How To Boost Your Credit Score
Years ago your credit score was a big secret, known only to a select few such as your mortgage and credit card companies. In 2000, Fair, Isaac Co., the major supplier of credit scoring software, announced they would begin sharing credit scores, also known as FICO scores, with consumers.
What is a credit score? A credit score is a tool used by credit grantors to determine your ability to repay your debts. The information in your credit report is compared and evaluated against tens of millions of other consumer credit reports which gives you a credit score or number ranging from 350 (highest credit risk) up to 800 (lowest credit risk). A higher score means you are less likely to make late payments or default on the credit extended to you. Your credit score will change as the information in your credit report changes over time.
Following is a short overview of the five major categories of credit information that are used in determining your credit score and guidelines for scoring higher.
PAYMENT HISTORY (35 percent)
Paying your current bills on time is the single most important factor in obtaining a high credit score. This category includes credit cards like Visa and MasterCard, retail accounts, installment loans such as those for a car or education, loans from finance companies, and home mortgages. Also included in this category are matters of public record such as bankruptcies, liens, wage garnishments, and collection accounts. The key to a higher score: Pay your bills on time!
HOW MUCH DEBT YOU CARRY (30 percent)
This category considers the amount of debt you owe on your various credit accounts. If you've "maxed out" your available credit, this could indicate that you are overextended financially and won't be able to make your payments on time or repay your debts completely. This category also examines how many of your accounts carry balances and how much money you've already repaid. Closing accounts with a zero balance does not generally improve your score in this area. The key to a higher score: Keep your credit card balances low.
LENGTH OF ESTABLISHED CREDIT (15 percent)
The longer you've had credit accounts the higher you will score in this area. The age of your oldest account and the average age of all your accounts are used in determining your score. Old accounts that have gone unused are also considered. The key to a higher score: Establish good credit and keep accounts active.
APPLICATIONS FOR NEW CREDIT (10 percent)
Opening multiple credit accounts within a short period of time represents a greater risk of becoming overextended. Each time you apply for credit an inquiry is made into your credit history and these inquiries show up in your credit report. A high number of credit inquiries will lower your score.
Some inquiries are not considered in your score. These include: requests by you for your credit report, inquiries from companies for pre-approved offers or companies that already do business with you, along with inquiries from potential employers. Some requests for credit are treated as a single inquiry especially when you are shopping for the best loan rate. The key to a higher score: Only apply for and open new credit accounts when you need them.
YOUR CREDIT MIX (10 percent)
This category examines the types of credit accounts you have and how many of each. Can a person have too many accounts? Yes and no. It really depends on whether you have an established credit history or no credit history at all. The key to a higher score: Open credit accounts only if you intend to use them.
Don't despair if you have a low score or are just beginning to establish credit. Your credit score will change for better or worse depending on how well you understand and use these five keys to your advantage in planning your financial future.
About The Author
© 2004, James H. Dimmitt, http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com
James is editor of "TO YOUR CREDIT", a weekly free newsletter to help you manage your personal finances. Subscribe to the newsletter by visiting http://www.yourfreecreditreportnow.com. He is also author of "Identity Theft - How to Avoid Becoming the Next Victim!" available at http://tinyurl.com/bc45
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Start Building Credit Fast!
There are a couple of reasons for this. You can pay your bills on time for years and never gain more than a few points on your credit score.
How A Prepaid Debit Card Can Help You Rebuild Your Credit
Consumers today are up to their eyeballs in debt. And many people don't realize it until their good credit has been devastated.
Our World Of Credit Cards! Which One Is Right For You
There are not many of us who do not have a credit card these days. But, not all of us are as wise in the area of understanding how they work and how they make money.
Your Credit Rating and How To Check It
There is a lot of confusion surrounding UK credit ratings, credit scores, credit blacklists, credit reports, and credit files. This guide to your credit rating aims to give you the facts you need.
My Student Credit Card Adventure
And some practical advice too!My first credit card?I remember my college days when it seemed there was a credit card advertisement on practically every bulletin board on campus. The banks would travel to the college and set up application booths on registration day.
Minimum Credit Card Payments to Rise
For years, major credit card companies have allowed cardholders to make minimum payments of 2% of the outstanding balances on their credit cards. Having customers pay the minimum doesn't reduce the balance by very much, but when the 18-30% interest rates that many credit cards charge is applied, the result is a profitable ones for the banks that issue credit cards.
Saving Money: Quick Cash, High Cost
I didn't think it was possible. But it is.
Getting Your Credit Report and Understanding Whats On It
If you intend to apply for a loan, you need to obtain your credit score. Understanding what this score means will allow you to make the loan process easier and quicker.
7 Consumer Credit Laws You Should Know if You are Trying to Repair Your Credit
There are seven consumer credit laws you should be aware when dealing with your credit.1.
Credit cards are a form of unsecured credit. The issuer is extending you a line of credit, usually tacking on all sorts of little surprises in the fine print.
Credit Cards or Store Cards - Which Is Better?
Introduction In this article, a presentation is made of the differences between major credit cards and credit cards offered by specific stores to their customers. The purpose of this article is to provide a general overview of major credit cards and store cards to aid consumers in making decisions regarding which lines of credit lines would be the best for them in a given set of circumstances.
Four Tips How Homeowners Can Rebuild Their Life After a Foreclosure
Let's face it, if you are facing the possibilities of losing your home due to a foreclosure and you think that you may never be able to purchase another home anytime soon. Keep reading.
Having credit education is like knowing how to read. It will be necessary throughout your life.
Do you Know the Benefits of Checking your Credit Report?
Do you know why you should check your credit report?Of course you do, because you have undoubtedly experienced one working in your life!No matter where you roam, your credit report follows you through life, updating all aspects of your life: your employment, where you live, your opened credit accounts, your closed accounts, your payment history, and even public records on you.In this country, a good credit history brings you benefits of all kinds--a home mortgage, an apartment lease, an auto loan, or even more credit--with ease.
Addressing Bad Credit Card Debt
Spending HabitsSo you've just got your credit card. The first thing you need to be wary about is that a credit card is very easy to use - afterall you can shop in stores, via catalogs and online with your credit card.
Do You Know The Top Five Credit Card Mistakes?
When you're dealing with credit cards, you're playing with fire. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there who don't realise that, and make all sorts of dangerous mistakes with their credit cards every day.
Learn About Prepaid Credit Card
Prepaid credit cards also called stored value card can be ideal for individuals who are unemployed, have bad credit or difficulty obtaining an unsecured credit card. Prepaid credit cards are also excellent for individuals who have a hard time controlling their spending and prevent the individual from overspending and getting into credit card debt.
Bailiffs & Council Tax - Knowing What To Do
This article is about bailiffs who may call trying to collect Council Tax or Community Charge (Poll Tax) arrears. If a bailiff has contacted you to collect another sort of debt the law might be different.
New Credit Scoring Model Could Help Millions
Mark and Beth, a young married couple in their twenties, established a goal to buy a home within the first three years of their marriage before starting a family. They budgeted and used their money wisely in order to save for the down payment.
Credit Counseling Basics
Credit counseling is an option you might want to consider if you are having financial problems. The stress can be overwhelming when you have creditors calling you daily to collect money that you simply don't have.
|home | site map|