Fixing your credit can be hard to do, especially if you don’t have the right information. In fact, most people don’t even know they can repair their credit in the first place. Information can be the key to raising your credit score again; have a look at these tips for bringing your credit back to good standing.
Be careful about which collection accounts you pay off. With the current way the credit reporting system is structured, paying off a collection agency may actually lower your score because the date of last activity will be reset. A paid collection has no less of an impact on your score than an open collection. This resetting of the date of last activity also means the seven year reporting clock will restart. If you can wait out a collection agency, do it.
If you have been repairing your credit for a while and have been paying responsibly, ask your credit card company to raise your credit limit. Debt utilization, the ratio of your debt to your credit limit, is one factor that determines your credit score. If you get a limit increase, then that ratio will be lower, making you appear to be a lower credit risk.
Buy in cash. Credit and debit cards have made purchasing a thoughtless process. We don’t often realize how much we have spent or are spending. To curb your shopping habits, only buy in cash. It will give you a visual to how much that item actually costs, and make you consider if it is really worth it.
Make sure you receive a physical contract from all credit collection agencies. The agreement should spell out exactly how much you owe, the payment arrangements, and if they are charging any additional fees. Be very wary if the company is hesitant to provide you a contract. There are unscrupulous firms out there who will take your money without actually closing your account.
When disputing items with a credit reporting agency make sure to not use photocopied or form letters. Form letters send up red flags with the agencies and make them think that the request is not legitimate. This type of letter will cause the agency to work a bit more diligently to verify the debt. Do not give them a reason to look harder.
For a quick boost to your FICO score, start paying down your credit cards. Your FICO score is heavily influenced by how much available credit you have. Try to get your cards down to where you are only utilizing 50% of the available limit at most and keep them there.
While repairing your credit is a top priority, you need to know that you cannot create another credit file, using a second social security or tax-id number, so steer clear of anyone that suggests this as an option. This practice is illegal and serious penalties are handed out to those who use this process.
In order to best manage your finances and your credit score, you should never max out a credit card. The best thing to do is to never charge more than thirty percent of your credit limit. Having a high percentage of your available revolving credit being used will reduce your credit score. Also, high balances take longer to pay off and accumulate more interest.
Information is the best tool available to lift your credit rating. The tips that follow is a guide to repairing your credit and set a course for success. You may run into a few problems along the way, but if you keep your eyes on your goal ultimately you’ll see your credit score rise.