The first thing you should know if you are feeling bad about your credit score...time. Hitting a rough patch doesn’t mean your score is affected forever. You can start improving today by getting in touch with us.
Secondly, credit scores are unbiased and don't consider your age, race, religion or gender. The number is based on a number of other factors in your credit file. The information and score provide lenders with a way to understand how likely you are to pay back a loan on time. The higher the credit score, the better because it shows you present less risk.
INCREASE YOUR SCORE
- Account payment information on specific types of accounts such as credit cards, retail accounts, installment loans, finance company accounts and mortgages
- Presence of adverse public records like bankruptcy, judgments, suits, liens, or wage attachments. In addition to collection items and delinquency
- Length of delinquency
- Amount past due on delinquent accounts or collection items
- Time since past due items, adverse public records, or collection items
- Number of past due items on file
- Number of accounts paid as agreed
- Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on your score.
- If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score.
- Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report. It will stay on your report for seven years.
- If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor. This won't improve your score immediately, but if you can begin to manage your credit and pay on time, your score will get better over time.
Debt and Available Credit
- Total amount owed on all accounts
- Number of accounts with outstanding balances
- Account balances in proportion to credit limits
- Keep balances low on credit cards and other "revolving credit". High outstanding debt can affect a score.
- Pay off debt rather than moving it around. The most effective way to improve your score in this area is by paying down your revolving credit. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your score.
- Don't close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score.
- Don't open a number of new credit cards that you don't need, just to increase your available credit. This approach could backfire and actually lower score.
Duration and Type of Account
- Amount of time account has been opened
- Type of account
- New accounts will lower your average account age
- Rapid account buildup can look risky if you are a new credit user.
- If you have been managing credit for a short time, don't open a lot of new accounts too rapidly.
- Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
- Don't open accounts just to have a better credit mix - it probably won't raise your score.
- Have credit cards - but manage them responsibly.
Frequency of Credit Applications
- Number of recently opened accounts, and proportion of accounts that are recently opened, by type of account
- Time and frequency of recent credit inquiries
- Re-establishment of positive credit history following past payment problems
- When rate shopping for a loan, keep your credit queries within a focused period of time.
- Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems.
- Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time will raise your score in the long term.
- Note that it's OK to request and check your own credit report. This won't affect your score, as long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.