How can I improve my credit rating?

Click here to learn more or read an excerpt below.

 

Answer:

There is no single or fast way to improve your credit rating. Watch out for companies that offer to improve your credit history quickly, for a fee. Before you sign a contract with them, you should contact your provincial or territorial government to obtain information about the rules that govern these types of companies. Instead, you should contact one of the credit-reporting agencies to check if the information in your credit file is accurate.

Here are some tips for improving your credit score:

  • Always pay your bills on time. Although the payment of your utility bills ― such as phone, cable and electricity ― is not recorded in your credit report, some cellular phone companies may report late payments to the credit-reporting agencies, which could have a negative effect on your credit score.

 

  • Try to pay your bills in full, by the due date. If you aren’t able to do this, pay at least the required minimum amount shown on your monthly credit card statement.

 

  • Try to pay your debts as quickly as possible.

 

  • Don’t go over the credit limit on your credit card. Try to keep your balance well below the limit. The higher your balance, the greater the impact on your credit score.

 

  • Reduce the number of credit applications you make. If too many potential lenders ask about your credit in a short period of time, this may have a negative effect on your score. However, your score does not change when you ask for information about your own credit report.

 

  • Make sure you have a credit history. You can build a credit history by using a credit card. You may have a low score if you don’t have any record of owing money and paying it back.

 

  • Try to re-establish your credit rating by applying for a “secured credit card“. A secured card is a card that you obtain by depositing a sum of money with the credit card issuer. Your credit limit is usually a percentage of the amount you deposit. You can build a credit history by making all of your secured credit card payments on time.
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