If one of your 2019 goals is to boost your credit score, look no further then this guide that will help you step by step. Credit is an extremely important part of everyone’s financial journey. It is something that, no matter what your income, can really benefit you and your wallet. Having good credit is essential when renting an apartment, buying a home, buying a car, and other high profile financial decisions.

Before we dive into how to boost your score, let’s take a look at what a good credit score entails.

What does “good” credit look like?

Excellent Credit: 750+

Good Credit: 700-749

Fair Credit: 650-699

Poor Credit: 600-649

Bad Credit: below 600

No matter where you are on this chart, there are ways to improve your credit score and meet your financial goals. To ensure you succeed in this process, you will need to repair your past credit, improve your current credit, and make habits going forward. By following the steps of improving your past, present, and future, you are setting yourself up for success in 2019!

IMPROVE THE PAST:

Fix Late Payments

No matter how financially savvy you are, everyone can have a slip and pay bills late. Maybe you were traveling, had an emergency, or you simply just forgot. It’s okay to make a mistake, but these late payments aren’t going to solve themselves. Unfortunately, past payments have the biggest influence on your credit score.

But don’t panic just yet. If you have a history of paying your bills on time, your credit card issuer is likely to forgive this mistake at least once. If you have been consistent in the past, one blimp in your payment history won’t shake your score. For those who have made multiple late payments, pay them immeditaly and ask if your credit card lender will rescind these so they no longer appear on your report.

 

IMPROVE THE PRESENT:

Correct Credit Report Errors

Having errors on your credit report is much more common than you’d think. That’s why it is so important for you to thoroughly review your credit report for any errors that could be hurting your score for no reason.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, about 1 in 4 reports contain errors that might have at least a small negative effect on scores with 5% of consumers having errors bad enough to result in a higher price for a financial product or insurance. Get your free report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to check for errors.

 

IMPROVE THE FUTURE:

Set Up Payment Reminders

The quickest way to ruin your credit is to not pay those bills. Ensuring that your bills are paid on time is essential to creating and maintaining excellent credit. If you constantly forget to pay rent or student loans, you need to set up payment alerts for each bill you have. No one wants to get pinged every other week with a new amount they owe, but no one wants poor credit either.

Stop Opening New Credit Accounts

Keeping an open, active, and consistent credit account is better than multiple sloppy ones. Credit card lenders don’t like to see people continuously opening more accounts because it usually means there is debt being tacked on that is not being paid off. Bottom line, be very cautious about opening new accounts and try to avoid it in order to maintain good credit.

 

Creating and maintaining a good credit score is an extremely important part of your personal finance journey. Here are some resources that will help you on the road to excellent credit: