Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. You could also consider enrolling in automatic payments through your credit card and loan providers to have payments automatically debited from your bank account, but this only makes the minimum payment on your credit cards and does not help instill a sense of money management.
When a creditor reviews your application for a loan or credit card, they’ll check both your credit report and credit score to determine your creditworthiness. Based on that and other financial information, they’ll decide if you qualify for a loan or card. If you do, you’ll receive a higher interest rate if you have poor credit because they think you pose more of a risk of defaulting on your payments if you have a rocky financial past.
New credit tips: Note that it’s OK to request and check your own credit report: this won’t affect a score, as long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.
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Collections are complicated because paying them off may actually end up hurting your credit score by resetting the start date from when it was reported. Before taking action on collections, read on to find out how to navigate these murky waters. Like charge-offs, collection accounts may be reported for up to seven years from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor.
Review Your Credit Report – You are entitled to one free credit report a year from each of the three reporting agencies and requesting one has no impact on your credit score. Review the report closely. Dispute any errors that you find. This is the closest you can get to a quick credit fix. Notifying the credit reporting agency of wrong or outdated information will improve your score as soon as the false information is removed.