There are many reasons you might want a better credit score. Perhaps you want to qualify for a new credit card or loan. Or, maybe you’re looking for better interest rates or lower insurance premiums. You may even be looking to rent an apartment without being assessed a deposit. Regardless of your motivation for earning a better credit score, it can be frustrating when your efforts stall or, as weight watchers call it, you’ve “plateaued.” Here’s what to do when your credit score isn’t going up.
This might seem like simplistic advice but if you don’t know what’s on your three credit reports then your score improvement strategies are not much more than sophisticated guesses. It’s essential to monitor your three credit reports when you’re working to improve your credit scores. At AnnualCreditReport.com you can claim a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) lets you claim these free reports once every 12 months, and because of a decision made by the credit bureaus, you can claim them weekly through at least April 2022.
Once you have your credit reports, review them for any issues that might be holding your credit score back. Make a list of any potential issues you find, such as:
Every single time your credit score is calculated it is delivered along with the top four reasons why that score isn’t higher. Those reasons are commonly referred to as Score Factors, Reason Codes, or Adverse Action Codes (Hint: they’re all the same thing). These codes are delivered in order from the most influential reason your scores aren’t higher to the least influential.
One common Score Factors for people who have excessive credit card debt is “Balances too high on revolving accounts in proportion to credit limits.” If you have this factor then you know your credit card balances are too high relative to your credit limits. You also know that if you can pay down your balances your scores will improve.
These score factors are your blueprint for a higher credit score. They take the guesswork out of the equation. Your strategy has to be built around those factors.
If your credit scores aren’t improving, there are always reasons as to the delay. Checking your reports, inventorying the items that can lead to a lower score, and focusing on your score factors is your customized credit score improvement plan.