General

Why You Need to Improve your Credit Score, and How

You know those articles you’ll see every once in a while, the ones about how to improve credit scores? Like most people, you probably just click away and forget you even saw it, why would you need to know how to improve your credit score? Who knows, maybe your score is pretty good and you don’t need any advice at all, or maybe it’s not where you want it to be and this is the answer to your questions. Whatever you decide, you need a good credit score to be able to afford the luxuries of life. Without a good credit score, your credit card applications won’t be accepted, you’ll find it difficult to get a loan and a higher interest rate than most if you do, and could even stop you from landing the job you’ve always wanted. If you’ve run into a little trouble and need a little credit repair to help you get back on your feet, or if you just want to make sure you’re doing everything you can, knowing ‘why’ to improve your score is just as important as the ‘how’, and you’re lucky enough to be getting both.

The first step in any credit repair process is to check your credit report. Knowing the errors and mistakes of your credit history makes learning how to improve credit scores a simpler process. Double check your facts, be meticulous, and make sure you know what errors there are and how to fix them. Nothing looks worse on a credit report than missed payments. Speak to your creditors and debtors; work out a plan that will allow you to pay them without having to overburden yourself with stress and worry. Paying your bills on time is a great way to improve your score. Don’t forget you can get your free credit score report from each of the three agencies once a year, and there are plenty of free score estimator programs online to help you get a rough idea of where it’s at.

Setting up payment reminders is also a great way to start improving your credit. Whether through your own methods or with the help of your bank and creditors, knowing when you have to pay will help you stay one time. And don’t stress over an occasional missed payment, older problems are viewed less harshly than you might think. No missed payment will stay on your report forever; it just takes time to see it removed.

Knowing how to improve credit scores can certainly come in handy eh? It also helps to reduce the amount of debt you owe, a third great way that demonstrates how to improve credit score, both a way and a benefit. Reducing the debit you owe shows the agencies how responsible you are, and not owing a lot of money over a variety of debts is a fantastic policy to have for life. Remember that your creditors will work with you to pay off your bills and debts; they want you to make the payments just as much as you should want to.

Setting a budget works just as well too, preventing you from spending money you don’t have. Don’t spend outrageously, and keep from opening new accounts, no matter how appealing they may be. Knowing how to improve credit scores won’t do you much good if you’re prone to wrecking them again. With all this knowledge at the ready, the final thing to remember is that improving your credit score is not a quick-fix. Repairing and improving credit takes time, and is mostly done with a well established history. If you have the will and discipline, knowing how to improve credit score will certainly help you get your credit back on track and keep it that way.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James Hancock - March 27, 2012 at 20:18

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Fixing Your Bad Credit

Okay, so your credit isn’t as good as you’d like it to be. No big problem! Take from someone who’s been there before, you can always repair bad credit. Don’t be mistaken, this isn’t an overnight fix, and you’ll probably be working for a long time to get your credit back on track, but credit repair is never an easy process. There are still loans for bad credit, credit cards for bad credit, and credit repair services to help you through the process, but the majority of the work will always fall on you. But if you can do the following and persevere, just like I did, then you’ll be able to get your credit score back to where it belongs.

1.Know what you’re doing.
Before you can begin doing anything about your credit, you need to know what you’re doing wrong. Thankfully, each of the three agencies involved are required to supply you with a copy of your credit report upon request. Credit repair begins here, gathering information to help with the next step.

2.Be meticulous.
No amount of re-checking your report is unnecessary. Remember that there are credit cards for bad credit and loans for bad credit and your report may just qualify you for one. Go through each page carefully, and be sure you know exactly what your plan of action is.

3.Document. Document. Document.
Make a copy of everything in your credit repair process, don’t leave anything to conjecture. I was pretty thorough, I made sure to copy each document and even what points I highlighted each time. Getting caught without the proper records backing up your statement would cost you, don’t let it happen. There could even be a mistake on the credit agencies part that needs to be fixed, your credit may not be as bad as it looks.

4.Getting to work.
Here’s where the real work begins. Set yourself a spending budget, I know it’s hard and those brand-name products are calling out to you, but you must persevere. Get your spending under control.

Contact your debt holders; see if you can’t work out easier plans with them. Move the due date of your payments to one that makes is easier to pay. Work on lower payments for a short period of time, your interest rate will increase during these times. Use what money you save to pay off extra debts.

Pay off any unpaid collections you owe and close out any unused or unneeded accounts. Narrow down the credit cards you hold so that you only have two or three. Canceling accounts might negatively affect your credit score, but you must still close them. A few tips for closing accounts:

Close newer accounts first.

