Authored by Casey Quinn in Credit Card
Published on 01-16-2009
Good credit can open up doors while bad credit can close them. Want a house? You need to have good credit in order for the lender to consider you for a mortgage. Want a car? Again your credit will determine how much money you qualify for, if you qualify for any at all. Additionally, if you qualify for a loan, your credit history will also impact your rate. Bottom line is the better your credit score; the easier it is for you to get money and a preferable rate for repayment.
Sometimes in life things happen that hurt your credit score that was either out of your control (layoffs, natural disasters, family emergencies, etc) or in your control. You made a mistake which caused you to be delinquent in a payment. This missed payment results in your credit score lowering. This now needs correction. Here are four quick credit fixes you can try to raise your credit score.
Go electronic: With the invention of electronic auto payments, excuses for missed payments are hard to swallow. If you missed a payment, be sure to set up a direct payment online where the money is pulled from your bank account to make the payment automatically. It removes any margin of error for you forgetting and missing another payment. In many cases, using automatic payments will also help you get a better rate on a loan.
Use your credit card responsibly: Do not be afraid of your credit because you have blemished it. Use it to improve it. Each time you get gas, use your credit card and be sure to pay it off completely each month. Do not carry over any balances. Overtime, this will lead to an increased line of credit and help your credit score. If not gas, try to replace something you buy on a normal basis that is affordable which can be paid off monthly. Remember, if you keep a balance month to month, it hurts you more than it helps. Use your credit cards but do not carry a balance.
Avoid inquires where possible: Many times people apply all at once for too many things. Each time your credit history is checked by a potential lender, it is tracked on your credit history. Too many inquiries lower your credit score. Do your research on who you want to lend from and only apply to that place. Do not borrow money from too many sources at once; spread them out over a period of time. Try not to buy a new car and a new house in the same month. Inquiries go away from your credit history but you need to put some time between them.
Check your credit often: The cliché is true; the best offense is a good defense. As a consumer you need to be responsible for your own credit. This includes pulling your own credit with the three major bureaus to ensure that you have no dings that you were unaware of. This is also the best way to fight off identity theft as you hopefully will have caught it before it went too far and caused any damage.