Ohio has been coming back strong in the past few years. Unfortunately though, a lot of Ohio residents are still struggling with bad credit. In fact, the average credit scores of consumers living in the three biggest cities in the Buckeye State are lower than the national average (Columbus: 643.10, Cleveland: 626.55, Cincinnati: 636.31). However, bad credit doesn’t have to stay that way forever. In fact, there are steps that you can take to improve your credit score in 30 days.
How to Improve Your Credit Score for Better Opportunities in Ohio
In Ohio, it’s possible to get a great deal on a house or an apartment. However, having a low credit score can prevent you from either buying or renting a home. That’s right. Even landlords are known to run credit checks on potential tenants. The job market is also expanding in Ohio. Though sadly, having bad credit can prevent you from getting hired for certain positions.
The time to improve your credit score is now, but you can’t expect full credit repair to happen overnight. Companies that offer an “instant fix” for bad credit are typically running a scam. Real credit repair usually takes time and effort, but you’ll probably start to see results pretty quickly. By following these tips, you should see noticeable credit score improvement within about 30 days.
Don’t be afraid to use credit.
If you’re already using credit, you can skip down to the next tip. On the other hand, if you’re one of the “credit shy” consumers in Ohio, you should know that it takes credit to build credit. Sure, you won’t get bad credit if you never take out a loan or buy something with a credit card. Of course, you won’t have good credit either.
An easy way to start using credit without building debt is to set up a secured credit card account. In order to do this, you’ll need to deposit a certain about of cash (usually $200-$500), and the amount of this deposit will become your spending limit. Using a secured credit card responsibly and making all of your payments on time will help you grow your credit.
Pay down high credit card balances.
Maybe you’re on the other side of the fence and using credit every day. Believe it or not, those high credit card balances might be hurting your credit score. Even if you’re making every payment on time, using too much of your available credit can send a red flag to lenders. This is why something called a credit utilization ratio (CUR) is factored in when your credit score is calculated. Your CUR refers to the percentage of your credit limits you’re using at any given time. Ideally, you want this number to be no more than 30 percent. If it is higher than 50 percent, you may see a decline in your credit rating.
Get current with all of your bills and stay that way.
Late payments on any obligation can damage your credit score. Not only that, but dealing with late fees can throw off your budget and make it more likely that you’ll miss another due date. It’s a vicious cycle. Anyone currently behind on a bill should pay off the debt ASAP. Then, make a plan to pay on time in the future.
Some Ohio consumers prefer to have recurring bills automatically drafted from their accounts every month. This prevents them from accidentally missing a payment. Just be cautious with this option, and make sure that there’s always money in your account to cover these bills. An alternative option to automatic payments is to set up text or email alerts to remind you when a due date is approaching.
Check your credit reports for errors.
A lot of Ohio residents don’t realize that over 80 percent of credit reports contain errors of some kind, and a lot of these mistakes might be unnecessarily dragging down their credit scores. This is good and bad news for consumers. The bad news is that you may not currently have the credit score you deserve. However, the good news is that, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), you’re entitled to accurate credit reports that are free from errors.
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA), another federal statute, entitles you to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus every twelve months. You can request credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian at www.annualcreditreport.com, a website that is authorized by federal law. If you find inaccuracies on any of your credit reports, you can dispute these errors in writing and have them removed.
Unfortunately, this disputing process can be time-consuming and confusing f you don’t have experience in reading credit reports. For this reason, getting a FREE credit repair lawyer is a great option for Ohio consumers who want to clean up their credit reports.
Don’t let debt collections and errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (888) 293-2882 or sending him a message through our contact page.