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4 Steps to Better Credit Profile.
- Make your payments on time. Credit cards, household utility bills, and loans can all contribute to better credit scores as long as you pay them on time. It’s a way to show that you are a reliable consumer or borrower and it becomes part of your credit history. The older you get and the older your accounts, paired with making payments on time, leads to better credit scores. Consider “payment due” a stepping stone to building a good credit score.
- Avoid 30+ day late payments. On occasion, if you forget to mail a payment for a few days or you get busy and it just slips your mind, make the payment immediately but don’t stress out if it’s only been a few days. However, avoid letting a payment go past 30 days. That’s when it will go on your credit history as a big negative for seven long years, affecting your credit score. If the late payment is on a credit card, sometimes people think they can cancel that credit card and information on the late payment goes away. It does not work like that. Creditors and insurance companies can see any late payments you have made over the past seven years, even if that credit line is closed. To improve your score, the older a late payment is the better. Once it drops off after seven years, your score will improve quickly. It’s never too late to begin making current payments to help improve your score.
- Have a variety of loans. This may seem counterproductive but having several types of loans like credit cards, an auto loan, a mortgage, or a student loan on your credit shows that you are responsible in managing several types of payments. If you are current on all payments, your score will rise quickly. It’s great if you have no debt, but only if you previously established credit through car, home, credit cards or other loans. If you are 21 years old with no debt and you have never even had a small credit card to your name, no credit score can be calculated and it will be difficult to get a loan.
- Put a freeze/fraud alert on your credit. With easier access to Social Security numbers and data breaches more and more common, one of the best ways to protect yourself is by freezing your credit. You can freeze your credit with each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You will be given a PIN that will enable you to temporarily lift the freeze for a specific time-frame or lender. It is free and does not affect your score. You can also put a fraud alert on your report that lists a phone number for the lender to call to verify your identity and to ensure you are authorizing a transaction.
If you have been told that you are a “High Risk Driver” go to assignedriskinsurance.com or call (657) 217-8484 to find car insurance offices near you.