Up next in Credit & Credit Cards (16 videos)
Save money and stay out of debt with the advice in this Howcast video series about credit and credit cards.
You Will Need
- Your credit reports
- Your credit score
Order credit score
While you're asking for your credit reports, order your credit score—the number that creditors use to decide if they will lend you money. Cost is about $10.
Request credit report
Request a copy of your credit report from the three national credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax, and Transunion—by logging onto annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228. You are entitled to one free copy of each annually.
Review credit reports
If your score is below 620, you are considered a poor risk. Carefully review your credit reports for any mistakes.
If you find mistakes, or if you think you are the victim of identity theft, immediately report the errors to the credit reporting agencies listing them with any evidence you have, like cancelled checks to show you paid a credit card bill on time.
Pay down debt
Pay down as much debt as possible. It's the fastest way to raise your credit score.
Keep credit lines low
Don't apply for unnecessary lines of credit, like store accounts that offer merchandise discounts. Every time you fill out a credit application, your score can be lowered.
Negotiate w/ creditors
Negotiate with creditors. Ask if there is any wiggle room regarding late fees and interest. Often, they will work with you to keep you as a customer.
Stick to budget
Once your debt is cleared up, stay out of trouble by preparing a budget and sticking to it.