Most are aware of the importance of credit scores in terms of allowing (or denying) them to purchase or rent a vehicle or home, receive a loan, or even open a new credit card. However, regularly checking your credit score is integral as it will change with time.
Knowing where you currently stand can tell you a lot about your current financial responsibilities. If your credit is beginning to suffer, monitoring it can allow you to make any changes to help raise it before it further crashes. Checking your credit score from time to time is additionally important when it comes to verifying its accuracy as there is always a potential for error.
But the question is: Do you even know what your credit score currently is or what your credit report is composed of?
Accuracy is Key – Avoid getting “FAKE” credit score
Even if you think you already know what your credit score is, it is possible to receive an inaccurate score. This is because each credit check service offers its own credit scale. Services may also implement different information when generating your credit score.
Due to the latter, it is important that you check your score through all three credit bureaus. For a very affordable cost, ClickYourScores.com can generate your credit scores and reports from each bureau: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
Best of all, there is no risk as checking your credit through ClickYourScores – it will not drop your credit score in the process. ClickYourScores is also a great go-to source to regularly monitor your score for any errors or concerns. Staying on top of your credit is important, but more importantly is ensuring your credit score is correct to begin with and what changes it may possess overtime.
ClickYourScores has many benefits:
- Automatic alerts when there is suspected fraud
- Email alerts if your score changes
- 24/7 Roadside Assistance
- Access to free rewards
- Credit fraud consultation
Taking Action to Improve Your Credit
After receiving your correct credit score, there’s a chance that you may not be happy with what you see. Maybe your report has an error, or your credit score is just not where you want it to be. In that case, there are ways you can work to boost your credit score, as shown below.
3 Basic Steps to Raise Your Credit Score
- Pay your bills on time going forward. It’s important that you keep up on your bills. Not only can collections and delinquent payments cause a major blow to your credit score, but getting in the habit of not paying your bills on time can be hard to break, despite there being many consequences at hand. That said, seek to get on the right track. Create reminders on your phone or a to-do list if you need help remembering to pay your bills before their due date.
- Reduce your credit card expenses. You can’t dig deeper into debt if you don’t have anything to put you in debt, right? Keeping on track of bills is one way to eliminate new debts, but another way is to cut out the amount of credit card payments you make. Use cash instead. Psychologically, cash is harder to spend. Yet, with a credit card, it’s so easy to swipe it mindlessly. It’s a “buy now, pay later” type of approach, that if not done correctly, can become a toxic practice. As well as cutting back on credit card expenses, close any credit cards you no longer use, and don’t open up new cards if you wish to boost your credit.
- Focus on old debts last – after more recent dues are paid. Many make the mistake of trying to tackle bills from the oldest to most current. They think of this similar to a first come, first serve basis. This is a stressful and credit-harming way to reduce your old debts. The thing is, your credit score is not just affected by current debts but also by future ones. What will happen is more debts will pile up. As you’re paying older bills, the newer ones will continue to pile up as they always do, making it hard financially to juggle both old and new bills. That said, pay what you current owe, and put anything extra towards older bills. Keep the cycle going until you end up paying all of your old dues.
Educating Yourself on Credit
Credit scores will never stay the same; they fluctuate overtime. This is why it is vital that you periodically check and seek to maintain your credit. But sometimes it isn’t the fact that one has financial problems that hurt their credit but the fact that they may not entirely understand how credit works and what goes into it.
That said, spending a few bucks purchasing a book or two to understand credit and how to get financially organized is important. Apart from a bit of cash, reading a book on credit only takes a few hours, yet can teach you everything you need to know about avoiding credit-damaging mistakes in the future.
You can’t get better credit continuing doing what you’re already doing. Perhaps there’s something you’re doing that’s hurting your credit that you didn’t even know would impact your credit score, or maybe there’s something you know is hurting your credit, but you don’t know what to do. Education is everything.
Even if you can’t better your credit on your own, there is plenty of help out there for you to utilize.
Credit Repair Companies – Seeking Out Professional Help
You don’t have to be an expert. Even people who have been in the “real world” for decades still don’t have everything down. That’s why it’s important that if you want to speed up the process of boosting your credit score, there are professionals you can turn to – especially when you are in the midst of a credit fiasco.
Several credit repair companies on the market offer different services from directly helping to improve your credit score to counseling you through managing your finances. There is a service out there depending on why your credit is bad to begin with and what mistakes you tend to make.
Sure, professional services pertaining to credit and finances are going to cost money. However, what’s more important isn’t the small amount of money being spent on these services but rather the results.
Professionals know what they are doing as they have been adequately trained, educated, and have the practice in their field to do the job correctly. The benefits you can receive from these professionals can outweigh what it costs to pay for their services. Apart from this, it is often the better option to pay others to help you obtain better credit now than to let your credit suffer even more, thus bringing more damaging results not just financially but to other parts of your life – even when trying to buy a new home.
Get Better APR Rates by Boosting Your Credit
Improving your credit, say by 100 points, can provide you significant gains. While even with poor credit, one can still receive a credit card, loan, and mortgage, there are consequences when it comes to the Annual Percentage Rate (APR), or interest rate, you’ll be paying for such, all because of your unfavorable credit.
As an example of what difference 100 points in credit can bring for your APR, consider the following:
If your current credit score is 580, your car loan APR would be 15%. In 5 years’ time you will have overpaid approximately $5900, based on $25000 car. Yet, if your credit was 100 points higher before you applied for the same loan, your car loan APR would have only been 7%.
As for your credit card APR, a credit score of 580 would have an annual rate of 24% compared to the APR of 15% for a score 100 points greater.
The same thing goes for your mortgage APR. You’d be paying a whopping 6% in interest rates for your mortgage with a credit score of 580 while you’d only be paying 4.8% if your score were 680.
That said, paying for the services of a credit repair company can help improve your APR rates. This is just one of the many things they can help change in your life for the better after your credit is boosted, apart from having better shots of getting a job, renting or buying a property, and the like.
The Best Credit Repair Companies to Consider
For your benefit, we’ve prepared a review of the top credit repair companies that can help you better your credit score, focusing on service expenses and what types of services they offer. Remember that there is no single best credit repair company; what make work for one may not work for another depending on what they offer.