Be sure your accounts are closed, and all agencies are informed.

Avoid revolving balances, keep your balance low.

Close your accounts slowly, space it out over several months.

Only allow yourself moderate credit limits, no exceptions.

5.Show them you mean business.
Make sure your payments are on time every time. Nothing shows a credit agency you’re working for better credit than showing you make your payments on time. Travel, gasoline card, and entertainment companies often don’t report to the agencies. Talk to them about reporting your regular and timely payments, it will help. Getting a few local companies to start reporting helped my credit more than I thought, my score was rising faster than before.

The worst thing you can do, believe me, I know how bad it can get, is simply let your ruined credit lay dormant. The moment your score sinks low, get started on fixing it. The process is long and difficult, but completely worth it to have a stable credit score you can manage. I followed the steps above and managed to raise my score back to a decent level, and if I can manage that then so can anyone.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James Hancock - March 26, 2012 at 20:02

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Your Credit Score Range and How it Affects You

Credit scores range from in the lower 400s to over 750, the higher your score, the better, the lower the worse. Beyond this simple concept, companies use a credit score range system to determine in which category customers and clients belong. Being in the right range can make a minor or large difference in the way you can use credit, if you’re even able to get credit. Knowing where your stand in the credit score range will help you figure out what you need to do to improve your range. Figuring out where you are can be difficult, and the best you’ll have to go on is your credit, or FICA, score, but that is all you need to get an accurate idea of your credit range.

The next thing to know when working with credit ranges is figuring out what you can do with your score. Some scores may not be the best, but the majority of those with low credit are those who simply haven’t had enough time to build it up very well. Higher interest rates at the beginning of a loan is inconvenient, but you’ll still be able to have stable financial security.

•400-450
As most young adults begin leaving homes, they begin to use credit for the first times in their lives. Anything lower is considered as not having credit, and a lot of work must go into increasing your range.

•450-500
Still is the ‘low’ credit score range, quickly checking your credit report can help you greatly. Look for imperfections or missed payments, if you have too many you’ll appear irresponsible to lenders and agencies. Or again, this could simply be a young adult working on their credit for the first time.

•500-550
Customers are able to get loans, mortgages, and credit cards with this credit score range, but usually at severely increased interest rates. Those with better ranges could enjoy as low as 3% interest, but those in this range will often have a rate as high as 29%.

•550-600
While still an improvement, it’s not much. You’ll still be paying higher interest rates. Keep checking your credit report, looking for imperfections to smooth over.

•600-650
Millions of people hold this score, making it the average. Your interest rates will probably be more pleasant with this range. Your credit report will also not be overlooked, and you’ll mostly likely be able to get a credit card, loan, or mortgage when you apply. Maintaining an average isn’t difficult, but moving higher can provide even better benefits.

•650-700
It doesn’t hurt to take another look at your credit report here, find a few more things to get right. With a score in this range you’ll be able to secure loans of every type. You may still have a high interest rate, but this credit score range is certainly one of the highest ranked ones.

•700-750
If you were building credit for the first time or repairing it after an unfortunate disaster, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done a great job. With a score in this range any person could easily apply and receive any kind of credit or loan. Most often agencies and companies will automatically approve you for credit with a range this high.

•750 and higher
Those with a score that falls at 750 or more will have no trouble securing a loan, mortgage, or credit card. Falling in the superior credit score range, many doors become open and many businesses will be willing to work with you.

Aiming for the highest credit score ranges is always a good goal for young adults and those who need to repair their credit. With your credit report handy, you should have no troubles figuring which credit range you’re in, and have not problems figuring out what you need to do to get a higher score.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James Hancock - March 24, 2012 at 20:49

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Your Credit Score and its Importance

For something so important in our lives, few people truly understand what a credit score is. By definition alone a credit score is a statistic, a numerical expression that companies and lenders use to gauge a person’s creditworthiness and the likelihood of them repaying their debts. A higher credit score means a person is more credit worthy, and many factors go into determining what score a person has. No matter who you are your credit score will come into play sometime in your life, and knowing what it is and how to help keep it healthy can save you trouble and money.

