In short, live within your means. Spend only what you can afford. Save the rest. Borrow only when it is profitable or absolutely necessary — and only when you know can afford to make all payments on time.
Pay your bills and cut your debt. Make your monthly payments on time and in full as often as possible. At the end of the day, the less debt you owe, the higher your credit score will be. Being smart about how you use your credit card will do nothing for your score if its maxed out.
Well then you clearly have a high salary and don’t have to worry. And, by the way, you missed my whole point. People sometimes find themselves in financial predicaments through no fault of their own – job loss, illness, divorce, etc. – that can make life less than perfect and certainly not as neat and tidy as you seem to think it will always be. Life has a way of tossing serious curveballs at people. And if you live in a place like the Bay Area, that can knock you off course pretty harshly and very fast even if you think you’re ‘prepared.’
If you are looking for simple ways to effectively improve a bad credit score, you should focus on paying your bills on time as agreed upon, maintain positive payment history with your lenders, pay down all your debt to help improve the credit utilization ratio, and only apply for a credit account when you really need it. Try to keep the hard inquiries on your credit files to a minimum. Too many can have a negative impact on your credit scores.
FICO undoubtedly has a team of attorneys telling it to drive home the point that it (the company) doesn’t judge somebody’s credit risk. It only reports a score and can provide guidance based on statistical data. A person isn’t a high credit risk per se if they have a 500 FICO score. FICO just reports, based on its statistics, that people with a lower score have defaulted on loans more than those with a higher score. See the difference?
In the United States, the median generic FICO score was 723 in 2006 and 711 in 2011. The performance definition of the FICO risk score (its stated design objective) is to predict the likelihood that a consumer will go 90 days past due or worse in the subsequent 24 months after the score has been calculated. The higher the consumer’s score, the less likely he or she will go 90 days past due in the subsequent 24 months after the score has been calculated. Because different lending uses (mortgage, automobile, credit card) have different parameters, FICO algorithms are adjusted according to the predictability of that use. For this reason, a person might have a higher credit score for a revolving credit card debt when compared to a mortgage credit score taken at the same point in time.
The use of credit information in connection with applying for various types of insurance or in landlord background checks has drawn similar amounts of scrutiny and criticism. This is because the activities of finding secure employment, renting suitable accommodation and securing insurance are the basic functions of meaningful participation in modern society, and in the case of some types of auto insurance for instance, are mandated by law.
It takes awhile to establish a good score, and the best ways are to pay debts on time and keep your balances low relative to your credit limits (if you use credit cards). You can also check your credit regularly to check your progress. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.
You want the percentage of your debt-to-income ratio to be lower. Otherwise a lender may look at a high number and immediately think you will be unable to successfully make any more monthly payments. You may then be considered a higher credit risk for them.
People want to blame others for not understanding how the stock market works, but the truth is not many people have enough knowledge to safe-guard their money on the stock markets. I have seen well-educated people make mistakes that is common even among those with little to no knowledge of stocks. If you can afford it, get life insurance and put money away that is invested in a regular savings account or your mattress (fire proof) or just put it in the bank safe in incraments of $100 bills.
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The good news is that you don’t need to have a perfect credit score in order to qualify for the best rates. Most companies set thresholds for determining the minimum credit score needed to qualify for their most competitive offers. As long as your credit score is above that threshold, you will qualify for the best terms available. Learn more about credit score ranges.
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As far as your credit situation goes, if your credit cards are maxed and you’re having trouble making all of your payments, I would recommend you at least talk with a nonprofit credit counseling agency to see whether they can help you get those credit card payments down see you can make progress and start seeing progress on your credit scores as well. This article discusses that option: Does Credit Counseling Work?
Don’t Get Discouraged: Even if you never reach 850, “merely” having excellent credit is an amazing achievement. It will save you boatloads of money over the course of your life. And it won’t ever stand in your way like a “bad” score. Plus, you may find consolation in the fact that having excellent credit means your score is higher than over 60% of people, according to WalletHub data.
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Yes I noted that it’s a risky strategy and I wasn’t necessarily recommending it. I was simply pointing out that it’s about the only way to affect the age of credit factor other than waiting for current accounts to age.
