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Sunday, October 18, 2009

3 Easy Ways To Increase Your Credit Score

By Doc Schmyz

In the old days the "man behind the desk" decided to give you a loan or not. Your handshake was the contract and your honor was the collateral. Now however the "man" has a name...the name is FICO SCORE.

Several credit models can be used for this article, however we are going to focus on the Fair, Isaac Company model. Better known as FICO.

Your FICO score is the method used to determine the interest rate as well as how much credit a bank or lender is willing to give you. the cleaner the credit...the lower your rate and larger the sum you qualify for.

Getting and improving your credit score is not hard at all, just takes time. Here is a tip or two that will help you improve and increase your score.

FIRST: You need to get a copy of your credit history

You may not have a credit history for several reasons. Maybe you?re a student, maybe you pay all your bills with cash, maybe you have never needed a loan for anything. All this will have an effect on your history.

The easiest way to raise your score is acquire a loan, and pay it off on time. In general, installment loans are weighted more heavily than credit cards. In other words, you will improve your credit score faster if you buy goods with an installment loan, rather than acquiring a credit card.

Another option is to take a $1000 and open a 6 month CD at a bank. Now turn around and get an installment loan using the CD as the collateral. You then take that $1000 loan and do it again at another bank. Do this for a total of 3 times.

Now what you have is 3 loans. Pay the minimum payment for 6 months. In the last month, cash out your CDs and pay the loans off. You now have a credit history, and did not go into long term debt to get it.

SECOND: Maintain Your Good Credit History

So we now have a good history. How do we get the score higher?

You don?t need to close old accounts. (Unless you?re being charged a fee to keep the account open.) Part of the FICO formula is based on the amount of credit available vs. how much you have used.

Something to think about. The day of the month you pay off your credit card may have a lot to do with your FICO score. Let?s say you have a $2000 credit card. Every month, you charge about $1800 to that card. And, every month you pay it off. But here's what happens - your credit card company reports your credit information monthly to FICO, but they report it on the 10th of the month...and you pay on the 15th. This would cause the credit agency to see you carry forward a balance every month. Try changing the payment times...just is sure NEVER to pay late.

THIRD: Fix your bad credit

Ok we all at some point have poor credit history. However you can improve your score. It takes time but can be done. If you?re really unsure of the steps you need to take contact a credit counselor. You can find several good services offered online.

The FICO score is most affected by your credit history. To repair a low credit score start paying your bills onetime. In order of value you need to pay your Mortgage, Installment loans, and last your credit cards.

The next largest portion of your FICO score is based on how you use credit. The fastest way to improve this is to pay down your credit cards.

One final thing to look for is errors in your credit report. Get a copy of your credit report from all three primary agencies, and look at all the entries. You can find the agencies here: experian.com, equifax.com, and transunion.com. If there are any errors, start the process to have them removed. Call your creditors - sometimes they will remove negative information.

A good FICO score is a huge part of your financial life. Keep it healthy. Use these tips and watch your score climb. - 23212

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