By Mark Richards from Fairway Independent Mortgage in Ridgewood, NJ.
Is one of your 2018 resolutions to improve your credit score? Credit scores are an important piece of your finances and having a great score can make all the difference when you are purchasing a home, a car or applying for new credit.
If you do not know your credit score, many credit card companies and banks now offer to check for you free on their websites. You can also visit a website like www.annualcreditreport.com to view your credit report at no charge.
How to improve your credit score in the coming months:
Dispute major errors on your credit report – Request your annual free credit report and review it for errors. Write a letter with the mistakes listed on your report and send it to the credit bureaus along with copies of documents supporting your disputes. The bureaus are usually required to investigate the dispute and resolve within 30 days.
Reduce your credit card utilization – Try to keep your credit card balance well below your credit line allowance. Maxing out your cards will take a toll not only on your checking account, but also on your credit score. If you are able, make more than one credit card payment per month to pay the balance down faster.
Pay all your bills on time – Your “on-time payment percentage” is something that impacts your credit score, so it is important to do everything you can to make payments in a timely manner. Consider setting up automatic payments or text alerts to remind you so that you are always ahead of the game.
Make an effort to monitor your credit regularly – This can help you learn what kinds of actions affect your score, and could possibly help you catch fraud early if it were to occur. If your credit card company or bank allows you to view your score on their website, create a reminder on your calendar to check this every month.
I would be happy to pull a copy of your credit report and review it with you whenever you would like. We can discuss your home goals and see if a refinance of your current mortgage would be helpful and also talk about your future home goals. Consider me a resource for any questions that you may have.