Helpful Tips to Improve Credit Scores

1. Check credit reports to make sure they are accurate. Credit reports can have mistakes on them. Confirm the information provided on the reports.  Use a reputable company to check credit reports.
2. Identify what needs to be improved in your credit history and on your credit report. Errors can include stolen identity, and collections accounts that are being reported past the statute of limitations.
3. If your credit score is low, but your credit report is accurate, the following items may be the reason; late payment history, amount of debt, age of accounts, mix of accounts such as auto, home, or credit cards, and the history of your credit applications.
4. Put a plan in place to improve credit score. Some credit report websites offer action plans to assist in tackling debt, lowering credit card debt, and paying down the debt you’ve acquired over the years.
5. Getting payments in on time is a must. Setting up payment due alerts on your phones or devices as reminders will help in scheduling payments. Be aware of payment due dates by marking them on digital and paper calendars. 
6. Work to build up a strong credit age – the longer the better. This could also be done by riding on the back of another’s credit card or payment plans. This is not a short-term fix. This may take several years to build a strong credit age.
7. When beginning a relationship with a lender, bare in mind that it will take 3-6 months before you will see any changes on your credit reports. When opening a new credit card, make small purchases with achievable monthly payments.
8. It is important to clear up any collection accounts. Asking the debt collector to stop reporting the debt to the major credit bureaus in exchange for full payment is a move in the right direction if it is allowed. Make sure to get this in writing.
9. Old mistakes are reparable. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, unpaid bills, and other dings in the credit history are worth fixing. The impact of these mistakes is initially felt the worst, but as time goes on, these dings will lessen.
10. Put a limit on credit applications. This is a red flag and your credit score will take a hit, whether you are approved or not. A hard inquiry will affect your score for a full year, but your score will immediately improve after you apply.

(605)519-5124

607 1/2 Mt. Rushmore Rd. Suite 113

Rapid City, South Dakota 57701

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