What can we do to improve our credit scores? (Part 2)
In trying times when income is less than it used to be, it’s natural to use more credit. Your credit score can change monthly as payments are made or not, new amounts are added to account balances, accounts are opened or closed, etcetera. The key is to use available credit wisely and not to overuse it. To improve your score, you should try to:
- pay all bills on time. If you miss a payment, try to get current and stay current a.s.a.p.
- pay down your balances, reduce our total debt load and use less of the total amount available
- It’s wise not to apply for and use new credit if you’re already experiencing a financial hardship.
- monitor your credit report to be sure the data reflected there is correct
While a few payments will likely not improve our score immediately, it starts to create a pattern which could improve your score over time, as credit is managed responsibly. New payments, with a good track record, will eventually replace the older items on your report.
Sometimes life brings surprises and unexpected events, and you have to use more credit, can’t help maxing out our card, and struggle to make the payments. When that happens, it is important to know that you can turn the situation around eventually if you are attuned to it now. Focus on your needs, not wants, and any income should go towards paying loans and bills. We also suggest that you keep your available credit for the time when you really need it. Making any payment on time is better than not, but it’s important to talk to the lender when you are unable to make a payment, to see what arrangements can be made.
To improve a credit score, several steps can be taken, which done together, can potentially raise the number. These steps are not difficult, but they do take planning and perseverance, and it takes time to see their effect and to start enjoying their benefits.
How can EECU help?
EECU Members have a unique opportunity they can take advantage of: a free financial consulting service we make available for you, called Accel. Accel can provide assistance in budgeting, reviewing your credit report to help identify which items to target first, and can even provide you with a debt management plan where Accel representatives works with you and your creditors together.
Please take advantage of some great tips and benefits compiled for your by EECU – they are free for our Members and for the community: click here to access our financial tips and resources.