Are There Holes In Your Bucket That Leaks Unnecessary Money
In my 10+ years in this business I’ve found something that never ceases to amaze me.
People are more than willing to throw away lots of money on late fees, unnecessary shopping sprees, and unproven credit repair tactics when instead they would be better served spending a dedicated amount of time it’d take to fix the holes in their financial habits and credit repair practices that are leaking funds.
Usually directly into their creditors' wallets.
Below I'm going to reveal the several areas I've found where you can quickly seal the holes in the bucket - and often increase your credit scores 100+ points.
Credit Booster #1: Set Up Automatic Payments (Pay Your Bills on Time)
While you may have a variety of bills to pay and juggling different payment dates, you don't want to start paying bills late. Even if you're sitting on a pile of savings, a drop in your credit score could prevent a future goal from being accomplished. Credit scores are determined by what's in your credit report and 35% of that scores comes from your payment history. So if you're bad about paying your bills, then your credit is damaged and your credit scores suffers tremendously. To avoid the ultimate downfall of late payments, begin setting up automatic payments.
Credit Booster #2: Keep Credit Card Balances Low
One major factor of your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you're using. The smaller this percentage, the better your credit scores. The optimum percentage is 30% or lower (I play it ultra safe and tell my clients to keep the balances at 20%). To see a super fast boost in your credit scores, pay your credit card balances down to 20% of the limit before the end of the billing cycle and watch your credit scores soar. Remember each card has a different period that they report your balance to the credit bureaus, so be mindful of this date as this will determine what balance will show up on your credit report.
Credit Booster #3: Add Positive Credit
Adding positive credit to your credit profile is one of the healthiest things you can do for your credit scores. Periodic increases to the credit limits on your credit cards is a good thing. The reason for this is that a higher credit limit will improve your credit utilization, which is a percentage we spoke about above that represents the total amount of credit you're using compared to the credit that's available to you. In some cases, you don't even have to ask for a credit limit increase. If your credit score is in good shape and you are practicing good payment habits, your creditor will automatically issue a credit limit increase from time to time without you having to ask. But if you are in need of adding some positive credit, and they haven't offered be sure you're in a good credit position and pick up the phone and ask for a credit limit increase.
Credit Booster #4: Leave Old Debt On Your Credit Report
It is believed that disputing old debt on your credit report is the best strategy to have a clean credit report but this is a mistake. People have been led to believe that old debt means it's a bad thing. I've heard of people the moment they've paid off their car loan or mortgage getting on the phone trying to get the item removed from their credit report. Negative items are bad for your credit report and if they are old, they will disappear after 7 years; however removing good old debt from your credit report is a bad idea because it reduces your payment history that you earned. Trying to get rid of good old debt is like making straight A's in high school and trying to expunge the record 20 years later.
Credit Booster #5: Apply for necessary credit within a short time period
When you are ready to shop for a car, home or student loan, be sure to use your calendar and apply within a short period of time. List the days that you are going to go out and have your credit run. It is known that every time you apply for credit, it causes a dip in your credit score. So, whenever you are executing multiple loan applications it makes you look more and more desperate and more high risk. The shopping period ranges from 14 to 45 days, depending on the software and scoring model the lender is using. To be on the safe side, keep you application inquiries to 14 days so they do not count as more than one inquiry. But don't make it a habit, they usually only extend this forgiveness a time or two.
Credit Booster #6: Fix Any Late Payments You may feel pressured to close accounts with missed payments, hoping that these missed payments will disappear, but the truth is they're not going anywhere. So let's do something different here and be proactive about cleaning up any late payments that may be on your credit report. You best bet is to first get yourself back on the right track - set up payment reminders, or even set up automatic payments. You can call your creditor and ask to move certain payment due dates around to coincide with your budget/paycheck schedule. Once you have shown that you are now making on time payments consistently, call the credit card issuer or lender and ask them if they can forgive that late payment. Maybe something occurred like you were out of the country and forgot to send the payment, or the check got lost in the mail, or the bill was sent to the wrong address. Credit card companies are pretty forgiving if you've been a long time customer especially if you've shown a long on time payment history. So don't be afraid to ask for forgiveness.
Credit Booster #7: Check Your Credit Report & Clear Any Inaccuracies
79% of credit reports having some type of errors. But it is up to you and only you to ensure that the information on your credit report is 100% accurate. Since your credit scores are based on the date in your credit reports, it's incredibly important to make sure all of that information reflects a true and accurate picture. If you have a mistake on your credit report, it could cost you several points in your credit score. It is easy to check your credit reports from each of the credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) these days. The last states that you are entitled to a free credit report once every 12 months and you can obtain them by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com.
Once you have your credit reports in front of you, here's a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself to help you spot potential errors:
* Is all of your personal information accurate (Full name, Address, Social Security Number, Date of Birth)
* Are all of your accounts being reported?
* Are there any late payments listed that you remember making on time?
* Are there any old items over 7 years still appearing on your credit?
If you see an item that should be on your credit report anymore, then you should dispute it with all three credit bureaus. After the removal of inaccurate information, you should start to see your credit score move up and be one step closer towards achieving your financial goals.
Plugging these seven holes in a leaky money bucket will much of the time provide all the growth you and your credit can handle and many times more than you're looking for. Be warned, this is not SIMPLE, but it's not hard. It just takes committed time and efforts on your part to layer in each of these seven strategies.
If you want to see the fastest way to layer these strategies into your credit life then you should reserve a spot for the upcoming live training with The Credit Repair Queen, where you'll get the exact steps to getting your credit on track to 700 and beyond.
Click here now to download your copy of the 700+ Credit Score Blueprint and get the exact tips on how to successfully improve your credit scores up to 200 points to achieve the success you deserve.
Cheers to Better Credit,
Stephanie "The Credit Repair Queen"