Wednesday, April 09, 2008

5 Tips for Improving Credit Scores

From lower loan rates to higher employment opportunities, a good credit score can translate into greater savings and more career opportunities. One of my top goals is to improve my credit score. Even insurance companies are using credit scores to determine rates. Therefore, I'm collecting data and insights about how to improve credit scores.

CCCS offers these tips for raising credit score:

"1. Pay your bills on time, at least five days before the due date. Being late one month and current the next won't help your credit score; you have to always pay by the due date. Be aware that paying off a collection account, or closing an account on which you previously missed a payment, will not remove it from your credit report.


2. Whenever possible, pay your balance due at the end of each month. If you do carry a balance, try to keep the difference between your credit limit and your balance below 50%. For example, if you have a credit limit of $1000, keep your balance at $500 or below.

3. Pay the most that you can on your debt instead of transferring balances from one credit card to another. You may have heard "do not close credit cards" or "close the credit cards that you are not using." Both actions could raise or lower a credit score depending on your personal situation.


4. Check your credit report regularly to ensure that there are no items that are not yours. You can also spot if there are errors or if someone is trying to use your information to get credit, which may be an indicator that you are the victim of ID theft. You are entitled to one FREE copy of your credit report each year from each of the three bureaus. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com for details.

5. Apply for and use credit only as you need it. Don't apply for cards you don't need as a way to increase your score. If you have only been managing credit for a short period of time, do not open too many accounts quickly.


"Raising your score by just a few points can save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars over the life of a loan. said Jessica Cecere, president of Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast."

source: CCCS
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2 comments:

Andy said...

Great post. I just did a similar one, but more looking at what impacts your credit score. there is so much to know and be aware, espically for someone like me who has only come to the states recently.

Rosemary said...

Very good post. People need to take control of their credit and know how it is affected. I just did a post of what people don't realize shows up on their credit report (former mortgage processor and underwriter).

Rosemary
http://her-home-blog.com/2008/04/3-things-that-appear-on-your-credit-report/