The feared credit report pull
I’m not really an impulse shopper. I walk through the store and fill my cart with junk I don’t need and then I put it all back on the shelves because I just can’t spend the money. I’m a great budgeter until a really cool once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes up. Then I bring out the credit card and spend $4,000 on a photography retreat in France. Three months later I decide to test drive cars and drive off the lot in a brand new Charger because it’s exactly what I’ve always wanted. The sales guy whipped out that paperwork so he could pull my credit and I got a little nervous. I knew what my balance on that credit card was. What if I failed and they wouldn’t let me take my baby home?
Clean up your credit – Fix Credit Score
I know I’m not alone in my fear of the credit pull. We all have skeletons on our credit reports. Nothing but time can cure that moment of weakness, right? Here’s the good news, there are a few things you can do to clean up your credit score. They require some discipline, but are virtually painless. One of the many things I’ve done in the mortgage business is counsel people on cleaning up their credit. These are my favorite six ways to get started. Fix credit score woes today.
- Pay your bills on time. Even if all you can do is pay the minimum amount every month, make sure you pay the bill every month.
- Keep your balances below 30% if at all possible. There are two breaks in your credit score when it comes to the balance on revolving accounts. The first one is at 50%, but it’s not a terribly large jump. Your credit score takes a good sized jump when your accounts fall below 30% so get there and stay there.
- Request higher credit limits on your revolving accounts (credit cards, store cards, etc). If your creditor decides that you’re responsible enough to have a higher limit, don’t prove them wrong. Keep the balance around or lower than what it was when the request was granted. A higher limit is supposed to make the percentage look better, not invite you to get in deeper debt.
- Don’t apply for new lines of credit within three to six months of each other. Different types of credit pulls will affect your credit score differently, but don’t risk it. Frequent pulls of your credit report don’t generally look good.
- Don’t close paid-off accounts. Nothing looks better than having a variety of clean credit lines. Pay things off and then hang onto the cards. Put them in your sock drawer and make one or two small charges every few months if you want to keep them paid off but don’t think you’ll actually do it.
- Get an annual credit report and look closely for mistakes and duplicates. Keep yourself familiar with your credit so you can recognize inconsistencies. If something looks fishy, contact your creditor/the credit bureau. It will probably take some work and could be difficult, but a bad credit report can ruin your life. Make the effort to keep it clean.
Keeping a good credit score
The world we live in is driven by credit scores. Your credit report is pulled by a myriad of people for a myriad of reasons. Keep yourself out of financial trouble by knowing your means and living within them. Work to clean up your credit and then work to keep it that way. I promise it will change your life.