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Is It Possible To Reset Credit?
A high credit score helps build healthy financial wellness and supports goals such as a new house, car, or apartment. However, having a low credit score can impact a person’s ability to attain these large investments and result in overwhelming stress.
There are two important things to remember: You’re not alone, and there are steps you can take to improve your credit score. Let’s explore how to reset your credit so you can get some relief.
How to Reset Your Credit
When you’re in a tough situation with your credit score, starting fresh and wiping the slate clean is a desirable solution. Unfortunately, there’s no way to restart or clear your credit report.
The purpose of a credit score is to help lenders determine if you’re a good borrower and will repay your obligation, whether it’s a mortgage, auto loan, or personal loan. Wiping the slate clean of this information would negate the system set in place. Improving your credit score will take some work, but it will be worth it and get your financial health in a better position.
How to Improve Your Credit Score
Completely resetting your credit score may not be possible, but implementing simple strategies to improve it is. To improve your credit score, follow these steps:
Check Your Credit Report
First, periodically check your credit score and credit report. Your credit score is a number that predicts your ability to pay loans back on time.
Your credit report is the information about your credit behaviors that determines your credit score. The score is calculated based on your history of making on-time payments, the number of loan and credit accounts you have open (and how long they‘ve been open), the amount of your current unpaid debt, how much available credit you’ve used (your utilization rate), and new credit or loan applications.
Periodically reviewing your credit score and credit report will help you monitor changes and check for errors or identity theft. If you spot an error, contact the company that provided the information and the credit bureau to dispute the error.
Pay Your Bills On Time
Payment history takes up a large portion of your credit score calculation, and missed payments can impact your credit score for two years. Paying your bills on time is an easy way to improve your score by a few points.
Keep Your Utilization Rate Low
One of the most important things you can do to improve your credit is to stop using your credit cards as much as possible. This will prevent your balances from increasing from purchases (you’ll still collect interest, though) and will help you start to pay off your balances and decrease your utilization rate.
Pay Off Debts
If you’re able, focus on paying off some of your debts. Start by focusing on one debt at a time—either by the lowest balance or the highest interest rate.
Two methods of paying off debt are the snowball method and the avalanche method. The snowball method means focusing on paying off your smallest debt as quickly as possible. Once that debt is paid off, then you focus on the next highest debt until all of your debts are paid off.
The avalanche method of paying off debt focuses on paying off loans or credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Once the highest interest rate loan or credit card is paid off, then you use the money you were putting toward that monthly payment to pay off the debt with the next highest interest rate until your debts are paid off.
Once you’ve paid off the balances on your credit cards, keep the cards open but only use them minimally to avoid having the accounts close. Once you use a card, pay off the balance immediately to avoid the balance growing. Keeping the accounts open will help you establish a longer credit history.
Ready to Improve Your Credit Score?
A credit score impacts several major purchases in life. Take steps to improve your financial wellness by learning how to build up your credit score and the mistakes to avoid along the way.