The average credit score in the United States is just over 700; where do you stand? If you're unhappy with your credit score, the good news is that there are plenty of ways to go about improving it. Unfortunately, there are a lot of myths floating around about credit repair. By being aware of these myths (and the truths behind them), you can make the right decisions to begin working on your credit a little at a time.
Myth #1: You Should Close Your Accounts
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when trying to improve your credit score is to start closing accounts. In reality, closing accounts can hurt your credit score even more. Even if you have a credit card or other account that you haven't used in a while, it's better to keep it open than to close it altogether. And ideally, you'll start using the account (responsibly, of course) to build your credit.
Consider, for example, setting up that credit card to make one automatic bill payment per month. From there, simply pay off that balance on your credit card in full each month and you'll start improving your credit right away.
Myth #2: Bankruptcy Will Resolve Your Credit Problems
While it's true that bankruptcy can help you take care of some of your outstanding debt, it's important to understand the effects that filing for bankruptcy can have on your credit. In fact, a bankruptcy filing will remain on your credit report for anywhere from 7-10 years. During this time, you may have a harder time getting approved for loans or credit cards that you could otherwise use to build your credit responsibly. This isn't to say that filing for bankruptcy is never the best option — but it's not something to take lightly, either.
Myth #3: Credit Takes Years to Improve
You're certainly not going to boost your credit 100 points overnight. However, building your credit score may take less time than you think. Little things, like paying your bills on time and keeping your credit utilization ratio around 30% or less, can improve your score in the short term.
If you have poor credit, you're certainly not alone. And by taking a few proactive measures (like not falling for these common myths), you can get on the path to better credit. From there, you can have an easier time getting approved for loans and save money with lower interest rates.
For more tips, reach out to a credit repair service near you.