If you’ve made sketchy financial decisions in the past, you might be ready to embark on the journey of righting those wrongs and repairing your damaged credit. However, simply deciding that now’s the time to start cleaning up your credit doesn’t necessarily make it any easier. To really start to see some improvement, you have to create a plan of action that you can stick to regarding your use of credit from here on out. To help with this, here are three ways you can start rebuilding your credit.
Break Your Old Bad Habits
Before you can really start building up your credit and start getting some good credit to your name, you first have to address the bad habits that you’ve been training for so long. As part of this, Latoya Irby, a contributor to The Balance, recommends that you start by creating some new habits like not buying things you can’t afford to pay for in the very near future, paying more than the minimum required payment each month, and committing to not skipping any payments from here on out. If you’re able to stick to these new habits, you should start to see your credit score rise.
Figure Out Due Dates and Never Miss Them
Like was mentioned above, it’s very important that you never miss a payment on your credit cards if you want to start raising your credit score. To help make this a more manageable task for you, Bev O’Shea, a contributor to NerdWallet.com, advises that you either automate your payments so that they get deducted from your bank account each month without you having to remember or you create reminders on your calendar so that you can get those payments in without fail. Depending on how many credit cards you have or how many lines of credit you’re working on getting in the black, this might take you some time to figure out all the dates and set up the autopay or create alerts, but this is a very important step.
Keep Your Lines Of Credit Open
Once you’ve finally paid something off and you have zero balance due, don’t automatically think that closing down that line of credit is going to help improve your credit score. In fact, the opposite is actually true. According to Miranda Marquit, a contributor to WiseBread.com, part of what can raise your credit score is your credit history, meaning how long you’ve had certain lines of credit, and how much credit you have available to you that you’re not using. When you close a line of credit, you reduce both of these things, which is much more harmful than helpful to your credit score.
If you’re ready to start rebuilding your credit score, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how you can do just that.