Credit scores are an important part of life for people in the United States. A low credit score can impact your ability to get a new credit card, apply for loans, and even get an apartment. However, improving your credit score, especially if your score is currently very low, isn’t always easy, and many options for improving your score require you to pay a monthly fee. Here are four ways you can improve your credit score without a monthly fee.
- Request a Copy of Your Own Credit Report Every Year
Every year, the three main credit bureaus are required to give you a copy of your in-depth credit report. That means you get information about when you made payments, any information about if you were late, and information about hard and soft inquiries. That way, you can look at these reports and see if any incorrect information was reported. If it was, you can submit a dispute with the company.
- Keep an Eye on Your Basic Credit Score
Most of the time, you can access your basic credit score in a variety of ways. You may be able to get your credit score, estimated credit score, or FICO score through your credit card, a third-party resource like Credit Karma, or by making an account with one of the credit bureaus. Although these aren’t full credit reports, if you notice a sudden downturn, you might want to check on your credit cards and see if something has happened.
- Pay Off as Much of Your Debt as You Can
One of the best ways you can increase your credit score is by reducing your debt-to-credit ratio. This means that you reduce the amount of debt you have and you increase the amount of credit available. Paying off more of your debt is a good way to improve your credit score. Although it’s not technically free, putting away just a little bit more money to pay off more of your debt more quickly will increase your credit score.
- Use a Tool Like Experian Boost
Free credit improvement tools like Experian Boost essentially allow you to import on-time payments of bills that usually don’t get reported to credit bureaus. They use these on-time payments to improve your credit score, treating them as though they’re payments for your credit cards and loans. If you’re looking to quickly improve your credit score by a few points, tools like Experian Boost can do it immediately.
If you’re trying to improve your credit score, you don’t necessarily need to pay someone else to do it. Although paying a company for credit repair can be a good way to enhance your credit score, especially if you regularly have issues with incorrect reporting, there are also great ways to do it all by yourself. Before you go to a credit repair company, you may want to try out these four tips to get a better credit score.