Check your credit report. You’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the major credit bureaus once per year, so there’s no excuse not to do this. But don’t stop there… Be sure to fix any errors that you find.
Start building positive information. If you’ve had credit problems in the past, put that behind you and get back on track with your payments. If you have a secured credit card, be sure that they report your information to the major credit bureaus, as not all of them do.
Try to get negative information removed. Beyond getting inaccuracies removed from your credit report, you might want to try to get legitimate negative information removed. If you’ve been late in the past, but are currently paying on time, call your creditor and ask to have the information removed. They might balk, but it can’t hurt to try. If you have past due accounts, you might be able to negotiate removal of the negative information in return for getting caught up on your payments.
Dispute inaccuracies that can’t be removed. If there’s inaccurate info on your credit report that you can’t get removed, ask the credit bureaus to place the word “disputed” along with a short explanation alongside any items to which you object. They are required to comply. This won’t actual increase your numerical credit score, but it might appease some wary creditors.
Be patient. If you have legitimate negative information on your credit report, you might simply have to wait for it to drop off. Negative information typically remains on your report for seven years, so it might take awhile, but your score will rebound over time if you clean up your act.
So there you have it… Five simple steps to improve your credit score. One last tip is to be very wary if a company offers to help you improve your credit for a fee. There really aren’t any magic bullets here, and you’re perfectly capable of doing pretty much anything that a credit repair outfit can do.