Whether or not you like it, understand it or even know it, you have a credit score. When you boil it down to its most basic definition, your credit score indicates how well you manage your debt and helps lenders determine the risk associated with lending you money.
Learn more about how your credit score is calculated.
It’s important to note that there’s no silver bullet when it comes to fixing a damaged credit score, but there are a few quick things you can do today that might give your score a bit of a boost and start your upward momentum!
Find your starting point
We know it can be hard to work up the courage to check your score, especially if you’ve recently been through a financial rough patch, but if you don’t know where you’re starting from, you’ll never know if you’re making progress! An unmeasured goal is just a dream after all.
Dispute Credit Report Errors
Surprise! Even credit bureaus make mistakes every once in a while. Data entry errors have been known to occur on occasion, and the last thing you want is to be penalized for someone else’s blunder. Visit AnnualCreditReport.com to access your free credit reports and review them for accuracy today.
Avoid increasing your balances
So you’ve got a couple hundred dollars in available credit on one of your credit cards. Resist the urge to run up your balance to its max. Before proceeding you should know that one of the factors that defines your credit score is your credit utilization rate, a ratio that shows how much of your available credit you’re currently using.
Prioritize past-due balances
The longer you harbor past-due balances on credit card or bills, the more your score will suffer. At 35%, repayment history is the biggest determinant of your credit score, so closing out any overdue payments that have been hanging around or sent to a collections agency will help
Set up Bill Pay
Once you’re caught up on your past-due payments, be sure you take steps to stay that way. The easiest way to do this is to remove the human element all-together and automate your payments. Once you enroll in Bill Pay within Online and Mobile Banking, you can schedule all your payments to auto-draft from your account each month.
Keep the Status Quo
Don’t open up any new lines of credit or loans, and don’t close any existing accounts. This will ensure your score isn’t negatively impacted by additional credit inquiries and that your credit utilization ratio isn’t negatively impacted.
Create a debt payoff or pay-down plan
While this may not immediately impact your score, creating a debt management plan is something you can do today that will set you up for continued improvement. Don’t know where to start? We’ve got your back.
Access the Debt Management Guide
Ready to take it to the next level and make a real impact on your credit score? We’ve got your guide here.