How To Improve Your Credit Score

Marshall James
Marshall James is a multigifted leader who serves with compassion and integrity. He's an Officer in the United States Armed Forces, a Kingdom Entrepreneur, Mentor, Speaker, and Author who has a sincere passion for helping others be more, do more and have more. He believes that regardless of your history, your age, gender, socio-economic status, race or ethnicity- everyone can and everyone should GOMAD! Go Out and Make a Difference!
Personal Finance

Mar 05,2018

(…about 3 mins reading time)

If you aren’t getting approved for credit cards, lines of credit or loans, if you’re not getting favorable rates for financing, you might need to make some improvements to your credit score. Building credit isn’t a simple process, but it can be quicker than you think. 

I have some tips that can help you along the way and you can get what you want much faster than you thought.  

The first step to improving your credit score is verifying your credit reports. Everyone has at least three credit reports — one from each the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Credit reports can, and often do, have mistakes on them. These mistakes can cost you big time! A 2015 study from the Federal Trade Commission found that 1 in 5 consumers had an error on at least one of their credit reports, and a follow-up study in 2017 found that those who reported an unresolved error on one of their reports believe that at least one piece of disputed information is still inaccurate. Since your credit scores are based on the data in your credit reports, it’s incredibly important to make sure all of that information is 100% accurate. If you have a mistake on your credit file, your credit score will reflect that mistake and it is those mistakes that cost you and your future. 

It’s easy to check your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. You’re entitled to a free copy, once a year from all three of the credit bureaus. This is the current law as described in the Fair Credit Reporting Act. These reports can be obtained via http://AnnualCreditReport.com, the government-mandated site run by the major bureaus. You can also visit http://Credit.com, http://Creditkarma.com or even http://Discover.com to take advantage of the free credit score card they offer. 

Once you have your credit reports in hand, here’s a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself to help you spot potential errors:

  • Is all of your personal information accurate? (That can include your Social Security number, birth date, full name and address.)
  • Are all of your credit accounts being reported?
  • Are there any late or missed payments listed that shouldn’t be?
  • Are there any accounts or applications for credit you don’t recognize?

Keep in mind that a credit report from one bureau may have an error, while another may not. That’s why it’s so important to check all three of your credit reports for accuracy. You may find none, a few or perhaps many errors on your reports, but if you don’t check- you’ll never know and you’ll never improve your credit score.

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