To see what’s hurting your scores, pull your credit reports for free from AnnualCreditReport.com, a federally authorized website. Then, take these steps:
- Dispute inaccuracies. Report errors on your credit reports to the corresponding credit bureaus.
- Pay down debt. In particular, reducing high balances on credit cards can boost credit significantly.
- Piggyback. Ifyour parents have excellent credit, ask them to add you as an authorized user on a credit card.
- Open a credit card and use it responsibly. Start with a student card or a secured card, one that requires cash collateral. Those under 21 may need a co-signer.
- Finally, don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing. Credit scores vary because people’s financial paths vary. “Everyone’s journey is different,” Chambers says.