There are not too many things more frustrating than a poor credit score. Not only can it stop you from getting the things that you need, like a loan or an apartment, but it can seem like this abstract number that you have no control over. There are so many factors that go into determining your credit score, that it's hard to know where to start when you want to improve it. While we can't speak to your individual situation, there are certain things that will bring down anyone's score. Below are some basic tips to help improve your credit score if yours is not as high as you would like it.
The first thing to do is to make sure that your credit score is actually accurate. You can do this by contacting a credit reporting agency and getting a full transcript of your credit history. Once you have it, make sure you go over it carefully to make sure that everything is correct. Sometimes a simple mistake in your credit file can have a large impact, so it is important to check thoroughly to ensure that yours is right. If you do happen to find a mistake, be sure to inform the credit agency so that they can fix it. If there are no errors, you'll have to work on your finances.
The second thing you want to look at is how much debt you are in. If you owe money on several different loans, it won't look good on your credit score. Your credit score is a reflection of how well you manage your money, and being in debt is not a good indicator of this. If you can, try to consolidate your debts into one loan. Also try to make larger payments each month to pay the debts off faster. The sooner you can pay back your loan, the better off your credit score will be. Not only that, but you'll end up saving money on your interest rates.
Next, look at how you are using your credit cards. These have a large affect on your credit rating, and should be used properly. Make sure you are not spending up to your credit limit each month. This shows that you have bad spending habits, and will reflect poorly on you. On the other hand, you should also not leave your card tucked away. You have to show that you can use your card without going overboard. Put a couple of expenses on it each month, and make sure you pay it off on time.
This leads us to our last tip – make all of your payments on time. As we said, your credit score is a reflection of how responsible you are with money. Making any payments on time is a large part of this. Even one missed payment, no matter how small or long ago it was, can have a big impact on your credit score. If you have trouble remembering when payments are due, write them down on a calendar or set a reminder on your phone. Also ensure that you are budgeting for them so that when the time comes to pay, you have enough money to afford it.
While these tips will help out a lot of people, we don't know what your specific situation is. If you have tried all of the above, and you still have a low credit score, consider seeking professional advisement. Remember that the above tips will take some time though, so don't give up after just a few weeks. Your credit score is a indicator of your financial situation over time, so the longer you go with good money management practices, the better your score will be. Be patient and stick with the above advice and you should eventually see a rise in your credit score. Good luck!