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It doesn’t matter what your credit score is these day . Mine is 715. I think it’s all biased ! I’ve been struggling for 14 years since my husband passed away & on a decent fixed income. I’ve never been late paying any of my utility, rent. or loan obligations needed to survive. I’ve purchased 2 cars, both were payed off a year in advance. I had to recently purchase a used car that turned out to be a lemon because I could not be approved for a new car because of my credit score. What ! They should change the point system. Not everyone wants to get in debt to get out of debt. I surely don’t. So much for freedom of speech & the home of the free. We are living under American communism ruled by capitalist. So how free are we? So much for what the American Flag stands for & what our forefathers came to America for to have a better life !
Even if you can only afford to pay the minimum, always pay on time because that will have a bigger impact on your score than the amount you pay, Detweiler says. Set up automatic bill pay through your credit account or bank account so you don’t miss a payment.
Why aren’t lenders allowed (or mandated) to explain to borrowers how taking a larger HELOC (if one qualifies) may be beneficial to their credit scores. Lenders could give ‘disclaimers’ & explain that they’re not trying to up-sell (though they ALWAYS ARE, of course), but that the 3 main credit bureaus score ‘down’ on HELOCS that are maxed out as opposed to HELOCS where the borrower takes less than their highest limit. (There’ll always be the nay-sayer complaining that the lender is being self-serving or deceptive…but that’s where the disclaimer & explanation from the 3 Bureaus would help.) NO one HAS to take a higher HELOC, but knowing how it could affect one’s credit scores would be very helpful info. If ‘qualifying’ for more than you need doesn’t cost anything, I think knowing a larger HELOC could actually HELP the borrower, is valuable info. [Re: another comment on this page: Asking to ‘quality’ for a lesser amount because one doesn’t trust themselves with an available pot of money at the bank, suggests a bigger personal issue.] Then again, the novice (myself included) might not try to qualify for more than they actually need simply because they don’t trust the ‘salesperson’ at the bank. Bottom line, I believe an informed decision is always best.
To check your credit history, go to annualcreditreport.com It is free once a year from each of the three credit bureaus only if you go through this site. Or you can get it free by calling 1-877-322-8228. Or send a request with your name, Social Security number, date of birth, mailing address and previous mailing address (if current address is less than two years old) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281
im 19, and have a score of 750. on my 18th birthdya i went to my credit union and got a student credit card, and then proceded to pay it off in full every month. i then got a Macys credit card and paid that off in full. three months later i got a nordstrom credit card and that dropped my score by a hundred points almost. i was looking at a 680. so for six moths i balanced the three credit cards making sure my credit utilazatuion was under thirty percent and paying off almost everything. Because i am impulsive i got in way over my head with shopping and found myself spending my whole pay check to cover myt losses. i soon started a budget for my self and stop using both store cards for awhile. my Macys card raised my credit limit, which helped me lover my credit utilaztion score. My nordstrom sis the same and i paid both off and now barely use my one student credit card. i use each only once a month to buy something under thiry bucks from each store to show i have good standing. i have never missed a payment on all three cards. i now i have a score of 750 again since six mothns has passed since i open my nordstom card. all in all, i have learned my lesson, but am still frustrated by how easy it is to swipe without thinking. This has lead me to leaving my cards at home or in my car. i guess for me it was harder than some because i worked in a mall and was surronded by retail. Now im happy with my score and i got a job at a bank, and i now save money while paying off my student loans. i guess what angers me the most is seeing how much i spent with those two cards and realizing i could have paid of my student loans. i hope other people find something to learn from my story
YES> The bank doesn’t care and it builds credit without having to pay. Anyone can fix their credit score for free! All you need is a little self education. People say “YOU” need a credit card for emergencies… BS! Good credit and a good credit union will beat a credit card any day of the week!!!
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But if you have fair credit, all hope is not lost. While lenders typically prefer credit scores to fall in the good to excellent range, people with fair credit scores are still considered viable applicants for many loans. Additionally, with some work, persistence and responsible credit usage, you can improve your credit score.
I had a Bankrupsy 5 years ago and thought I was doing the right thing so applied for every credit card that was offered to me. I now have about 18 credit cards. I’m never late with my payments but Im living pay check to pay check and my score is very poor. NOW WHAT?
The two major credit scores in the United States are provided by FICO and VantageScore. FICO is the creator of the first, and still most-widely used score. Both scores range from 300 to 850. Each defines “fair” credit slightly differently.