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How to Increase Your Credit Score

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By : Sonia Smith    99 or more times read

Your credit score will reflect your pattern of payments over time, with emphasis given on the recent data. One usual question for consumers concerning their score involves understanding how certain actions can affect it. Scores are entirely based on the information found on your report.

If you have a low or negative entry to your credit score and you want to improve or increase it, following are ways to improve your score.

  1. Make your payments on time because late payments and collections will have a negative effect on your credit score. Even if you owe only a small amount, it is necessary to make on time payments so they will not be reflected on your report.

  2. Pay off your debt than moving it around. Avoid closing unused credit for a short-term strategy of improving your score. Owing the same amount with fewer accounts opened may lower your credit score.

  3. Do not apply for a new credit if possible and it is necessary to keep your balances on credit cards and other revolving debts at a constant low since higher credit can adversely affect your score.

  4. Make sure to settle all your past dues since unresolved credits can hurt your score.

  5. If you have a negative entry to your credit history, thus affecting your score such as delinquent payments, bankruptcy and many inquiries, you can opt to pay your bills and wait. Time is important in this situation and bear in mind that there is no such thing as a quick fix to your low credit score.

  6. Regularly check your report and your score to ensure there are no erroneous entries made. Since credit history reflect your credit score directly, make sure you review the reports made by all credit bureaus at least several months before applying for a loan. If there are errors, you can contact them right away through the website, over the phone or write a letter explaining the error or errors made. Correcting your report takes thirty days or longer.

  7. Mortgage lenders like to see a wide gap from the amount of debt reported to the total credit limit, therefore the more debt that you pay off, the bigger that gap and the better your score will be.

  8. As much as possible, stay out of bankruptcy since it is far worse than late payments or having your account forwarded to a collection agency.

It is impossible to have a precise assessment of how one particular action can affect your score since one basic change can affect many items on your report. Rebuilding your credit history after a negative will depend on the reasons behind that change. Most negative changes in scores resulted from additional negative elements in your report such as payment delinquency or a collection account. A delinquency and public records will remain on your score for seven years, although some bankruptcies will remain up to ten years and unpaid tax liens will be reflected up to fifteen years.

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