Perhaps the most important aspect of having credit scores is that they eliminate the problem of human error. Before the 1980s all a lender had to determine whether a person was creditworthy or not was their own judgment, a lengthily and inaccurate process. When the 1980s came about, lenders began creating standardization for consumers, attaching values and points to their credit reports to help determine who was best for a loan or not. This credit modeling process eventually evolved, and continues to evolve even today, into the current system used to for determining a person’s credit score. Credit scoring model designers study millions of consumers at a time, comparing the variables of each consumer to see what signs indicate a dependable person and which indicate a person most likely to default on payments. Companies and lenders all depend on an accurate credit scoring model to help them determine in which risk category to place a consumer. A risk category helps companies compare consumers with other consumers, comparing ‘apples to apples’ as it were, but only placing consumers with similar credit histories together in a group, keeping the comparison process fair. A person with a long and dependable credit history will never be placed in the same risk category as one with a short history.

With so much history and such value put into your credit, it’s no wonder why it’s possibly the most important rating in your life. A credit score is what determines if you’ll be able to get a mortgage for a new home, be accepted for a new credit card, find a loan for college, a new car, a business, and what the interest on that loan will be. A person’s fiscal responsibility is reflected by their credit score, a good score shows a consumer who is dependable for repayments and wise in the use of their finances, a bad score identifies a consumer who is irresponsible with their finances and likely to not repay their debts. A credit score is more than just a way of determining whether or not to provide a person with needed finances; it’s also a reflection of their character.

The three main agencies involved with your credit score all have different ways of gauging consumers, but the basic process is still the same and can provide with a rough idea of where your credit score lies. Your payment history is a vital factor of your score, missing payments, making them on time, and how long ago your payments were are all parts of your payment history. A recent missed payment will be more serious than a missed payment months ago followed by regular repayment. The amount you owe to all agencies you currently keep credit with is also another deciding factor; too much credit spread across too many agencies identifies an irresponsible consumer. Your history of credit is just as important as your payment history, but drastically different. If you’ve had years of good, reliable credit then your history is perfectly fine, something lenders look for in most potential clients. Finally, the last type of credit application, and the variety of credits you already have, plays an important role. A recent application for credit often indicates a consumer’s need for money, and having credit with various lenders either shows them as a dependable consumer or one completely irresponsible and un creditworthy.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James Hancock - March 23, 2012 at 18:50

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Keeping Your Credit Safe

Almost every American has a credit score, also known as a FICO score, a score that can be the difference between getting a loan not, being able to lease the apartment you want, getting a mortgage or not, and even determines whether you could get the dream career you’ve always wanted. Good credit will help you find a low interest rate on a loan, but bad credit could cost you thousands on a mortgage. With so much on the line, knowing the essentials of how your credit score is determined and the steps to prevent bad credit is important. Your behavior, whether you repay debts and bills on time, and the number of accounts you have can affect your score positively or negatively, and with each credit bureau coming out with different scores keeping track can become difficult. Thankfully there are ways for everybody to have a healthy credit score, and keeping it healthy isn’t that difficult.

There are five main factors every agency looks at when determining your credit score, your payment history, the amounts owed, years of credit, new credit, and the types of credit. Payment history is easy; just make sure you pay your utility bills, credit card fees, and loans on time. Making payments on time shows potential lenders that you are trustworthy enough to provide a loan to, and that you’ll be able to repay them on time. The amount you owe for a loan, credit card, or bill can hurt or help, maxing out your limits always hurts your score and your finances. The longer your credit history, the better lenders are able to determine if you’ll make regular repayments, and having a reliable credit history is impressive as well as helpful. New accounts you open with companies can have plenty of benefits, but opening too many will make it appear as if you’re about to go on a debt binge. Keeping a few trustworthy and useful accounts is always a good personal policy to keep. Finally, having a good mix of credit types, car loans, mortgages, and credit cards, will help show that you can afford to repay debts and increase your score.

There are many factors besides a credit score that lenders use to determine if a person is eligible for a loan or not, but a high credit score will always help get you a low interest rate. Getting a healthy credit score can be easy or difficult, but protecting your score is always a trial. With the threat of credit card fraud and identity theft, companies and banks offer services and products to help you protect your identity.

Credit monitoring is a service that will keep an eye on your credit, tracking all transactions and notifying you if any suspicious charges or spikes in credit activity. While it may sound like a worthwhile investment, another option is to keep a careful watch on your credit score yourself. By law, each of the three major credit scoring agencies must provide you one credit report per year, at your request. Space them out with one credit report every four months will provide you with a regular report to check your transactions against. Be wary of companies that promote fancy scores, all you need is the FICO scores you’re entitled to.

Keep a steady eye on your score and report any discrepancies. Getting a healthy score can take years, identity and credit protection will help keep you from having to spend years working on it again. Limit your credit cards, repay all loans and bills, avoid carrying unpaid debts, and keep it up for years. Your credit is important, and you can’t afford to let it get out of control.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by James Hancock - March 22, 2012 at 19:18

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