Life can happen pretty quickly. If you are in college and about to graduate, you may begin to realize that you may need a better credit score than the one you have to get access to an apartment where you can live while working your first job.
If you notice that your credit score needs about 200 more points to make it land in the average credit score rating (between 600 and 700), or if you just want to further boost the score you have, you can do so with a few easy steps.
Here are a few of the things you can do to increase your credit score by nearly 200 points:
TRY NOT TO “USE” YOUR CREDIT
If you can at all help it, try to stay away from using your credit. You use your credit when you apply for an apartment, credit card, or loan. When a company does what is called a “hard credit check” on you, this can negatively impact your credit score.
Whenever possible, refrain from using your credit score until you can boost it.
SETTLE ANY UNPAID DEBTS
The good news is that, if you are a newly-graduated college student, your student loan debt isn’t held against you on your credit score unless you don’t pay anything on it. It is considered “good debt.”
Bad debt would be accounts that have gone into collection because you’ve fail to pay your bills. This can include a car payment that you haven’t made, a payment on a medical bill, and so on. Your account’s credit score will remain low until you pay it off. Arguable, unsettled accounts are what make your credit score so low. Settling your unpaid debts can go a long way in dramatically increasing your credit score.
DISPUTE INCORRECT INFORMATION
Many credit card companies can use your information without your permission to run a hard credit inquiry. This, as previously mentioned, can negatively impact your credit score. At least if you apply for a credit card, you know that your credit score will be affected.
When someone uses your information without your permission and it negatively impacts your score, dispute it right away. Other reasons you could dispute is if a company claims you still owe them money when you’ve already paid your bill, when a bill has been paid off for months but has yet to be removed from your account, and so on.
CONTROL CREDIT CARD USAGE
Credit cards are great to have in case of an emergency, but you certainly want to refrain from racking up spending to your credit limit. Most credit cards come along with interest, and some can be rather high. You don’t want to have to pay more money for things if you can help it.
Instead of using it for anything and everything, just use your credit card occasionally for gas and for emergencies. This can help you build your credit without breaking the bank on interest.