It's a brand new year, so there's no time like the present to start rebuilding your bad credit. Making and keeping a resolution to boost your credit rating this new year can result in new opportunities and an easier way of life. This is because your credit can affect much more than your ability to get approved for loans.

From renting an apartment, to getting a good rate on your car insurance, to landing your dream job, your credit may matter more than you realize. So, make your good credit resolution, create a plan and stick to your strategy until your goals are met.

Tips on How to Improve Your Credit Score for the New Year

Don't put your trust in companies that claim they can fix your credit overnight. Actual credit repair takes time and effort, but the rewards that come with good credit will make your hard work pay off. And, luckily, there are actions that you can take right now to put yourself on the right track.

New Year, New Credit: Make a Resolution to Boost Your Rating1 – Get Current with All of Your Bills

Late payments can hurt your credit score, and the further you get behind, the harder it will be to catch up. So, if you know that you're behind with any of your bills, make it a priority to get up to speed.

Once you're current with your payments, get organized with a budget so that you never again miss a due date. If you're simply forgetful, consider setting up automatic payments or sign up to have alerts sent to your phone or email.

2 – Pay Down High Credit Card Balances

Many consumers don't realize that a portion of their credit score reflects how much of their available credit is being used. The percentage of your credit limit that you're using is called your "utilization rate." And, ideally, your utilization rate shouldn't exceed 30% of any of your spending limits.

If your credit card balances reflect more than that of your credit card lines, your score can drop. This can happen even if you're making all of your payments on time. So, paying down those balances can be a quick way to see a jump in your overall rating.

3 – Get a Secured Credit Card

Responsible credit card use is a good way to boost a low credit score. But if you can't get approved for one because of your poor credit, applying for a secured credit card might be a good option. In order to open this type of account, you'll need to provide a cash deposit. The amount of this deposit is normally between $200 and $500, but it can vary.

Whatever you put down will become your spending limit. After the card is open, you can use it to make purchases as you would with any credit card. Then, by making every payment on time, you should see an improvement in your credit score within a few months.

4 – Boost Your Credit Score with Utility Payments

You can also give your credit score a boost by adding the payment history from your existing bills to your credit profile. There are services that take your phone, electric, gas, cable, and other utility payments and get your credit score to factor in the payment history on these accounts.

Since your payment history is the largest factor that makes up your FICO credit score, including these payments can result in an instant boost to your rating.

5 – Apply for a Bad Credit Car Loan

If you need to buy a car, financing your purchase will give you an opportunity to earn a better credit rating. There are special finance lenders out there that are willing to approve borrowers for a bad credit car loan. They're able to do this by looking at factors beyond your credit, including your job time, income and residence stability.

With your auto loan, you'll get an opportunity to improve your credit rating by making timely payments. This, combined with other credit building strategies will go a long way toward helping you meet your credit goals.

Easy Auto Loan Assistance for Bad Credit Buyers

If you would like to ring in the New Year with a vehicle, Auto Credit Express can help. We can match you with a dealership in your area that can work through bad credit.

You'll get a better chance at auto loan approval, and it won't cost you anything. That's right, our service is free. Applying with us also comes with no obligations. Go ahead and fill out our simple and secure auto loan request form to get started today!