Credit score

5 On Your Side Shares Ways To Improve Your Credit Score :: WRAL.com

From buying a car to buying a house to whether or not you get a job, your credit score plays a vital role. It pays to have a good one.

“A bad credit can also make it difficult to rent an apartment, pursue college, or even find a job,” said Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports.

A low score means you are more at risk to lenders and will pay more interest on loans.

If you are looking to improve or even establish your score, an important first step is to open a bank account.

If your finances are stable, Consumer Reports says you can take out multiple small loans and make monthly payments on time. Over time, this should improve your score.

Consumer Reports also recommends applying for a secured card – which is backed by cash. You can also ask a family member who has good credit to add you to their credit card.

Just be aware that if you miss or are late with a payment, it can affect both of your scores.

Check your credit report for errors

If you have a collection debt, pay it as soon as possible, then pay your bills on time.

“Once you’ve paid off a debt in collections, many credit scoring systems won’t weigh it heavily when calculating your score,” Gill said.

It is also important to check your credit report carefully. You can get a free credit report here. Dispute any errors you may find by sending a certified letter, with proof, to the big three credit bureaus. They have approximately 30 days to respond.

Will credit monitoring work for you?

Consumer Reports adds that you should be wary of any quick-fix credit service that offers help for a fee. You don’t have to pay to repair your credit.

It just takes a solid financial plan and time.