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 the year to spruce up one’s credit score. Why? Because Oct. 20 is National Get Smart About Credit Day.

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

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 score begins with knowing one’s credit score. 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 one has a copy of their credit report, they should scrutinize it to make sure all information and payment/loan history is accurate.

Check Your Credit Today

Autopay Bills

It may not be payday, but it can certainly be pay bills day. By paying their bills on time, and indeed, ahead of time, consumers can build up a solid history of accountability, which can enhance their attractiveness to lenders and boost their credit score. Those not already enrolled in autopay should sign up today.

Resist the Urge To Open a New Credit Card Account

Credit card companies tend to flood consumers (no matter their credit scores) with tempting sign-up offers. Having an open and well-maintained credit card on file is a good look, but too much activity here can take a hard knock on one’s score. Toss out the junk mail today and only open a new line of credit if it’s direly needed.

Wipe Out Bad Debt

Ideally, consumers should be paying down debt as quickly as possible — but this is especially important with high-interest debt. Borrowers should take some time today to review where they’re in the red and prioritize cleaning up the “bad debt” such as credit card debt and anything past owed.

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Don’t Get Discouraged

Building up a great credit score can take some time, and for those mired in debt (who may not have the best score already), crawling up a few points here and there can feel like moving through molasses. But hey, it all counts. Let today be the day you commit to never giving up.

Check Your Credit Today

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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