· Pay your bills on time (raises your score over time).
· Pay at least the minimum amount required for credit cards and loans.
· Use only one or two credit cards.
· Know the approximate balances on your credit cards.
· Keep your revolving credit lines like credit cards below the maximum credit limit.
· If you can’t make a payment on a bill, contact your creditors to discuss the situation.
· Periodically check your credit report for any errors.
Clear Past Credit Problems
· Order your credit report from all 3 credit bureaus.
· Check your credit report for errors and write all 3 credit bureaus notifying them of the errors.
· Satisfy all judgments, liens and collections first.
· Contact your creditor directly to request they remove negative information from your credit file if you pay a full or partial payment toward the debt.
· Contact the credit bureaus to add positive information to your file that show a positive payment history. For accounts that are not currently in your credit file send account statements and cancelled checks to prove payments. The credit bureaus may add them to your file.
· Piggy back on a good friend or family member that has good credit by getting permission to be an authorized user on their credit card accounts.
· Get a secured credit card. By putting $200 in a savings account you can receive a credit card with a $200 limit.
· Get another credit account. Department Stores and Credit unions will often offer credit to those with less than perfect credit.
· Keep your accounts positive and with a low balance. Pay off your new credit cards at the end of every month being careful not to charge more than 50% of the balance.
· Remember you will at least one year of positive credit history. Start now or you will always be a year or two away from a good credit standing.
· You can also get credit counseling form a non-profit credit counseling agency.
National Foundation for Credit Counseling