1. Request a Copy of Your Credit Report
The simplest way to start this process is to request a copy of your credit report. This report will give you a lot of insight into your overall financial health. Peruse this document closely for errors that can affect your credit score.
2. Refrain from Shopping with Credit Cards
In determining your credit score, the ratio of your credit limit and credit card balances plays a major role. This ratio can be reduced by avoiding using your credit cards. Instead, reduce spending and use cash as often as you can so that you can see a decrease in your credit card balance.
3. Overdue Balances Need to Be Paid
Your credit score is also dependent on your payment history, which is around 35% of the credit score. Wherever possible, pay off all overdue balances to prevent a history of past due payments on your credit report. Either pay off the total balance or consolidate the overdue accounts by transferring the balances.
4. Do Not Open Several Credit Card Accounts
Having several credit card accounts can have a negative effect on your credit score and may drop your average credit age. Instead of getting new credit cards, pay attention to the cards that you have and work hard to pay them on time. If your credit score is low, use one secured card to make purchases that require a credit card.
5. Avoid Closing Credit Card Accounts
While some people feel that closing credit cards can help a poor credit score, in most cases, it actually decreases the credit score. It is important not to close the few cards that you have and especially the cards that have available credit or a balance. Also, do not close your oldest credit card account.
6. Use Automatic Payment Reminders
Consider what caused the problems with your credit score. If your credit score dipped because of late payments, then it is best to use payment reminders. Everyone today has tight schedules and it is possible for you to forget to make a payment. Use your phone or email to send yourself a reminder when payments are due. You can also utilize the calendar on your phone or computer to set up a recurring notification that payments need to be made.
7. Discuss the Situation with Creditors
Rather than try to face the situation on your own, consider getting help from your creditors. While you may feel intimidated, many people are surprised to learn that creditors are willing to negotiate instead of immediately pursuing legal action.
8. Chat with a Professional to Create an Action Plan
If you have tried all of the above techniques but you are still not happy with your credit score, then it is time to get professional help. There are plenty of free credit counseling agencies that can create a plan of action and help you to implement it so that eventually your credit score will improve.
Author Bio: Jeff Adcock is the president of Veritrans Merchant Services which is a merchant account and credit card processing company headquartered in Houston TX.