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Best ways to build and improve credit?
My only debt is about 30,000 in student loans, but I have always paid rent and bills on time, only have a couple store credit cards rarely used but paid on time. What are some general ways to improve my credit so I can buy a house in about a year?

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Do you know your credit score?  Have you pulled your recent credit reports to check for discrepancies, i.e., things that are incorrect or don't belong to you?  If you have some savings you'll need it to use as a downpayment on a home.  Else, you may be looking at having to get a loan for the downpayment AND another loan for your house.  Not good.  Many places are now requiring 20% down.  Of course, there are loan types that require much less.  You don't have any major credit cards it sounds like (Visa, MC).  Apply for one.  That's a start.  Then, keep your balance below 30% of your limit.  Paying your bills on time is THE most important thing you can do so you are doing well there.  Also, lender's like to see a variety of different types of loans on your report.  Credit card(s), auto loan, etc.

I started out a few years ago with a score in the 670 range.  I applied for a Visa and was approved.  Paid it on time and kept the balance low.  Sooner than later, they increased my credit limit.  I waited awhile (a few months) and then applied for another card.  Same thing, paid on time, with a low balance.  To make a long story short, I now have several cards which I always pay on time and keep my total balance below the 30% thresh hold.  That seems to be the magic number.  All of my scores are above 750 and I have over 50K in limits.  I changed little else other than doing that. But, it took some time.  Make SURE you don't add any collections, charge-offs or other negatives.  Your credit limit to debt ratio is a huge factor in raising your score.  I know first hand.  But, don't apply for several cards in a short period of time.  Hard inquiries, and too many, can negatively impact your score.  The bottom line:  Pay everything on time, no negatives on your report, and a couple of credit cards with decent limits should go a long way in raising your score(s).  Best of luck!

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You have to spend some time reading about this stuff, if you truly desire to improve your credit you will take the time to read. Your question is already answered in the articles on this site and all over the internet. This is community is for more specific questions. If you have some specific questions after you have done some reading, please feel free to ask, but don't ask us to type out things that are already posted all over the site.

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