Did you follow our advice and request a free credit report from one or more of the three credit agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion? If not, you can get a copy of your credit reports by completing the request form at AnnualCreditReport.com or call (877) 322-8228. Mail the completed form to the following address:
Annual Credit Report Request Service
P.O. Box 105281
Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
If your free credit reports have arrived, study each one carefully. Your credit score is determined by the information in your credit reports. Is the information correct? Be sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed. In addition, be sure that the amount owed for each of the accounts is correct. If the report contains an error, dispute it with the credit bureau. Be sure to send your response in writing, and keep a copy of your letter.
One of the most important things you can do to improve your credit score is to make your payments on time. By making your payments on time, you are building a good credit history. Do you have a system for paying your bills? Some individuals pay the bill as soon as they touch it. This assures that the bill will not be set aside and forgotten.
Other people like to gather up all the bills and pay them at one time. If you use this method, be sure that you allow sufficient time for the check to be delivered. It is very important that the bill be paid on time.
Maybe you prefer to do your banking online. You could set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account for your mortgage payment and your car payment. Remember that you must maintain a sufficient balance to avoid overdraft charges.
You can also improve your credit score by reducing the amount of debt you owe. Stop using your credit cards. Pay off the balance on your credit card accounts. How can you do this? Make a list of all your credit card accounts, the amount you owe on each, and the percentage of interest charged on each one. Put most of your cash available for debt payments into paying off the balance on the account charging the highest interest. Continue to make minimum payments on the other accounts.
Reduce your expenses. Keep a list of everything you buy. Do you really need that Cinnamon Dolce Latte Grande for $4.25 at Starbucks? Could you do without the newest electronic gadget? You will be shocked to see how all these small purchases soon add up to “real money.” Put this extra money into paying off your credit card debt.