If you’re planning to buy a house in the near future, you’ll want to work hard to boost your credit score well ahead of time in order to improve your likelihood of getting the loan you need. A great credit score can also make you more desirable to employers and help you to negotiate lower car insurance rates.
But what can you do in order to build your credit score over time? What are the best strategies for boosting that score as high as possible? Here’s what you need to know.
Dispute Errors On Your Credit Report
According to the FTC, 25% of Americans have significant errors on their credit report. Whether it’s a fully paid debt erroneously reported as still owing or even another consumer’s debt listed on your credit report, these errors can be costly. That’s why you’ll want to regularly review your report for inaccuracies.
If you find any inaccuracies, you can dispute them and have them removed from your credit report – which will increase your score.
Negotiate Your Debts Owing With Creditors
If you owe money to creditors and are past due on the balance, chances are they’ve reported the debt to the credit reporting agencies – and it’s on your credit report. The fastest way to have the debt removed from your credit report is to negotiate with your creditors for its removal. Get your lender to agree in writing that they’ll report the account as “paid as agreed” if you pay the balance.
Keep Your Credit Utilization Ratio Low
Credit utilization refers to the percentage of available credit you use at any given time. So if you have $1,000 in credit available to you and you use $500, that’s a utilization ratio of 50%.
Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your utilization ratio below 30%. If you’re constantly using a high amount of credit, lenders will assume you’re not a responsible borrower.
Pay What You Owe On Time
Paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to build your credit score. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, so if you pay your bills on time and in full every month, your credit score will increase.
Make More Than One Payment Every Month
Using a large amount of credit at any given time doesn’t look good on a credit report. By making multiple payments every month, you’ll lower the amount owing that gets reported to the credit bureau and increase your score.