Protect your credit

Some tips for protecting your credit score:

Make sure your payment is received by your creditor by the Due Date. A missed or late payment will likely be reported to the credit bureaus and can have a negative impact on your credit score. If you cannot pay the entire balance, then pay the minimum balance due. Avoid getting near the credit limit of your credit card. Having a high balance, even just for one period, could have a negative effect on your score. Keep your charges under half of the credit card’s balance limit.    

Keep your oldest credit card open and use it occasionally. However, if your oldest credit card has unsatisfactory terms (such as a very high annual fee), then you can cancel it so long as you have another credit card account in good standing. If you don’t have another credit card, then keep your old account open until you have opened a new credit card and established a payment relationship with it (use the new card and pay off the charges). Closing an old credit card account could decrease your credit score.

Avoid excessive credit applications and requests for credit limit increases. Lenders do not like seeing other recent credit applications. Limit yourself to one new credit card application a year or less.

Check your credit reports for any errors. To order, visit AnnualCreditReport.com OR call 1-877-322-8228. You are entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the 3 credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. If you see a mistake on one of your reports, then report it in writing to that credit bureau. You should find instructions on how to properly report an error on your credit report.  PLEASE, Please, please, keep a copy of your letter to the credit bureau. If a bank continues to wrongly report a debt on your credit report, then we might be able to help. Contact us at Skinner Law Firm for a free case evaluation.