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how can i raise my credit score in six months

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This is really subjective and depends on what all you have in your credit report.  Some things can't be fixed quickly while others possibly can.  

  • Do you have an account in collections?  Try negotiating a pay-for-delete with the collection agency in writing.  Basically it's an agreement that you will pay the debt to them (usually in one lump sum and quickly) in exchange for them removing the collection trade line from your credit report.  Some agencies will not do this and some will say it's against the law (it's not.)  Others, however, are more than happy to remove their trade line for a full payment, just get the agreement in writing first.
  • Inaccuracies? Do you have some marks on your report that show a late payment when you know you paid on time, or perhaps some accounts that aren't really yours?  Dispute them with the credit bureau.  If you know you paid your visa bill on time and it is showing late, talk to the credit card company, it could be a clerical error and they might fix it for you.  Always pay more than the minimum on credit card balances each month (some such as Cap 1, Amex & Chase will note the account "Pays Minimum" if you don't.)
  • Reduce Overall Debt.  Easier said than done, I know.  Credit Karma and some other people say that being under 20% of your max credit is a good goal, some say 30%.  My personal experience is under 10% but over 1%.  This has given me the best score when experimenting with it.  I usually stick to about 5%.  Say for example you have three credit cards and a total credit limit of $10,000 between them.  Keep two cards at a zero balance (use but pay them before they bill you) and one card at $500.  This uses 5% of your overall credit and works for me.
  • Opening/Closing Accounts: Don't apply for tons of new credit.  Having hard inquiries on your report stick for 2 years and lowers your score.  At the same time, I wouldn't recommend closing any old accounts.  Doing so will lower your overall available credit (and thus increase your utilization percentage, which is bad) and will hurt your average age of all accounts.  If you dont have any inquiries, you could look into getting another line of credit to increase your overall credit (WARNING: That bit is VERY subjective and is only good in very specific circumstances.)

These are just a few things I've done to increase my credit score.  The only other things you can do is pay on time each and every month.  Remember that the credit scores you get on credit monitoring sites are not your "real" score that creditors look at when they are making a decision on you and is for reference only.   All of this is from my personal experience and circumstances - your mileage may vary, void where prohibited, not legal advice, etc etc etc.

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