The first thing to do to improve your credit score is to get your score from the three major credit companies, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax, as previously described. While you are not entitled to get your credit score for free each year, it will cost you less than $10 to get your credit score from each agency, and you can order it at the same time as you order your free annual credit reports.
It is worth purchasing your credit score from all three agencies as they are often different, and you will not know which agency’s score your potential mortgage company will use. Along with giving you your score, the agencies will give you advice on how to raise it. Most of the advice is common sense:
• bring debts that are delinquent current;
• be sure to pay bills on time;
• pay off small debts; and,
• cancel unnecessary credit cards.
If you have a low score because you have little or no credit established, you may want to apply for a no-fee credit card or two. While people who pay cash for everything may be the most financially responsible, they are not improving their credit score by doing so. The credit companies want to know how you have handled credit in the past, not how you have avoided using it.