For many people who want to fix credit rating, it would be ideal to have a 700 credit score but if your FICA scores are lower than you may need to make some adjustments to the way you've been doing things. A low report affects your ability to get a mortgage, buy a car, apply for a store account and just about everything else having to do with money.
If your FICO score is between 499 and 600, then here are some simple methods that allow you to fix your credit report.
- Get a copy of your credit report with credit scores online. If you've been denied a loan for any reason, the reports are free. If not, they are free annually from each of the 3 credit bureaus. If there are any mistakes report them to either Experian, TransUnion or Equifax, which one had the mistake. Once you know the problem then it's easier to make repairs. If there is a low number, you can attach a letter that explains the circumstances such as losing your job or getting sick or whatever happened at the time.
- Paying off all your bills on time or completely will move your numbers up, but not enough to move 100 or so points. Making a payment when it is due and then another after it is due, will increase your score more quickly since it is computed monthly. So paying off more than your balance really helps.
- Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first while making more than the minimum payment on the others. Paying more than the minimum always increases your ratings. This will also reduce the overall amount that you owe which also affects your score.
- Reducing the amount you own on all of your loans or notes each month when compared to the overall amount of credit available to you will also improve your credit score. If you always have 100% credit available like many people who pay off their cards every month, you can actually have a higher score if you say keep a balance of say 10% of the available credit. Remember it's a "credit" score not a cash score.
- Sign up for your bank's online bill payment program and make sure you pay more than the minimum on each credit card. You will never be late and never worry about stamps or the mail getting picked up on time. Most of it is done electronically.
- If all else fails and your score is really low, then try to convince a relative with a good score to allow you to piggyback on their credit. You will immediately see an increase in your score due to their mentoring, strong history of good credit and the opportunity for you to learn about good credit ratings.
Credit scores are just one part of getting a lower interest mortgage or credit card. Other factors should be considered just as important. Knowing as much as possible before you apply for a credit card is the surest way to financial freedom.