see what is front of me. When things are out of site they are out of mind. So perhaps the best place to start with making sure your credit is squeaky clean is to keep it in front of you....
Federal law entitles you to a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from the three major credit-reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can get a free copy of all three bureaus' versions of your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Setup Payment Reminders – Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. Some banks offer payment reminders via text or email...take advantage of these simple reminders.
Pay off those credit cards, and then keep the line of credit open. In fact, if you must carry a balance, make sure it doesn't exceed 30%. The key to keeping your credit in line is keeping your ratios in order so you don't sink your credit score. Once you pay that balance off, be sure to keep the account open. If you eliminate your available credit it could cause your debt utilization ratio to rise (not good). So even if you have no future plans to use it, go ahead and keep it available.
If you don't have credit, or have poor credit, consider getting a secured credit card. The best place to do this may be through your bank. Sit down and talk with a banker about your options in getting and managing a secured credit card to help build or rebuild your score.
Seek a late payment reversal. Don't be tardy for the party, all. Make those payments on time, and if by some off chance you miss it, do your best to provide as much supporting information to illustrate what happened and why.
Don't open multiple lines of credit all at once. You raise a red flag to creditors when you run out and try to buy a house, car and subsequently open another credit card all in the same month. Take it easy and be conservative. Space your large purchases apart when purchasing with borrowed money.
Finally, if you need help, reach out to a professional! There are some wonderful companies out there that help fight for your credit....For a small fee they will contact the creditors and collections agencies and negotiate interest rate reduction, and can sometimes even get negative reports removed from your credit report.
We can be smart with our money and smart with our credit, this is a winning combination and allows us so much freedom! We can manage our money instead of being enslaved by debt! Start with a little cleaning up and then just keep up with it...