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grwndzero

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Ways to improve your score!
Here are just some of the way Iv learned on CK that will help improve your credit scores:

1. Obtain your credit report and score from a national credit bureau. The first thing you need to do is know where you are now, in order to know where you're going or want to go. Unlike your credit report, which you can get for free once a year, your score does not come free but it's a small cost and well worth paying for.
Be sure to get the real FICO credit score because it is the score that most creditors use. So far, only three entities supply this score directly to consumers––do a search online for Transunion, Equifax or Experian, make your own selection and follow the instructions they provide individually.

You're considered to be a poor risk if you have a credit score under 620.

2. Resist responding to all those "pre-approved" credit card offers you get in the mail. This also includes offers sent to you online. It's easy to think along the lines of, "What can it hurt to apply? They say I'm already approved." The reality is that these easily approved credit cards can and do hurt. Each time one of the national credit bureaus receives an inquiry, your score goes down a few points. This includes store card accounts; the less you have, the better.

3. Avoid jumping from credit card to credit card. If you "transfer your balance" - a scheme that doesn't hurt you, and gets you 0% interest on your balance for a period of time, sometimes as long as a year - don't close the old account. Your credit history looks better to the credit bureaus if you have long-standing, established accounts. This looks good even if many of your accounts are never used anymore.

4. Be stable. There are several ways to impress the stability of your life on a credit score reveiwer. Avoid moving around a lot. If you physically reside at the same address for a long time it is better for your credit history than if you move frequently.

5. Rely on your seniority in age. This you really can't do anything about, being older, but at least there's something good about aging! Age is another personal characteristic that the credit bureaus factor into their ratings. Older is better. Even though you cannot magically increase your age (and who'd really want to do this, anyway?) it is nice to know that as time goes by, your credit score automatically improves.

6. Pay your bills on time, regularly. This is actually first in the order of things you must do to better your credit score. Each late payment dings your credit score and presents a picture of unreliability. You must determine that, going froward, you will be paying your bills on time. The biggest chunk of your credit score is based on your payment history.

7. Reduce your debt to credit ratio. The next big chunk of your score after your credit history, is determined by the balance on your available credit. Seek to keep your balance at approximately 30 percent of limit, or less. This means that if your credit card limit is $1000, you should aim at having a balance of not more than $300.

Having high available debt and low indebtedness helps a lot. In other words, if you have lots of available credit, and little or manageable debt, that looks better than being in hock up to your eyeballs, or just having no established credit at all.

If you pay off your credit cards in full anyway, consider paying them off a day or two before the billing cycle is closed (check online for the day, and the current total). That way, your bill will show a very small or even negative amount, which gets reported to the credit scoring institutes. This increases your credit score up to 50 points (everything else unchanged).

8. Dispute things on the credit report that are 'wrong'. You can generally get one 'bad thing' off each credit report every year. Keep at it consistently if you used to be a 'bad person', at least as far as the credit card companies are concerned. With persistence and patience, you can whittle down the black marks over time.

When reporting errors (inaccuracies or incompleteness) or fraudulent use of your identity, provide all the forms of proof that you have, such as cancelled checks, stamped invoices, police reports, etc.

If you have some late payments showing on your credit report, these can really hurt your score. Collections, judgements and tax liens are devastating. You can negotiate for removal of such negative notations.

Be aware that unlike what you may have heard or read elsewhere, getting negative information removed from your report is not an easy thing to do. Be persistent, factual and patient.

9. Note that 'paying off' loans increases your score. Oddly enough, occasionally refinancing and trading in cars with loans on them 'pays off' loans, too. If you do refinance, do it for no points and a lower rate.

10. Get out of debt. Getting rid of as much of your debt as you can is the first and most important step in improving your credit. Get rid of your credit cards as you pay them off. Too much credit can be a bad thing. Try and keep your older cards, but get rid of the rest.
Budget, budget, budget. Creating a budget will help you get rid of your debt, improve your credit, and stay out of debt. While the credit bureaus won't see your budget, it will see the good results of you sticking to it.

11. Build up different types of credit. A "healthy mix" of different types of credit builds up you score better than does simply one type. For example:
Let's say two persons have $10,000 total in total credit each, and both are making timely payments. One has only one credit card. The other has a credit card, a car payment and a bank line of credit (overdraft protection). The second person's score will often be much better than the first one's.

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