Geri Detweiler of credit.com recently released the following article on a few ways to do nothing in order to help your score. I have taken some of her tips and adjusted them so that they will better serve you!
Call it the “lazy person’s way to better credit.” Or the “zen” approach, if you prefer.
Here are seven ways that doing nothing can help improve your credit
1. Stop Using Your Credit Cards* If you have balances on your credit cards that aren’t budging, tuck the cards away somewhere safe and stop using them. Continue to make your payments, and your balances will go down. How quickly depends on the size of your payment, of course. But if your balances have been hurting your credit scores, you should see improvement over time because your “debt usage ratio” — a comparison of your credit card balances to your credit limits — improves.
*You don’t want to stop using your cards all together but this is a good way to begin dwindling down that overwhelming balance
2. Don’t Apply for New Credit* When that friendly store clerk asks if you want to save 10% off your purchase by opening a store credit card, politely decline. No new applications for credit means new inquiries won’t hurt your credit scores, and you won’t see the typical dip associated with a new account either.
*However if you do not have any open lines of credit, apply for credit to start building your score. Having two to three open lines of credit is the ideal place to be
3. Let Accounts Age Like fine wine, age is your friend when it comes to your credit scores. Older accounts can help boost your scores, as most scoring models consider credit age, or more specifically, the age of your oldest account and the average age of all your accounts.
4. Let the Bad Stuff Go* After a certain point, negative information can no longer be reported. And if it’s not in your reports, it won’t affect your scores. Late payments and charge-offs, for example, can’t be reported more than seven years after they occurred, while collection accounts can’t be reported more than seven years plus 180 days from the original date of delinquency (the date you fell behind with the original creditor). As long as the dates on your credit reports are correct, you don’t have to lift a finger.
*Seven years is a long time to wait, working with a credit restoration company can help you get those items off sooner than just letting them fall off when they are supposed to so that you can reach your goals quickly!
5. Leave Accounts Be* Have credit cards you don’t really use anymore? Rather than closing them out, just let them be. They are more likely to help your credit scores than hurt them. (Of course, if your issuer is charging you an annual fee and won’t waive it, or if you have a co-signer on the account who might go on a spending spree, it may be best to close the account.)
*Keep a small balance on there otherwise you risk the data furnisher closing the card, this will lower the average age of accounts so having something rather than nothing is going to be more beneficial for you.
6. Hop on Someone Else’s Credit Asking your spouse, partner or even your parent to add you onto one of their accounts as an authorized user may give your credit a boost. If the account they put you on has a perfect payment history and low balances, you’ll likely get “credit” so to speak when that account starts appearing on your credit reports. You never need touch the card to benefit from this strategy.
7. Put It on Autopilot Put your bills on auto-pay and you shouldn’t have to worry about accidentally missing a payment — and winding up with a score-damaging late payment on your credit reports. It’s a super-easy way for the busy or easily distracted among us to stay on track. Of course you will want to do a quick check-in each month to make sure your payments actually went through. But it will still be faster than it was before you set up auto-pay.
It is our job to help consumers reach their ideal credit scores and provide them with information such as the tips above can make it easier for them to grow their scores. If you could use our help call us today to come in for a FREE CREDIT REPORT CONSULTATION to discover how we can help you reach their credit goals!