Boost your credit scores and boost your buying power.
Summary: Is your credit score suffering because of the Big Three Credit Systems? Learn how to beat their rating systems and boost your score.
Creditors or loan lenders are a necessity to any country's economy and development. They allow you to purchase goods and services on credit and pay later. Credit card companies require you to pay a minimum amount every month to offset your accrued debt.
If you pay attention to credit card policies, you will realize hidden benefits and privileges. Some will even help you beat the credit systems at their own game.
What Is a Bad Credit Score?
How well you offset your debt determines your credit score. If you pay the monthly payments on time, the credit bureaus give you a good credit score. A good rating enables you to qualify for higher loan limits, get competitive interest rates and improve your overall creditworthiness.
Despite making reasonable efforts to maintain a good credit score on your end, credit card systems might negatively list your accounts on credit ranking. Accidental listing usually happens due to inaccurate information and errors or if the company does not update your payment information. When this happens, you get a bad credit score, and the creditor might forward your account to credit bureaus.
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How to Improve Your Credit Score
To ensure your credit score is reflected from your efforts, do the following:
1. Request Your Credit Report
You can get free credit reports from the credit bureau, but not more than three times a year. To do this, send your request by contacting the Annual Credit Report Request Service through their cell phone number, 1-877-322-8228.
You may also mail in your request through this address:
Annual Credit Report Request Service,
P.O BOX 105281,
Atlanta, Georgia 30348-5281.
You may also purchase the paid request from the credit bureau from as low as $1.
2. Check Your Credit Report for Inaccuracies
Your credit report contains your credit history, personal information, and account status. If any of this information is inaccurate, you will get a bad credit score, despite your efforts to repay on time. Check for the following common errors:
- Incorrect personal data such as misspelled names, contacts, and wrong address
- Inclusion of accounts you do not own
- Inaccurate account status, e.g., bankruptcy and foreclosed accounts
- Duplicate accounts
- Unauthorized activity on your account
- Incorrect inquiries such as additional loans
- Incorrect payment records
- False, derogatory remarks
3. Report and Correct Errors on Your Credit Report
Once you realize your credit report is crooked, raise this issue with the credit bureau. You can do this online on the bureau's website, send them an email, or call them. Be ready to support your claims with relevant documents such as bank statements, identity cards, account information, and transaction statements.
As you dispute the credit report inaccuracies with the credit bureau, you should also let the credit company know about ongoing disputes. It takes 30-45 days to get feedback from the credit bureau.
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4. Avoid Overdue Balances by Paying on Time
Creditors update a defaulted payment on your account only after missing the deadline within thirty days. This timeframe is known as the grace period.
Utilize your grace period to pay the total amount of your minimum monthly payment. If you miss the deadline, the creditor will forward your account to the credit bureau, thus lowering your credit score.
A negative, derogatory remark on your credit history is reviewed after seven years, which could hurt your creditworthiness in the meantime.
5. Request a Credit Limit Increase From Your Creditor
If your credit history is positive, a creditor may increase your credit limit if you request them to do so. A higher credit limit raises your credit score.
Besides, you should maintain your credit ratio below thirty percent.
The credit utilization ratio generally refers to the amount you owe across several credit cards compared to your total available credit. The lower the overall credit utilization ratio, the higher your credit score.
6. Pay Higher Interest Loans and Smaller Loans First
If you have loans from different credit cards, pay the loans with a higher interest rate first. It prevents the accumulation of interest charges, which could negatively impact your credit score.
You might also consider paying off smaller loans first. Small balances are easy to offset, leaving you with fewer credits to think about.
7. Avoid Opening New Accounts Frequently
Opening new accounts now and then makes you look like a risky borrower. Furthermore, maintaining a credit account with good payment history for a long time earns you trust from the creditors and increases your credit score.
If you are unhappy with your credit account, talk to your card provider to renew your card under a different package. Creditors are obliged to do a product change upon request by a consumer. This way, you retain your old account's history while enjoying the new card.
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How Should I Maintain a Good Credit Score?
It takes some effort to maintain a good credit score. The following steps can be taken that will help maintain a good credit score:
- Avoid Interest Charges by Paying Balances in Full - If you pay your statement balance in full, you are free from interest charges, where many consumers clash with credit card companies.
- Take Advantage of Your Grace Period - Generally, the grace period ranges between 21 and 25 days after the due date. If you pay your debt within this period, your credit score won't be affected. It actually boosts your credit score.
- Keep Track of Your Credit Record - Check your credit records at least twice a year to monitor your information for errors. If you see any fraudulent activity and erroneous data, report to your creditor and credit bureau.
- Maintain Good History With Multiple Credit Cards - When you maintain good payment routines with several credit cards, it creates a good impression on lenders. For instance, you could have one card paying for a car loan, and at the same time, you are offsetting a mortgage with another account, which will boost your credit score.
- Do Not Close Old Accounts - Your old accounts bearing good payment history are a plus for your overall credit score. Even if you no longer use these accounts, don't close them.
- Create an Auto-Payment Plan - To avoid missed deadlines, which lowers your credit score, especially when using several credit cards, set an auto-payment plan. You can set auto-payments for credit cards and utility bill payments online.
Tips To Beat Credit Systems
Apart from a good credit score, there are other ways to be on the winning side when dealing with credit systems. As the companies make money off your interest charges and tariffs, you have a chance to maximize your benefits and privileges as a credit cardholder.
Below are tips to employ for a fulfilling relationship with your creditor:
- Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses - Credit card companies occasionally offer sign-up bonuses on new accounts to remain competitive. Pounce on these bonuses as many times as possible. However, you should ensure you apply the terms and conditions of the offer and afford the annual fees and pay off debt with all the accounts.
- Request for Waivers on Fees - Credit companies may waive annual fees, foreign transactions tariffs, and overdue charges upon your request. Once in a while, the company offers waivers to beat competitors. Seize such opportunities to get your fees cleared.
- Utilize Your Reward Card and Special Offers - If your credit card rewards points, miles, and cashback offers, do not ignore this offer. Stay alert for occasional giveaways. Read and understand the company's policies and offers, such as travel protection and price protection policies.
What is SoloSuit?
SoloSuit makes it easy to respond to a debt collection lawsuit.
How it works: SoloSuit is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your answer. Upon completion, you can either print the completed forms and mail in the hard copies to the courts or you can pay SoloSuit to file it for you and to have an attorney review the document.
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>>Read the FastCompany article: Debt Lawsuits Are Complicated: This Website Makes Them Simpler To Navigate
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