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This Could Be the Easiest Way to Give Your Credit Score a Boost

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Your credit score plays a huge role in your ability to borrow money, whether in loan or credit card form. If you have excellent credit, you’re likely to get approved for a loan or credit card, and snag a more affordable interest rate, too.

On the flipside, if you have poor credit, you may be denied a loan or credit card. And if you are approved, you risk getting stuck with a high interest rate that makes your payments less affordable.

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That’s why it’s so important to do what you can to boost your credit score. And there are several steps you can take to achieve that goal.

But some of those steps may not be so easy, and they may take a fair amount of time to have a positive impact. So if you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to boost your credit score, there’s one simple move you need to make.

Check your credit report for errors

Of the various factors that go into calculating a credit score, your payment history carries the most weight, followed by your credit utilization ratio, which measures the amount of revolving credit you’re using at once. So if you establish a history of paying bills on time, it could greatly help your credit score improve. Similarly, if you pay off a chunk of your existing credit card debt, your credit score might get a nice lift.

But both of these moves take time. And the latter — whittling down credit card debt — isn’t easy. To pay off credit card debt, you need to come up with the money, whether by reducing your spending or working a side hustle to increase your income. Thankfully, though, there may be a much easier way to give your credit score a boost, and it’s checking your credit report for errors.

Your credit report is a summary of your borrowing history. It lists your open accounts, your balances, and whether you’re current on your accounts or not.

You actually have three different credit reports from three different bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And you’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each bureau every week, which you can access at

Since it won’t cost you anything to get your credit report, a simple review could lead you to spot an error that may be working against you. And correcting a harmful mistake could result in a helpful credit score boost.

Credit report errors may be more common than you’d think

You may be surprised to learn that 20% of people have an error on at least one of their credit reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Now some types of errors may not impact your credit score. For example, an incorrect phone number shouldn’t have an effect on your credit.

But let’s say your credit report shows that you have a delinquent loan balance of $874 when, in reality, you paid off that loan on time last year when you were supposed to. That’s the sort of error you’ll want to fix, as a single delinquency on your credit report could lead to a much lower credit score.

To correct a mistake like that, you can get a letter from your lender confirming that you’ve met your loan payoff obligation, or log into your account and get a screen shot showing your current balance as $0 and current. From there, you can contact the credit bureau whose report was erroneous, send it this information, and wait for the issue to be resolved.

Credit bureaus are required to respond to credit report disputes within 30 days of receiving them, though in some cases, that window is extended to 45 days. But let’s say you’re able to get a delinquent debt removed from your credit report in 30 days. That could lead to a credit score boost in short order. It might take you 230 days to make a big enough dent in paying down a credit card balance to bring up your score.

Of course, your credit report may not contain any errors, in which case you may need to take other steps to boost your credit score. But it’s a good idea to check your credit report once every three to four months to make sure it’s accurate. And it’s especially important to check your credit report if your credit score has recently taken a hit and you can’t think of an obvious reason for why that may have happened.

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