How To Increase Your Credit Score. Is It Really Possible?

Jaclyn A. writes...

"Jeff. 1- is it really possible to increase my credit score? I kinda don't believe all the hype. 2- if it is possible , do I do it myself or pay someone to do it for me?"

Replies (7)
  • Hi Jaclyn.

    Years ago, I got my credit reports via snail mail and noticed that there were some glaring errors. There were 2 addresses that I never lived at, a bank account that wasn't mine, credit card that wasn't mine, and some other minor inaccuracies.

    How did this happen? Some moron had just stolen my identity and tried to order 6 desktop PC's from Dell and Gateway. Yes, six! Like two or three weren't enough. Jerk.

    Fortunately, Gateway called me (I was a customer at the time) and asked if I had placed this order. I said heck no. They stopped the order and communicated with Dell not to ship theirs either. However, I was stuck with a number of detrimental items on my credit reports that I had to prove weren't mine and have them removed. No doubt they were also dropping my credit scores like a rock.

    I even had to fill out a police report at my local station too to make it official (and send to the credit reporting agencies).

    So does all this stuff affect credit scores?

    To answer your first question, YES. If you've got inaccurate information on your credit reports, your credit scores will be negatively affected. If you fix or "repair" your credit reports, your credit score will go up.

    Now, not everyone will have been victim of identity theft. Some people are late on their bills, forget to pay off something, or have other bad stuff on their credit reports. These too will all affect your credit scores.

    Now, to your second question.

    I'm a do-it-myself type of guy, so I handled it all on my own. But, many people simply don't have the time nor the patience and prefer someone to do it for them. It's not necessary, but may be more convenient.

    Raise your credit score (do-it-yourself) and solve your problem, click here.

    Pay someone to do it for you, click here.

    As well, below are some great ideas, tips and suggestions to help you get started.

      • Pay on time!

        This is an obvious tip, but one that's still worth mentioning. Make sure you pay all of your accounts on time. Even one slip up may affect your score.

        • If you have trouble remembering to pay on time, consider setting up some kind of reminder. You can even set your accounts to automatic bill payment through your banking service.
        • Your debt to credit-limit ratio.

          It's obvious you need to reduce any debt. In doing so, you'll keep your debt to credit-limit ratio. Get this as low as you can.

          For instance, if you've got $5,000 of debt with a $6,500 credit limit, your ratio is 77% ($5000 divided by $6500). This means you've used up 77% of your available credit. This will hurt your credit score.

          It signals you are living above your means.

          • Keep some unused accounts open.

            Closing unused accounts is a common myth when it comes to improving your credit score. In fact, closing accounts can actually hurt your score. Why? Because a part of your score is calculated by determining how much debt you have versus how much available credit you have.

            • If you close out your available credit, your debt becomes a larger percentage of the credit available to you and may lower your score.
            • Spread out your debts.

              You can improve your score by spreading your debt among credit cards even if your debt remains exactly the same. This is because a credit card that's almost maxed out is more likely to be detrimental to your score. Consider transferring that balance to one or more other credit card accounts.

              • Avoid applying for too many cards.

                Your score can be affected if you fill out too many credit applications over a short period of time. While you can acquire multiple cards over time, it's just not a good idea to sign up for too many of them at once. This makes you look desperate for any kind of credit.

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