Michelle Singletary: Simple ways to improve your credit
News from Buffalo News:
There are no shortcuts to strengthening your credit score.
Say that to yourself three times a day until you stop trying to figure out or waste good money searching for an easy fix to boosting your creditworthiness.
I say this because I was taking calls from some radio listeners recently and a young woman asked how to increase her credit score, which was in the high 600s – a decent score but not great. She was referring to the range for the FICO score, which goes from 300 (lowest) to 850 (highest). The first question I always ask people trying to improve their credit score is: Do you pay your bills on time?
The caller hesitated.
“That would be a no,” I jumped in.
“No, no, I pay them on time,” she said.
I pressed because I’ve been answering the question for years. And people don’t seem to want to acknowledge the behavior that can affect their credit.
“Really, you pay every single bill, on time?”
Then she came clean. She “mostly” pays them on time. Only occasionally does she slip up, she admitted.
That’s the score slayer.
Don’t listen to the television ads promising quick fixes or the many junk emails with subject lines claiming secret ways to improve your credit. Paying your bills on time is the No. 1 way to fix your credit. Every debt. Every month. On time.
But when I say that, I get blank star…………… continues on Buffalo News