The average credit score in America hovers between 690 and 700. While that's pretty good, it's not in the "excellent" range that qualifies you for the best possible rates on mortgages, auto loans and other borrowing.
But the beautiful thing about the U.S.? There are a ton of tools at our disposal, so take advantage of these easy credit wins to push the needle a little bit further.
1. Get a free credit report — and score
This should always be the first step whenever you decide it's time to build up your credit. Assess your general situation.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act dictates that the major credit reporting agencies must provide you with a free credit report once a year.
What these companies are not required to do, however, is provide you with a free credit score. That's where the Experian Boost comes in.
The service provides a free credit score every 30 days, plus it can give your credit score a boost when you link it to your bank account. With Experian Boost, your regular payments — such as cellphone and utility bills — are tracked and potentially help raise your score.
2. Look for mistakes on your credit report
After successfully obtaining your credit score and credit report (for free), always double-check your credit history for mistakes.
An erroneous credit report might misstate the number of credit checks made on your account, or include debts that you've long paid off.
Reversing errors is easier than you might think, and once you've fixed the mistakes on your credit report things may start to look up.
It can sometimes help to sign up for a credit monitoring service, to help minimize the risk of fraud and errors on your account.
3. Simplify and smash your debt
Debt drags millions of Americans' credit scores down into the depths. Going debt-free is the next step to building up your credit.
Loan comparsion website Fiona is helping people resurface from the debt depths through a variety of debt consolidation loans.
With Fiona, you see all the lenders willing to eliminate the headache of dealing with multiple bills and multiple costly interest rates.
When you take out a debt consolidation loan, you'll make just one payment each month — and save a ton on interest payments.
4. Build credit and start your savings
Now that you've cleared out your debts, it's time to start saving again. But chances are your credit score is still recuperating.
You can build your credit score back up and save money at the same time. Credit Strong makes it simple.
Credit Strong offers a variety of "credit-building loans" that you can use to build your score and your credit history.
Each Credit Strong loan locks money into a savings account, where it earns interest. Your loan payments are tracked and reported to the major credit bureaus, strengthening your credit history and potentially your credit score.
If you make all of your loan payments on time, the savings account is unlocked — and you can choose to withdraw your funds or keep building up your savings.