A credit score affects you in ways you might not even realize. It is a key component in applying for jobs, looking for a place to live and even dating has jumped onto the credit bandwagon. It is common for people to consider credit scores when shopping for a mate, in fact. In today’s techno centric world, it becomes more critical, and much easier, to manage and rebuild your credit. Look at seven ways you can start improving your credit score in 2015.
Get in the Habit of Checking Your Credit
One advantage of the computer age is access to information. It used to be a hassle to check your credit history. You had to write or call all three agencies to get a printed report snail mailed to you. Today, there are sites that give you the opportunity to review your credit once a year at no cost. This is a habit to develop in the coming year.
Things to look for on each separate report include erroneous entries and negative items. Investigate any line item you don’t understand. You can call the reporting agency or send a letter to the company requesting details. Work to resolve negative details that do not belong on the report. They are pulling down your score.
Look for Help Improving your Score
Engage a service that monitors your credit regularly to help improve the score. These companies employ credit experts that can provide tips relevant to your current situation. For example, too many inquires will lower a credit score. The company can track quires and let you know when there is a problem. They will also analyze your report and help your clean up entries that are hurting you.
Set Up a Monitoring System
There is more to monitoring your credit than just keeping yourself in line. You also want to use a monitoring program that will alert you to changes in your history. Identity theft is one the rise. The Bureau of Justice reports that 8.6 million households are affected by this crime. The increase in identity theft is largely due to improper handling of credit card accounts. A criminal can use the personal history of another person to establish a credit card account. From 2005 to 2010, the bureau reports a 50 percent increase in credit theft claims.
Credit services will regularly check your history looking for unauthorized items. They will contact you if questionable entries arise. A monitoring system allows you to put out fires before they burn hot enough to lower your score.
Take Responsibility for Monthly Statements
Each month you get a statement from your bank and credit card companies. Get used to combing through each one to ensure the entries are correct. This is another tool to avoid identity theft issues. It takes a little time but is critical to managing your money, as well as your credit.
Set up Limits
Banks and credit institutions often allow you to create thresholds. For example, the bank can send you a text if your daily spending gets over a certain amount or if a particular purchase exceeds a dollar limit. This is a handy way to manage your personal spending and keep track of your accounts.
Close any account that shows inappropriate activity or that you don’t use any longer. Any credit card that you did not open or that has unauthorized usage, contact the company and notify them of the violation. Old empty back accounts are just clutter you don’t need and give criminals another tool.
Create a Repair Plan
Everyone has dings on their credit report. When you find one that is correct, develop a plan to fix the problem. Really analyze each negative entry on the report and look for ways to avoid future issues. Consider how your might improve the situation and turn that negative into a positive over the next 12 months.
A new year is dawning. The question is are you going to drudge through it with the same old credit score that has been dragging you down for years? Now is the time to take control of your credit health and make 2015 one of the best years ever.