Friday, January 2, 2009

How To Improve Credit Score

By John Cooper

Improving your credit score can seem like an impossible task. This is because there is so much contradictory information and the scoring model makes you feel as though you have no direct control over your credit score.

Well they are wrong. No matter how bad your credit score is you can take a couple easy steps and improve it.

1. Remove bad credit items on your report. You must dispute the credit bureaus directly with either a dispute letter or by hiring a service to dispute them on your behalf.

2. Pay off any verified bad credit item on your report. In exchange for your payment have the lender remove the item from your credit report.

3. On time bill payment. It is rumored that missing a payment can damage your score up to 50 points.

4. Open a new credit line. This is best if it is a revolving line of credit, for example an unsecured credit card.

When you make your monthly payment you will be creating a positive payment history. This is a very large part of your credit score. If you have difficulties opening an unsecured credit card then get a secured card. Double check and make sure your credit card is reported to all three major bureaus.

In addition try to keep your monthly balance at 10% of your available credit. Doing this shows the bureaus that you do in fact use your credit and you use it responsibly.

5. Pay off large debt. Your score will get a bump if you have high available credit to debt. The bureaus want to make sure you are not overextended and by showing them you have available credit your score will get a bump.

These five factors are the only things you need to concern yourself with when trying to improve your credit score. There is one last factor however it is shadowed in controversy.

6. Piggyback credit, this is when you are added as an authorized user to a good credit card account. The benefit is this account is now reported on your credit report.

This tactic was widely abused and the scoring model has made some changes. It is said to have removed the benefit however it is debated as to if those changes have taken place yet.

In sum, focus on steps one through five and you are on your way to a 700 credit score. You don't have to live with bad credit you can increase your score and your quality of life.

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