So you want to buy some real estate, a house maybe, but your credit is less than stellar. Don’t give up right out of the gate – all is not lost. You can build your credit and improve your score, sometimes in just a few months. If your credit score is somewhere around 620, in what is considered the “bad” credit range, all you need to do is get it up a hundred to points to 720, the lower end of the”excellent” range. There are really a lot of things you can do that will to contribute to getting your score up, but here are 4 ways to boost your credit score in Santa Clara & Alameda County.
1. Dispute the Errors
The first of the ways to boost your credit score in Santa Clara & Alameda County is to check your credit report for any errors. Then you’ll need to dispute the errors with the appropriate credit bureaus who have 30 business days to respond. Then when the errors that negatively impact your score have been removed, your score will immediately improve.
Statistics from the Federal Trade Commission show that a full 5% of consumers have credit-reporting errors sufficient to cause them to pay higher prices for insurance and various financial products. So get a free report (which you can do once every 12 months) from one of the major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, Equifax – and give it a good going-over. Keep an eye out for things like payments marked as late when they were in fact paid on time.
2. Get Under Your Credit Limit
Your credit utilization is the total percentage of your available credit limit that you actually use. And it can dramatically impact your credit score.
Financial experts recommend that you use no more than 30% of your credit limit. So if you are above that, double up on payments or make additional smaller, multiple payments. You could also ask for a credit limit increase, which would give an immediate lower credit utilization.
3. Get Current on Payments
Of all the ways to boost your credit score in Santa Clara & Alameda County, getting on top of payments and making them on time is probably the most important. Without this, none of the other strategies will have much effect.
While records of missed and delinquent payments stay on your credit report for seven years, you can begin lessening their impact now. This credit-score boosting strategy may not work as fast as the others, but you simply have to do it. Every 30-day delinquency hurts your credit, and those of 60 or 90 days do even more damage. So, starting today, make all your payments on time.
4. Add Rent to Credit Files
This is one of those nifty credit score hacks that many people aren’t aware of as one of the ways to boost your credit score in Santa Clara & Alameda County. And that is to have your rental-payment history included in credit reports.
Although this is usually considered “non-traditional” payment information, it can, nevertheless, bump your score up 10-20 points in as little as a month. You can’t, however, add rental payments on your own, so you’ll have to go through a third-party company like RentTrack.com or RentReporters.com.
So don’t despair. There are ways to boost your credit score in Santa Clara & Alameda County and get financing to buy that house you really want. Even if you can’t get your score to the point you want it, you still have options. Maybe you could find a great house that is more affordable and would require less financing. And that’s where we can help!