It can impact everything from your insurance rates to your employment chances, so it’s more important than ever to make sure your credit score is passing the bar. Here are a few easy methods of raising that magical number.

1: Invest In A Secured Credit Card

Secured Credit Card

Unlike regular credit cards, which can drive you into the ground if you don’t keep up with the payments, a secured credit card is issued by your bank and has a spending limit equal to a deposit you make in advance. You can’t spend anything more than you have, making it a surefire way to re-build your good credit.

2: Fight Old Negatives

Don’t let old phone bills and lapsed subscriptions ruin your credit. Get on the phone and fight those charges, either with the offending company itself or with your credit bureau, which will sometimes accept excuses for old or petty bills.

3: Get Below Your Credit Limit

If you’re, say, applying for a loan, you don’t want lenders to look into your credit cards and see that you’ve been maxing out your available funds every month. They prefer more distance between your credit limits and the amount you’re actually using. Try to get yourself below that line as much as you can.

4: Get Credit for the Positive

If you’ve paid a bill in full and on time, there’s no reason it should be listed as anything other than “current” or “paid as agreed” on your credit score. Sometimes, however, companies will only report it as “settled,” which can raise eyebrows among lenders and real estate agents. Contact your credit bureau and dispute any less-than-stellar labels on accounts paid in full.

5: Eliminate Errors in Your Report

You’d be surprised at how many mistakes there are in the common credit report. Your score might be weighed down by charges and late payments that aren’t even yours! Get a copy of your credit report and double-check everything.

6: Get Expert Help

If your score is in dire need of fixing, or if you can’t wait around to re-build your credit with one of the methods above, consider hiring a professional credit repair service like Lexington Law. They’ll go directly into your credit report and get rid of negative or incriminating items.