Regardless of whichever country you are living in right now, chances are that credit (and by extension, your credit report) are directly related to the sort of living standard(s) you want to set for you and your family. In short, keeping your credit clean is a great way to ensure that you don’t run into too many problems when trying to get a loan or make some specific purchase. Here are a few tips or considerations to keep in mind when attempting to keep your credit report clean…
For starters, you’re going to need copies of your credit reports. With most credit agencies (like Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) you are entitled to receive one free report annually. Next, you are going to need to meticulously review your reports and look for errors. Yes, believe it or not, credit reports often contain errors which can lower your score significantly. If you discover old, outdated or just plain incorrect info you are going to need to make a detailed list and send it to the credit agency along with all the documented proof(s) detailing your claim(s).
First and foremost, remember to pay your bills on time. As you may or may not realize; when you are delinquent with bill payments in excess of 30-60 days demerits may be added to your credit score. Naturally, if you are constantly late with certain bills due to pure negligence on your part, the only thing you are really doing is lowering your credit score. Moreover, certain utility companies may report these statistics while others do not. In other words, if you absolutely have to avoid paying certain bills (perhaps due to lack of funds), try to find out which utility companies engage in these sorts of practices. In many cases you can simply call a representative or walk right into a payment station and ask someone whether or not they make reports to credit agencies. By law they are required to provide you with this information (assuming they have it), ask to speak to a manager or supervisor if you hit a brick wall.
Next, don’t overdraft your bank account. Not only will this cause you to have to cover high fees before you can reactivate your account, it also means that your bank will report these problems to the credit agencies which will directly affect your credit score. In all honesty, overdrafting a checking account is perhaps the easiest way to cause serious harm to your credit score. In order to avoid this create a solid budget which covers all your monthly/weekly expenses and stick to it at all costs. Don’t forget to allot for extraneous expenses or impulse purchases either, assuming that you’re the type of person who is prone to spur-of-the-moment shopping sprees.
Don’t forget to review your credit report(s), making sure to take note of all the details. As previously mentioned, most credit reports tend to contain errors, so make sure you deal with those first before you attempt to do anything else.