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How to Fix a Credit Score

Payment History Tips

Contributing 35% to a FICO Score Calculation, this category has the greatest effect on improving your scores, but past problems like missed or late payments are not easily fixed. 

  • Pay your bills on time. 
  • If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. 
  • Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report. 
  • If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.

Amounts Owed Tips 

This category contributes 30% to a FICO Score's calculation and can be easier to clean up than payment history, but that requires financial discipline and understanding the tips below. 

  • Keep balances low on credit cards and other 'revolving credit' 
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it around 
  • Don't close unused credit cards as a short term strategy to raise your scores. 
  • Don't open a number of new credit cards that you don't need, just to increase your available credit. 

Length of Credit History Tips

  • If you have been managing credit for a short time, don't open a lot of new accounts to rapidly. 

New Credit Tips 

  • Do your rate shopping for a given loan within a focused period of time. 
  • Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems. 
  • Note that it's okay to request and check your own credit report. 

Types of Credit Use Tips 

  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
  • Have credit cards - but manage them responsibly. 
  • Note that closing an account doesn't make it go away. 

To summarize, "fixing" a credit score is more about fixing errors in your credit history (if they exist) and then following the guidelines above to maintain consistent, good credit history. Raising your scores after a poor mark on your report or building credit for the first time will. 

 

Written by: Geoff Smith 

Website: http://lendtheway.com/geoffsmith 

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