Internet high five for looking for ways to improve your credit!
Here are a few basic tips to help you on your way 🙂
- make sure all payments are made on or before the due date. If your minimum payment on a credit card is only $50 and it’s due on the 1st, but you know you’re going pay the full balance on the 15th- don’t wait!! Pay the $50 minimum payment that’s due and then pay the remainder when you can.
- keep your balances as far below your limits as possible. The closer your balances on lines of credit and credit cards are to the limit, the lower your score will be.
- do not have anyone look at your credit unless it’s completely necessary. The more inquiries you have on your credit report, the lower your score will be. (That’s one of the added benefits of using a broker when you are shopping for a mortgage. We look at your credit once and then have access to a wide range of lenders and products instead of going from place to place and having each one check your credit #shamelessplug 😉 )
- try and avoid department store cards or higher interest finance companies whenever possible.
- the length of time you’ve had credit reporting makes a difference. If you’ve got a credit card that’s been around a while and has a good, long history. Consider hanging on to it and keeping it using it every now and again to keep it active even if you don’t use it regularly. Once other accounts have been established for a few years, if you still don’t need it, close it then.
- maintain at least two credit accounts that have been open for at least two years
- have some credit, even if you don’t need it. Believe it or not, being able to pay cash for everything and not having any credit history at all makes it more difficult to qualify for a mortgage. Go figure, huh? We don’t make the rules…we just help play the game 😉
If you are struggling with collections, bankruptcy or consumer proposals, credit repair will be more intensive and will take time to recover. Talk with a trustworthy, reliable and credible credit counselor who can help you through and face things head on. There are companies out there who will do more harm than good, so make sure you research any offers being made to help you out of a jam. There is no easy way out, but time does heal credit wounds and if you work at it, you’ll be back on your feet before you know it. Pinky swear.