Is your score in need of a boost?
As much as we wish there was a shortcut here, you can’t raise your score overnight. But there are a few things you can start doing now to make a positive impact in just a few months.
Always pay your bill on time.
Late or missed payments will quickly drag down your credit score. Take advantage of payment reminders or online bill pay through United Community Bank to make sure yours are paid on time.If you are unable to make a payment—because life does happen—contact the lender as soon as possible to discuss your options.
Letting an overdue account go to a collections agency, declaring bankruptcy or foreclosing on your home can damage your score for years to come.
Pay down your credit card balances.
The less you owe, the better your credit score will fare. Try to keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit on each card.
If card utilization is high or rising, it’s probably a sign you’re spending above your means. Reevaluate your mindset by building—and sticking to—a budget. Keeping close track of what you’re spending each month can keep you from overspending.
When you do have those credit cards paid off, don’t automatically close unused or paid-down credit cards, especially if you have had them for a long time. Long credit history can positively affect your score.
Review your credit report for errors.
According to a study by the Federal Trade Commission, one out of five credit reports has an error. Disputing and removing any incorrect information on your report can raise your credit score automatically.
You can get one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These reports won't show your actual credit score, but they do give you vital insight into the categories that affect that score. To request your free credit report, go to annualcreditreport.com.
Money management isn't always easy, but by being smart about handling your credit, you’ll set yourself up for financial success in the future.