By HRRC Financial Counselor Keesha Allen.
After this long winter has put a damper on our moods (as well as our wallets), it’s time to get a jump on repairing and improving your credit profile. Here are three simple ways to get ahead in the credit game.
First, set a goal. Studies have shown that people tend to repair and rebuild credit faster when they are trying to achieve financial goals. So, what goal can you identify? Maybe it’s time to finally take care of that kitchen or landscaping project you’ve been planning for years. Or, maybe it’s time for your first family vacation. Whatever your goal may be, make sure you make it obtainable and reasonable, as well as worthwhile.
Second, get your free annual copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. The reports will let you identify issues you can improve (such as late payments, using all your available credit, or having multiple inquiries), or information that you don’t recognize or that may be incorrect. You should dispute any inaccuracies on your credit report, as the information may have a negative effect on your credit score.
Finally, put your plan in action. Begin to pay down debts, and try to reduce your spending. According to Consumer Financial News, 35% of your credit score is based upon payment history, so try to build a streak of on-time payments for the next six months. You’ll be impressed to see how cutting your debt and paying on time can motivate you to achieve your financial goals.
If you would like assistance in repairing your credit profile and achieving the goals you have set, call and schedule an appointment with Keesha Allen, HRRC’s Financial and Homeownership Counselor at (216) 381-6100, ext. 13.