Credit report tips to improve a bad credit history

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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Building Credit History » Credit report tips to improve a bad credit history

Credit report tips to improve a bad credit history


Updated: December 26, 2012

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Improving a bad credit history is not all about keeping your expenses low, paying your bills on time and keeping your outstanding balance to a minimum. Often to improve your bad credit history and make it fair or even good might need some digging into the old details and trying to find out why your credit history went to bad in the first place.

Check if your credit limit and recent consistency is reported correctly

Credit reports can give you a lot of information. More importantly, they will tell you if something is wrong as well. Therefore it is advisable to avail your copy of the free credit report every year and checking where you have lost valuable points. Often your credit limit reported by the lender could be less than what it is. There might be other negatives like late payments, bankruptcy or missed payments which are not yours but have accidentally crept up into your credit report. All these negatives when eliminated can significantly improve your credit history.

How much credit have you applied for?

If you are applying for too many credit cards, chasing for credit card rewards you must be aware that more the credit you seek, more it will affect your credit history. As more lenders ask for your report when you apply for credit, your credit scores will take a hit. Therefore just like it is a good idea to dust up and old card and start using it again to prevent it from being closed down, it is advisable to not keep applying for unnecessary credit.

Are you going for balance transfers?

Balance transfers and debt consolidation will negatively impact your credit rating. This is because there is a chance your credit limit will get reduced which will lower your credit rating as well. Similarly having smaller balance on many cards is better for your credit history than having a high outstanding balance on one of the cards, with the balance almost touching the credit limit. Therefore you should be careful before going both for new cards and for fewer cards. Either will affect your credit history.

Does your credit report have negatives which can be eliminated?

This is a good question to ask before going for other measures to improve credit. Many negatives like charge-offs, and missed loan and mortgage payments can be gotten rid of, by talking to the lender, especially when you have a long standing relationship.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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