A recent study by NerdWallet found that 12% of Americans have never checked their credit report. Many Americans also aren’t aware of all the ways in which their credit affects their lives. Many survey respondents didn’t know that poor credit can affect things like utility deposits, car insurance, and cell phone service options. Your credit can also affect your ability to get a job or rent an apartment.
Check Your Credit
Every consumer is entitled to a free credit report from all three credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax – every twelve months. Always check your credit report regularly and make sure all information is accurate, belongs to you, and is up to date. If you find any inaccuracies, dispute directly with the reporting bureau.
Improve Poor Credit
NerdWallet also reported that 21% of survey respondents believed that a score of 600 is high enough for a consumer to secure any credit card that he or she wants. A score of 600 is actually below average.
The best way to improve your credit is to make all of your payments in full and on time. Rather than carrying a small balance, it’s best to just pay it off completely. Keeping your credit utilization low will also help your score improve over time.