How to improve your credit score
MANAGING YOUR MONEY
The basic principles of budgeting
The love of money is the root of all evil but money is an essential commodity in a modern economy. It determines how well we function in obtaining the basic human needs of food, shelter and clothing as well as achieving the greater needs of self-improvement such as a good education, our overall well-being and the finer things of life.
So why is it that most of us never have enough money to even provide the basic needs? We work hard to earn our wages and yet at the end of the month we feverishly avoid the telephone calls from debt collectors and end up paying late charges on our credit cards, mortgage and/or rent. The marketplace we live in constantly bombards us with advertisements promising a multitude of products and gadgets that they say we need, with enticing payment plans, no interest for several years, and cash-back offers as well as those never ending sales and promotions...more
WHAT’S IN YOUR CREDIT REPORT?
What you don't know could hurt you
If you have less than perfect credit and are thinking that you may not qualify for your next mortgage, car loan or credit card, think again. Rather than listen to what friends and family may be telling you, find out for yourself what kind of financial shape you are in. Start by getting a copy of your annual credit report from Equifax, Experian, or Trans Union, the major credit bureaus.
Some states mandate that you must be given two free copies of your report upon request every year. All three bureaus have websites or 800 numbers that will allow you to order a copy of your credit report though they are not required to give you your credit report score and may charge you for that service.
You may be thinking “What’s in my credit report and how does my credit report affect me?” The answer to both is “a lot.” Your annual credit report is a compilation of records of all the credit items you have had and a history of your record of payments. Your score is an analysis of the amount of credit you have available and are using, combined with the record of payments you have made over the past few years. Your credit report score is calculated using a complicated and secret algorithm that assigns you a rating between 400 and 800, your “score”...more
YOUR CREDIT SCORE AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT
It's a step-by-step process
If you are concerned about your credit report score and wondering what to do about it, read the following tips on taking charge of your credit future and raising your credit report score. With a little patience and a lot of persistence, you may be able to add significant numbers of points to your credit report score within a few months
Late payments on regular monthly bills will quickly reduce your credit report score and should be avoided at all costs. Bank loans and credit card debt are probably the easiest to miss paying as they are not as life-threatening as forgetting to pay the electricity or gas bill. If you are internet savvy, one of the best ways of avoiding late payments is setting up automatic payments through your financial institution’s website. Credit unions are perhaps the most amenable to this form of bill payment as some banks may charge for the service. Automatic payment of your major bills will help you avoid the hit to your credit report score from going more than thirty days late and is handy for the perennially forgetful like myself...more