When you get the news that your credit score is low, it’s easy to feel helpless. Most people don’t give their credit score a great deal of thought in daily life. It’s easy to ignore, but it becomes relevant at the most inconvenient times: like when you want to borrow money.
Every day, thousands of people have loan requests denied because their credit scores are too low. This can stop personal momentum in its tracks, as people learn that they can’t get the car they wanted, or they won’t be able to get a mortgage loan for a new house.
If you’ve been denied a loan because of a low credit score, this isn’t the end of the road. All you have to do is improve your credit score. Because most people have no idea how credit scores and credit histories work, these techniques aren’t exactly common knowledge. But they work, and here they are:
- Repay Late and Missed Payments. Your credit score exists so that lenders know how reliable you are when it comes to repaying borrowed money. If you have missed credit card payments (or any other kind of payment, for that matter) in the past, this will be reflected in your credit score. Click through to find out how long late payments stay on your credit report, as different situations have different consequences. If you pay off outstanding debt like these, make sure you go to your credit report and “dispute” the items in question. This will verify that they have been paid, and the items will be removed, causing your score to increase.
- Pay Off or Relocate Debt. People who have too much debt for their income level see it reflected in their low credit scores. This is because, if you have too much debt already, it’s reasonable to assume that you can’t handle more with your present income. Another factor is credit limits associated with specific accounts. If you have two credit cards, both with $10,000 credit limits, you should only use up to 30% of each limit. If you have an $6000 balance on one and no balance on the other, you should move $3000 to the other credit card. That way, you won’t have exceeded 30% of either credit limit, the point at which most analysts agree your credit score starts to suffer.
- Stop Requesting Loans. If you frequently request money and credit, this causes your score to fall. This is because it makes you look like you are desperate for money. Whether or not it’s true, frequent credit requests make it appear that your personal finances are hanging on by a thread. If you need an important loan in the future, put a hold on all credit requests until you’ve given a few months for your credit score to recover.
Your credit score makes sense, but only when you learn the factors that go into its fluctuations. Spend time improving your personal finances, and you’ll find that your credit score goes up on its own. These specific steps are three important ways to see real change fast.