Can you Really Improve Your Credit Score in One Year?

 

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If you’re getting ready to take on a new loan, then your first move should be to check your credit score and determine if lenders will find you trustworthy. If you unfortunately find a hurting credit score, you may be wondering what the next steps are.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score within just a year.

End Bad Habits

 

Here are some tips if you have some bad credit habits:

1. Pay Bills on Time – Late payments will hurt your credit score. Make sure to pay bills on time, every time. Setting up automatic payments could be one way to help you out as well. If that is not something you want to do, you can try setting calendar reminders to alert you when payments are due.

If you do make late payments, you can always call your creditor and ask for a good faith removal. If you’ve been an otherwise good customer, many creditors are willing to forego or remove the black mark.

2. Don’t Rack Up New Debt – One factor in credit score is your debt to credit ratio. If your credit cards are maxed out, your credit score will show it. Try to limit the use of credit to maximize your credit score.

3. Avoiding Collections, Judgments and Bankruptcies – This is easier said than done when you’ve been in real financial trouble.  However, negative marks negatively impact your credit report more than anything else. Avoid these at all costs.

Credit Moves to Avoid

 

1. Don’t Take on New Debt – Applying for a new line of credit will cause your credit score to fall by a few points. To build your credit back up, be patient for now.

2. Don’t Close Old Accounts – It may be tempting to close old credit cards or other credit accounts once they are paid off. However, the length of time that an account has been open positively impacts your credit score. Lenders want to see a long credit history and a low debt to credit ratio. Keeping old accounts open – even if you don’t use them – makes your relationship with credit look stronger

Other Tips

 

1. Dispute Inaccurate Information – Incorrect information on your credit report can harm your credit. You should look over your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus and dispute anything that looks wrong.

2. Becoming an Authorized User – Becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card only requires that they add you to their account. Since this means no credit check for you and an increase in your potential debt to income ratio, it can mean a big boost for your credit score, too. The only trick is getting a relative or friend to trust you with their credit card if you have a checkered history with credit.

 

Following these tips and being careful with your credit can have a drastic impact on your credit score in just a year’s time. If you find yourself in a sticky situation with your credit, taking the necessary steps to right the ship and get back on the right track is not all that difficult. It’s key to remember that the sooner you start paying attention and trying to boost your score, the more time you’ll have to get on the right track towards a better credit profile.