4 ways to increase your credit score before the end of 2021
You may have certain financial goals for 2022, such as buying a home or renovating your current home. To meet these goals, you may need to improve your credit score so that you can do things like qualify for a mortgage or home improvement loan. Here are some steps you can take to increase your credit in time for the new year.
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1. Pay all your bills on time
Your payment history is the most important factor that goes into your credit score. Paying your bills on time could improve your score, so keep an eye on your spending and put yourself on a budget if you aren’t already following one. This way, you will be less likely to miss bills due to a lack of money.
2. Eliminate some credit card debt
You can assume that as long as you make your minimum credit card payments on time, your credit score will remain in good shape. But in reality, having too high a balance on your credit cards could damage your score, even if you make those minimum payments on time.
If you have a lot of debt, try to pay off some of your credit card balance as soon as possible. Consolidating your debt with a balance transfer could be a good thing in this regard, although the difficulty is that you will need decent credit to qualify for it. But if your score is still in fairly good shape, it’s worth pursuing.
3. Get your timely rent payments reported
You might be surprised to learn that your rent payments won’t automatically show up on your credit report. But the reporting bureaus that create credit reports are willing to include this information if they receive it, and a series of timely rent payments could help improve your credit score.
There are several services you can use to get your rent included on your credit report. Some, like CreditMyRent, charge a fee. Others, like PayYourRent, won’t cost you anything, but you’ll need a registered owner to use it. It’s worth talking to your landlord and working together to get a report on your rent payments if you think it will help improve your credit score.
4. Correct Credit Report Errors
Credit report errors have skyrocketed during the pandemic. You may have an error on your credit report that works against you, such as an overdue debt you’ve already paid or an account opened in your name that isn’t actually yours. Examining your credit report and correcting any errors could help improve your credit score.
Normally, you can access your credit report for free once a year from every major reporting bureau – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Right now, however, credit reports are free on a weekly basis until April 2022, so you have plenty of opportunities to dig.
Starting the New Year with a higher credit score is a great goal to achieve. Address these key movements in the coming weeks to help achieve them.