You might find some challenges if you live in Utah and have a family. There are unique challenges when co-signing on a loan or lease. Luckily, there are ways to improve your credit score and make life easier if you’re raising a family in Utah. Read on for details on four steps that can help you improve your credit score as fast 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 statement from the credit departments: 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 is on your report and get a rough idea of how it may be affecting your credit score. You will also be able to see any errors in your report. Make sure that 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 are qualified for a piece of free credit information if you are denied credit, offered a much lower interest rate, or are on public assistance.
2. Set Up Automatic Payments
Next, set up automatic payments for any accounts that you have that have a high-interest rate. Any time that 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 record 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. Establish a Long-Term Goal and Stick to It
Make sure you create a long-term goal that works for your situation and the realities of raising a family in Utah. Set up a budget so that you know exactly how much money you have to spend each month on things like housing, utilities, food, and other essentials. You can also create a debt repayment plan to help get your debt off your record as quickly as possible. Staying to your budget and repayment plan is essential to improve your credit score and make life easier as a parent. 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 trouble in the history, you might want to consider requesting a risk-based authentication review from the 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 be required to submit 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, making you a lower 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 when you apply for a car loan or mortgage. A higher credit score can mean lower interest rates and more significant loan amounts.