Your credit score is important to you. If you wish to purchase a home, you will most likely need to take out a mortgage. Interested in buying a new car? You probably will need a loan to help you pay for it and drive it off the lot today. Or, maybe you want to get a credit card, with so many businesses accepting them today; it is hard to deny the convenience and flexibility they provide. Even getting utilities or a phone put into your name requires having a good credit score. Otherwise, businesses look at you as too much of a risk. So, if you have bad credit, or even average credit and you want to improve it, follow these three tips for improving your credit score in just one day.
Tip #1: Review Your Credit Reports
The first step you need to take to improve your credit score is to get your credit reports from all three of the major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You want all three because the information provided is not necessarily the same on all three. In fact, you might find something reported to just one that is not reported on the other two. Compare the three reports and look for any errors. There just might be a mistake on there that is dragging your credit score down. If this is the case, write to the credit reporting agency immediately to discuss the error. The easiest way to do this is to visit the agency's website and report the error through their online form.
In addition, if there is positive activity listed on one report but not on the others, you can contact the reporting agency and request to have additional information placed on their report. For example, you might have gone through a rent-to-own company to purchase a new couch and made all of your payments on time, but that company only reports to TransUnion. You can write to Equifax and Experian and request to have that information added to their reports, which will help boost your score with these two agencies.
Tip #2: Explain Yourself
Having a large number of inquiries into your credit history can lead to a poor credit score. If you need to boost your score quickly with a lending institution, writing a letter explaining the inquiries can be helpful. Sometimes, you might not know why all of the inquiries have taken place. For example, some credit card companies check credit histories before sending out invitations for a line of credit to potential customers. Unfortunately, this looks bad for you. Write a letter explaining this to the lending institution, or write a letter detailing the reasons for a number of inquiries being placed into your credit history.
Tip #3: Pay Your Debts
If you are carrying a large balance on a credit card, a great way to improve your credit score is to pay it off, or at least to pay it down. The more you own in respect to your line of credit, the lower your credit score becomes. In fact, it is better to have smaller balances on two credit cards then to have a large balance on one credit card. This is not to say you should transfer your balances. You should, however, pay down what you owe so your debt isn't hovering so closely to the amount of your available credit.