Items you will need
- Credit report
- Credit score
Credits scores can range from 300 to 850. It is possible to reach a score of 850, but it can take some time to improve your score. A good credit score is important because it will keep you from paying high interest rates on loans. A poor credit score might prevent you from finding employment. To get a perfect score of 850, you need to establish a positive payment history and to make sure your credit balance is not close to your credit limit.
Get a copy of your credit report from the three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. You can get a free credit report once a year from AnnualCreditReport.com. Look at your report to see whether it shows a history of late payments or going over the limit on any credit cards.
It is also important to review your credit report to make sure your identity hasn't been stolen.
Get your credit score from myFICO.com. There are three scores you can purchase, but “there’s no need to pay for all three scores unless you are buying a mortgage,” according to financial adviser Suze Orman. Knowing your score will show how far you are from 850.
Pay all your bills on time. This is crucial to getting a perfect credit score. Thirty-five percent of your credit score is based on your payment history. If you have a hard time remembering to pay your bills, try to set up an automatic bill pay every month with your bank account so that you never miss a payment.
Lower your overall debt. Your debt-to-credit limit ratio is a big factor in your credit score. If you have a total limit of $10,000 on all your credit cards and you currently owe $1,000, your debt-to-credit ratio is 10 percent. If you owe $2,000 and your credit limit is $10,000, your ratio is 20 percent.
The lower the ratio, the higher your credit score. The only way to decrease your ratio is by lowering your balance. Make it a mission to pay off your balance.
Avoid applying for a lot of credit at once. This can lower your credit score. Have two major credit cards and two store cards.
Establish a credit history. People who have perfect credit scores have a long credit history. The longer you can show that you can pay your bills on time every month and that you can keep your debt-to-credit ratio low, the higher your score will be.
Counter any negative items, such as collections, that are in your credit reports. If you have a collection on your account, take action to get it removed. Contact the credit bureaus and dispute any unwarranted items in your report. You can dispute negative or incorrect items online.
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