Smart SpendingSmart Spending

Boost your credit score by Labor Day

Want to improve your credit score? These 3 steps can help speed up the process -- and give you a better score by the end of the summer.

By MSN Money Partner Jun 25, 2012 12:17PM

This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner site Credit.com.

 

Repairing a shoddy credit report requires time, but there are few steps you can take to expedite the process. Here's what to do if you're hoping to give your score a boost by Labor Day.

 

Pay down credit card debt.

Image: Woman looking at bills and receipts on floor (© David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)One of the only surefire ways to give your credit score a quick boost is to pay down any existing debt you may be carrying on a credit card. This will have an immediate (and positive) impact on your credit utilization ratio, which essentially involves how much credit you are using versus how much is actually available to you.

 

Keep in mind, the move will only work if you pay down the debt and then refrain from running up a big balance on the card. Issuers report current balances along with your payment status on a monthly basis so it won't take long for these new charges to catch up to you.

 

Check your credit report.

Errors on credit reports are actually more common than you may think, so combing over your credit report can benefit your score if it is indeed being pulled down by someone else's negative information. (Post continues below.)

If it isn't, the exercise can be instrumental in illustrating what you need to do to improve your creditworthiness. Most versions of reports point out what items are particularly detrimental to the person's score.

 

Everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each of the major reporting bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- each year, which can be obtained by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. You can also monitor your score for free and get advice on what might be pulling your score down with Credit.com's Credit Report Card.

 

Commit yourself to making all your payments on time.

A first missed payment can cause a great credit score to fall 100 points or more. The good news is, so long as you don't follow up this misstep with an even bigger one, you won't feel the full effect for the entire seven years it takes the line item to age off your credit report. Begin to undo the damage by getting current on your payments and recommitting yourself to making all future ones on time.

To avoid accidentally missing a due date, enroll in auto-pay by linking your credit card and debit card accounts. You also might be able to do enroll for these options via your issuer's iPad or mobile app.

 

More on Credit.com and MSN Money:

 
0Comments

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

ABOUT SMART SPENDING

Smart Spending brings you the best money-saving tips from MSN Money and the rest of the Web. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

VIDEO ON MSN MONEY

TOOLS

More