Five Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - In 2003, the American Bankers Association (ABA) Education Foundation originated "National Get Smart About Credit Day" on the third Thursday of October.

However, it's always a good time to raise awareness and talk about using credit wisely. Here are 5 ways to take action and improve your credit profile:

  1. Pull your credit reports and check for accuracy - Access your credit report for free and highlight all of the inaccuracies of your report including misspelled names, addresses you no longer live and accounts that you didn't open.
  2. Pay Your Bills On Time - Payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score. If you want to take action immediately to improve your credit history, be sure you're paying your bills on time.
  3. Create A Plan To Knockout Debt - Organize your credit cards, store cards and charge accounts by balance, interest rate, and minimum payment. Create a plan to pay off all of your debt using the Snowball method or the Stack method.
  4. Keep Your Balances in Check - Ideally, you should clear your credit card balance every month so that you won't pay interest. Nevertheless, if you have to carry a balance from month-to-month, keep it at or under 30% to keep your credit utilization low and your score high.
  5. Use Free Tools To Monitor Your Credit Score - CreditKarma is a tool that many people use, but it doesn't give you your FICO score. Use tools like CreditWise and CreditScoreCard that are connected with Transunion and Experian for scores that will be used by lenders in financial decisions.

Follow these steps and you'll be on your way to a 715+ credit score in due time.