This is the 9th installment of "9 Ways to Save on Your Home Insurance" which can be downloaded as a free eBook.Obviously, maintaining a good credit score is all around a good idea and makes life easier when trying to make any major purchases. However, Florida insurance companies are also increasingly using credit information to price Florida insurance policies. Here are a few tips of important things you can do right now to begin improving your credit:
Check Your Credit Report – In order to repair your credit, you have to know what’s wrong with it! If you haven’t already, request a free copy of your credit report on AnnualCreditReport.com and check it for errors. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and it may contain errors. Check to make sure that there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts. Also, ensure that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, you should dispute them with the credit bureau and reporting agency.
Setup Payment Reminders or Automated Bill Pay – On time payments are one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Some banks may offer payment reminders through their online banking portals. These will send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due. An even more effective method of ensuring your payments are on time is to enroll in automated bill pay through either your credit card and loan providers OR through your bank. Most banks provide online bill payment services that are free, and will allow you to set up automated payments in whatever amount you would like.
Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This may not be the easiest task, but it may be necessary in moving forward. Reducing the amount that you owe will be far more satisfying than improving your credit score. Here are a few steps to help you get started:
- Stop using your credit cards!
- Use your credit report to make a list of all of your accounts
- Go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are charging you
- Develop a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, and maintain minimum payments on your other accounts