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Question By
Ifjerguson

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Looking for advice on raising credit score
Wondering if anyone has any advice, as I've heard so many different answers im completely confused.
My husband and I are trying to get our score up to buy a house. He has credit around 519, 579, 539. I don't have any credit. We just got a secured card together with a 500 limit. We use it to pay our monthly bills (so we use all 500) and then pay it completely on the due date. I've heard conflicting things about this, such as not using the full 500, not paying the total amount due, ect because it will actually hurt our credit. ???
Also, he has $4830 in debt. 8 accounts in collections, with 4 of them being medical bills totaling $1796 of the debt.
In a few months, I'll have the money to completely pay all of it off. I plan on trying to talk down some of the amounts, since I know 2 of them were willing to accept less. But I've heard that paying it all off can actually really hurt his credit.
My plan for over a year has been to get the secured card to help raise the credit, to wait until I get my settlement money and pay off all the debt and put the rest aside for a down payment on a house, and then wait until tax season and use our return for the rest of our down payment, and I had assumed that by tax season the score would have raised enough for us to get a mortgage, since we'd have paid off our debt and been making on time payments on the credit card.
What should I change in this plan, or am I on the right track?

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I think your plan is sound.  The sooner you pay off your outstanding debts the better.  As far as whether or not to pay off the secured card balance every month, I see no advantage to keeping a balance since you are being charged interest if you do. Just make sure you make your payment after the statement date but before the due date so there is a record having balances and making payments on time.  Some say there is a benefit to paying a little interest every month on a small balance to show potential creditors you are not a "dead beat" and they can expect to make a little money on your account if they loan you money but I don't buy it.

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