5 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score for National Get Smart About Credit Day

October isn’t just a month to conjure up ghouls and dress up like Harley Quinn or the kids from “Stranger Things,” it’s also the best time of year to spruce up your credit score. Why? Because October 20 is National Get Smart About Credit Day.

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Part of the Get Smart About Credit program, which was launched by the American Bankers Association Foundation in 2003, this “holiday” encourages consumers to promote healthy personal finance habits, including establishing and maintaining a strong credit rating.

Here are 5 ways to improve your credit score on this special day.

Check your credit score and report

Knowledge is power. Anyone’s first step in the process of improving their credit rating begins with knowing their credit rating. You can request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – once a year. Once you have a copy of your credit report, you should review it to make sure all information and payment/loan history is accurate.

Automatic bill payment

It might not be payday, but it sure can be bill-paying day. By paying their bills on time, and even ahead of time, consumers can build a strong liability history, which can enhance their appeal to lenders and boost their credit score. Those who are not already registered for Autopay should register today.

Resist the urge to open a new credit card account

Credit card companies tend to flood consumers (regardless of their credit score) with enticing sign-up offers. Having an open and well-maintained credit card on file is a good idea, but too much activity here can take a toll on your score. Throw away the junk mail today and only open a new line of credit if you really need it.

Clear Bad Debts

Ideally, consumers should pay off their debts as quickly as possible, but this is especially important for high-interest debt. Borrowers should take some time today to review where they are in the red and prioritize cleaning up “bad debts,” such as credit card debt and anything that is owed.

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Do not be discouraged

Building a good credit rating can take some time, and for those in debt (who may not already have the best rating), racking up a few points here and there can feel like moving through molasses. . But hey, everything counts. Let today be the day you pledge to never give up.

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