Want to Slam Dunk Your Credit Score? Get a Game Plan Together
Every athlete knows you have to have a game plan in order to succeed in your chosen sport. Credit is no different. Scoring a great credit rating requires you to develop a solid grasp of basic credit behaviors, and a plan for reaching your personal credit goals.
You can give yourself the home-court advantage by keeping a few credit tips in mind:
Don’t let your guard down.
Defense is essential in many sports, from soccer and football to tennis. Be vigilant about defending your credit report and scores. Review your credit report at least once a year and look for signs of identity theft, errors or any other indications that you need to improve your credit habits.
Avoid penalties for delaying the game.
Late payments show up on your credit report and can adversely affect your credit scores. Avoid delay penalties by always paying bills on time every month.
Don’t scrap your strategy.
Once you’ve zeroed out the balance on your credit card bills, it can be tempting to close the account. Before you do that, consider how doing so may affect your credit score. Closing a credit card account reduces the amount of credit you have available, which can negatively affect one of the factors that goes into your credit score: your credit utilization ratio. Online resources like freecreditscore.com can help you understand how certain financial actions may affect your credit.
Don’t let errors slide.
Refs and umpires can make mistakes on virtually any playing field, and errors can also occur on your credit report. Check your report regularly. If you find incorrect information on your report, initiate a dispute with the credit reporting agency that generated the report.
Practice to improve your score.
Cultivating good credit habits requires practice and time. Instead of getting hung up on your credit scores, focus on improving credit behaviors, such as paying bills on time, bringing late accounts current and paying down credit card debt.
Hard work and time can help you build the skills that will make you a credit champion.