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Credit Repair Tips To Improve FICO Scores

Posted by : Premraj | Posted on : Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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 In today’s finance industry, when applying for a loan, 95% of lenders will submit your application through an automated system.  This automated system will determine if you will be approved or not based on your credit scores.  their automated systems do not look at credit history. 

Most banks have set rules on how to qualify a borrower for the best loan terms, and those rules almost always place a major emphasis on your credit score. If their best rates are offered to borrowers with a score of 700 or higher and yours is a 697, those three points could cost you thousands of dollars when it comes to financing!

According to myFICO , the consumer Web site of the Fair Isaac Corp. that created the FICO score (the most commonly used credit score), the interest rate difference between those two scores is one-half percentage point. You may also enroll for their great monitoring service. Just click on the link.

There is several ways and variables that play into an individual score make it impossible to say that one particular action will increase a given score by a certain number of points. Sometimes, I have great results when a borrower pays down a credit card or pays off a collection; other times, it makes very little difference. But there are at least some good guidelines to try and follow.

Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:

1. The fastest way to a great score is pay your bills on time, keep account balances low, and take out new credit only when you need it. This is mainly about plain old common sense. People who do these things faithfully usually have very high scores. To lenders, high scores signify that you are being conservative and cautious about credit. In turn, they see you as a lower risk borrower and will reward you with much better terms and a much lower interest rate.

2. What if you’re house hunting and you just need a few extra points to bump you over the line to the great rates? Start by having your mortgage broker pull your credit report and your credit score to see where you are. If your score is above a 720, you’re golden. Even 700 is going to get you good terms. Improving your score from, say, a 720 to a 740 won’t get you better terms, though, so don’t waste your time doing that. Just continue to follow the guidelines above.

What you’re really looking for on your report are factors that could be negatively affecting your score. Look for errors in the report, such as accounts that aren’t yours, late payments that were actually paid on time, debts you paid off that are shown as outstanding, or old debts that shouldn’t be reported any longer (negatives are supposed to be deleted after seven years, with the exception of bankruptcies, which can stay for as long as 10 years). Every time I meet with a client, I go over their report with them to ensure that the information is correct. I can’t tell you how many times there has been old or downright incorrect information in the report! 75% of credit reports contain errors. Hmmmm!!

After repairing errors, the fastest route to a better score is paying down balances on credit cards; in my experience, it’s possible to increase your score up to 200 points or more in 90 days  by paying down your credit lines because it helps your debt to credit ratio. 30% of your scores are calculated by how well you manage that area. If you can’t pay them down then you must apply for new credit to offset your debt to credit ratio. What that means is that, the credit scoring system looks at all your credit card limits and your credit card balances and calculates what your credit limit vs. what your balances and shoots out a percentage. So for example, If you have a credit card limits that amount to $10000 and you owe $8000 on them, you are at 80% of the credit limits. Your debt to credit ratio in that case is at 80%. Typically you want to be at 30% or less. From now on, do your best to pay your bills on time (or ahead of time) and keep your balances as low as possible. After 12 months the scoring module becomes immune to that late and your credit scores are not affected.

3. One thing you shouldn’t do if you’re just trying to boost your score is close unused accounts. If someone tells you to close unused accounts to improve your score, don’t listen. It won’t help you and it can hurt you.

Closing unused accounts without paying down your debt changes your utilization ratio, which is the amount of your total debt divided by your total available credit. You appear closer to maxing out your accounts. That’s why your score can drop. It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t close them, but don’t close them to improve your score.

If you do cut up cards, though, leave the oldest one open! The length of your credit history is another factor in your score. If you close the account of the credit card you got when you were a freshman in college and leave open the ones you just got within the last couple years, it makes you look like a much newer borrower.

Bottom line:  know that you’re not powerless when it comes to your credit score. There are a lot of things you can do to improve your score and you need to understand what your credit is like now and what’s influencing your score today. Then you can go out and get that amazing interest rate!

This is a guest post by Juan at http://attractivecreditsecrets.blogspot.com/

 

Comments : 21 Comments | Category : Credit Scores | Tags : ,

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