6 Ways to Control Your Future Credit Score
The information recorded in your credit report can make or break your next loan or credit card application. Taking a little time to examine and dispute your credit report errors can not only strengthen your acceptance odds, but you can also discover some surprising ways to save money and increase your credit score.
In fact, roughly one in four Americans have an error on their credit report, which means there is plenty of examining to do.
Lenders check your credit report when you fill out an application for financial products, such as credit cards and loans, in addition to apartments. The information in your credit report helps lenders to judge your ability to repay debt. If there is incorrect information in your credit report, this can jeopardize your acceptance rate and affect the conditions you get.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a few ways you can control your future credit score, and how SmartCredit can help.
Ways to Control Your Future Score
1.Request Your Credit Reports
The first step is to understand where you stand. The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows consumers to receive one free credit report each year from each of the three major credit reporting agencies, and you can make this easier using SmartCredit.
If you rotate through the agencies throughout the year, you could receive a free credit report once every four months, ensuring you are aware of any mistakes, errors, or issues that you will need to resolve in a timely manner.
2.Review Your Credit Reports
Once you request your credit reports, review each one thoroughly, and verify that the information listed is accurate. When reviewing your credit report, keep an eye out for the following factors:
- Personal information (i.e., the name and address listed in your accounts)
- Account Information (i.e., accounts, credit limit, payment history, and current status; active, inactive or closed)
- Bankruptcy and Collection Data (i.e., accounts that are marked past due for more than 30 days and sent to a collection agency)
While it may be tedious work, especially if you have an extensive credit history, it is crucial to assess your credit report thoroughly every time you request it.
Be sure to check loan statuses, account balances, payment history, recent credit inquiries, and anything else for complete accuracy. Even small errors like a wrong address or an incorrect birthdate could be a warning sign for identity theft.
3. Dispute Credit Report Errors
If you encounter any errors on your credit report, initiate a credit report dispute as soon as possible. You can initiate the dispute directly with the credit bureaus.
Additionally, when filing a dispute, be sure to include any supporting documentation that supports your claim.
If the dispute results are in your favor, the credit agency must report the error to the other two credit bureaus. However, you might also wish to send notice to the other two bureaus to cover your bases.
In the event your credit report dispute did not result in your favor, it is still possible to file a consumer statement that could be included in your credit report.
4. Get Past-Due Accounts Off of Your Credit Report
If you have a past-due account recorded in your report, it could be possible to get the creditor to remove it. This generally works if you’re late only once following a long history of on-time payments and have made your previous payments as scheduled.
Furthermore, the creditor is under no obligation to do so for you, but some might in certain circumstances.
5. Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio
Your credit usage ratio is the ratio of how much credit you are using to how much you have available. Generally speaking, the lower the credit utilization ratio, the better.
Using too much of your available credit suggests that you might be relying too heavily on credit cards for everyday living expenses, making you a more significant credit risk and lowers your credit rating.
Decrease your credit utilization ratio by paying off large accounts here and there rather than using your credit for small, frequent payments.
6. Resolve Any Outstanding Judgments
If you have loans or outstanding payments that have not been paid in your credit report, it could be driving down your credit score.
If you are already on payment plans for them, be sure that you are making payments on time. If you are not, it is a great idea to call the creditors and see if it is an option as long as you can afford the payments.
You might also have the ability to settle the debt with the creditor for a lesser amount if you pay in a lump sum.
Control Your Credit Score Today With SmartCredit
Although one of the first steps in controlling your credit involves verifying that everything on your credit report is accurate, there are quite a few other ways that you can work to generate a decent credit score. Once you have disputed any errors you encounter, you will feel confident knowing you are doing what you can to keep your credit report secure.
The effects of incorrect information on your credit reports will decrease over time, and as you await your credit score, the best way to get a fresh start is to concentrate on establishing smart spending habits.
Pay off and keep down substantial credit card balances, and review your financial plan to search for additional dollars that could possibly be put towards paying down your debts.
Your credit is used to make some of the most critical decisions in your life. With the help of SmartCredit, you can take back full control of your credit score. With simple, innovative, and easy to use applications, SmartCredit can help you become the master of your credit score.
Sign up with SmartCredit today to secure your financial future and put you in a better position to succeed.