You might run into difficulties if you live in Utah and have a family. There are unique challenges when co-signing a loan or lease. Fortunately, there are ways to improve your credit score and make your life easier if you’re raising a family in Utah. Read on for more details on the four steps that can help you improve your credit score as quickly as possible.
1. Check your credit report
It will come as no surprise that the first step towards improving your credit score is understanding what is on your credit report. You can get your credit report from credit services: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The best place to start is with your credit report summary from one of the three credit bureaus. You can see what’s on your report and get a rough idea of how it might affect your credit score. You will also be able to see errors in your report. Make sure you understand what is on your report and why. You can also request a free credit report every 12 months from the three credit departments. You qualify for free credit information if you are denied credit, offered a much lower interest rate, or are on government assistance.
2. Set up automatic payments
Next, set up automatic payments for any accounts you have that have a high interest rate. Whenever something is due, set up an automatic payment plan. If you have credit card debt, use a debt calculator to see what automatic payments can do to help you pay off your case faster. To set up automatic payments on your credit card, you must have an open account with that card. You can also set up automatic payments for your student loans.
3. Set a long-term goal and stick to it
Be sure to create a long-term goal that suits your situation and the realities of raising a family in Utah. Set a budget so you know exactly how much money you need to spend each month on things like housing, utilities, food, and other essentials. You can also create a debt repayment plan to help clear your debt from your record as quickly as possible. Sticking to your budget and repayment plan is key to improving your credit score and making your life as a parent easier. Investing in a retirement savings plan is also a great way to improve your credit score. Utah residents can contribute to a retirement plan such as a 401(k) or an IRA.
4. Request a risk-based authentication review
If you have a short credit history or have had history issues, you may want to consider requesting a risk-based authentication review from all three credit bureaus. This is a free service that you can use to prove that you are who you say you are. You will likely need to present a copy of government-issued identification, such as your driver’s license, passport, or birth certificate. Once your account is approved, you will be able to add a security freeze to your account. This will prevent anyone from viewing your credit report unless they have your permission.
Credit scores determine a person’s risk of defaulting on a loan. A higher score means you are less likely to default on a loan, reducing the risk for lenders. Since lenders want to make sure they get their money back, they use credit scores to decide whether or not to give you a loan. Improving your credit score can help you when applying for a car loan or mortgage. A higher credit rating can mean lower interest rates and larger loan amounts.