10 Tips To Improve Your Credit Score

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Are your loan and credit card applications being denied due to a poor credit score? Did you miss job opportunities because of your credit report? Whether you used to have bad spending habits or whether you have been a victim of fraud, here are ten things you can do to improve your credit score:

  1. Understand what credit rating is all about and get a copy of your credit report from at least two credit bureaus or agencies to determine which accounts need to be improved.
  2. Avoid giving away your personal information to companies and individuals you are not regularly transacting with. This includes your credit card information, passwords, social security number, etc. Also, avoid giving private information by mail, email, fax or any other easily traceable means of communication.
  3. Avoid missing payments on your credit products and utility bills (rent, telephone, electricity, etc). Always contact your creditors if you think you will be late on a payment.
  4. Make sure you frequently check your credit accounts to ensure the reported transactions match your activities.
  5. Ensure your postal mail gets delivered to the right address and cannot be retrieved by anyone. If possible ask to receive your statements on the internet to limit the access to strangers.
  6. Beware of installment deals offered by retail stores. For example, furniture and electronic stores often offer repayment options over several years and sometimes with no payment required during the first months. Acceptation criteria may be loose but interest rates will tend to be much higher than other credit products.
  7. Avoid living over your means by taking too much credit. Always prioritize saving money over borrowing in order to buy items you cannot afford in the short term.
  8. Limit your credit products to a few (credit cards, loan, line of credit, etc.) and avoid going over your authorized credit limit.
  9. If you have money problems, try to borrow from a friend or relative rather than using credit products that will be charged at a higher interest rate.
  10. If you lose your ID cards, debit cards or credit cards, contact immediately your financial institution, your creditors, the relevant government offices and credit agencies to inform them of your loss in order to prevent fraud and identity theft.

 

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