Improving your credit score is an important part of offering your family a better life. With a lower credit score, you might have a harder time getting great credit cards, finding personal loans, and even getting approved for an apartment. This is exactly why many people look for ways to improve their credit score. Here are five options that are completely free.
1. Request Your Credit Report Every Year
Every year, the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian – have to give you a free copy of your credit report. You can do this once per year for free, or you can request a paid copy at any time. Take advantage of this by requesting a credit report every year.
2. Dispute Inaccuracies in Your Credit Score
Once you have your credit report, you need to go through it and make sure all the reporting looks accurate. If you think something is inaccurate, you’re able to report that to the credit bureau, who will request confirmation from the creditor. If the creditor can’t prove the thing they noted, they’ll remove it from the credit report.
3. Request a Higher Credit Limit
A higher credit limit could be your path to a better credit score. That’s because a key component of a credit score is your credit utilization, which is how much of your maximum credit you’re actually using. Ideally, you shouldn’t be using any more than 30% of your credit limit. If you’re currently using more than 30% of your credit limit, requesting an increase could lower your credit utilization, increasing your score.
4. Keep Your Accounts Open
Before you go to close that old account that you never really use anymore, stop for a second and think about how that account could actually help your credit score. One element that sometimes enters a credit score calculation is the average age of your accounts. If you close an old account and open a new one, you’re reducing the average age of your accounts, and therefore reducing your credit score.
5. Use a Tool Like Experian Boost
Experian Boost is an interesting tool that could help you improve your credit score by a few points almost immediately. With Experian Boost, you import your bank account information, which Experian then uses to track down bill payments that don’t typically get reported to credit bureaus, like rent. Your on-time bill payments are then incorporated into your credit score, raising it due to a history of on-time payments.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a credit repair company to effectively improve your credit score. While a credit repair company can be helpful in some situations, it’s definitely not necessary in every situation. Before you pay any money to start fixing your credit, you should try out some 100% free options. These five things can all increase your credit score, often in just a few minutes, without having to spend any money.