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By Alliant Credit Union
So you checked your credit score recently and wished it were better. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to a report from the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), 56% of consumers want an even higher score so they continue to get the best interest rates and offers. So we gathered a few proven tips from NerdWallet to help you boost your credit score even higher—and stay there.
1. Fix credit errors.
Even if you pay your bills on time every month, there could still be issues on your credit report in the form of errors. Recent studies show that 20% of credit reports contain errors. (Yikes!) The good news is that you can dispute them. Once you spot an error on your report, contact the credit bureau that created the report. Visit their site and use their online dispute service. You should expect the error to be resolved within 30 days of the dispute claimed.
While the process of fixing credit report errors might take some time, it’s certainly worth it if it helps keep your credit score high. And, it can also help you catch identity theft—some “mistakes” could indicate someone’s using your information to open lines of credit.
2. Avoid going near your maximum credit limit.
If you’re the type of credit card user who regularly charges up your card and then pays it off, you should be aware of your credit utilization, which measures the ratio of your credit card balances to credit limits. It has the second biggest impact on your score after payment history. So, be sure to keep you balances 30% or less of what your total credit limit is. It’s a safe way to keep your credit in check. If your creditor offers the option, sign up for text or email alerts to notify you when you’re nearing your set balance limit so you can quickly pay down your balance.
3. Pay your bills on time and don’t skip payments—ever!
Time flies, and it’s easy to get busy and completely forget to pay a credit card payment. But by skipping just one payment, experts say you can lose more than 100 points off a good score. Payment history accounts for more than a third of your credit score, but the algorithms can’t tell if the payment you skipped is one you can’t pay or one you forgot to pay. So, it’s important to your credit score to make all scheduled payments on time.
Just remembering a few simple tips can improve your score over time, giving you access to better interest rates – like on that new car you’ve had your eye on.