Many people find that credit mistakes haunt them for some time to come. Whether you incurred credit card debt in college, made poor financial choice, or suffered financial hardship due to unemployment or medical emergencies, you may need to work to rebuild and improve your credit. You can improve your credit on your own, and it is easier and more manageable than you might expect. Many people work to improve their credit after a substantial credit problem, like a bankruptcy, or before buying a home.
First and foremost, you should take a look at your credit report. Do be sure you get copies of your credit report from all three reporting agencies for the most accurate overall picture of your credit history. A number of sites online offer credit reports; however, you should be wary of those that require you sign up for a service of one sort or another. When you have your credit reports in hand, review them carefully. You may find charges, late payments, or other problems that you can dispute. Credit disputes must be filed in writing, and you may be able to improve your credit by having any inaccurate information removed from your credit report.
You can also improve your credit by making certain that your landlord and other services are reporting regular, timely payments to the credit bureaus. While it is important to not show poor payment history, your credit score will also improve if you can show a positive payment record. Many experts believe that this is one of the best ways to improve your overall credit score and even suggest that you go out of your way to create a positive payment history.
A personal loan or credit card can be another good way to build good credit; however, you should be certain that you can handle this kind of financial responsibility appropriately. While you may find yourself in a position of needing to provide collateral or secure your credit card with a deposit, making regular payments will help your credit score improve, and can do so rapidly. Be sure that you do not take on excessive debt.
The most important thing you can do to improve your credit may sound easier than it actually is. Most people damage their credit with simple overspending and poor money management. Working to improve your credit is useless if you have not corrected the bad habits and issues connected to the poor credit issues. Consider taking advantage of church or community based financial education resources, self help books and online money management resources to help you correct your spending, learn to budget, and get on the right financial track.