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How to raise my credit score
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How I did it
My score in May of 2015 was 512. I needed to get serious about rebuilding my credit. First thing I did was pull my free credit report. I noticed some mistakes. My student loans were showing twice – once as paid as agreed and the other as in default. I cleared up the mistakes and my score bounced up to 550. I applied for a Capital One unsecured card (CK showed chances as fair) and they approved me for $500. A month later I applied for a second Cap One and received a $750 credit limit. Now, 16 months later, I was able to get a $28000 auto loan for 3.9% (it was a used car), I have a AMEX Blue Cash Everyday, and (shock. ) a Discover It.
It takes time to build your credit. Start by making sure all of your current accounts are paid on time. Try to get a small unsecured card from a reputable lender, like your local credit union. Take advantage of the tools on CK. I used to log in everyday and read what others had to say. I also read some other credit forums for credit tips and tricks.
Oh, and my scores now? 700/703. 🙂 I am now in the “good” range and getting better all the time!
DIBBLEEDOO’s response was:
Question A Little Vague But Here Goes
Your post is rather ambiguous so it’s not easy to give you a definitive step by step. Are you at 500 because you’ve never had credit or are you at 500 because you’ve had past trouble and made some mistakes? Given that your question is rather broad, the only advice I could give that fits both scenarios is the following:
— if you do by any chance have any credit cards open at that score, pay down the balances all the way. your overall credit ratio utilization and your credit ratio for each individual card is a large part of what makes up your score. So you want those suckers at only 10-20% of the credit limit for each card. And pay off your charges every month religiously.
— if you do not possess a credit card at the moment, then the only one you will qualify for at that score is a secured card. i would figure out what you can afford financially to put down in your circumstances and immediately obtain one for the highest limit that you can finance in your situation. reason for a higher limit is you don’t want to go over that 10-20% usage per month and it’s easier to stay within that with a higher limit. Plus by the time you pull your score up by consistent usage and on time payment, credit card companies often grant higher limits to those that had starter cards with higher limits and showed financial responsibility.
— use the card every month! safest way is to charge something that you have to pay every month and you’re used to using cash or debit for, i.e. groceries, gas, cable bill. that way you’re more likely to not run into trouble at the end of the month and scramble to pay for an impulse purchase. use the card every month, stay within the ratio and make your payment on time every month! one late payment and you’ll be setting yourself back. Do Not go by the due date – secured cards are notorious for taking days to clear your payment. Find out your reporting date and go by that instead. Once it has reported immediately start to think about getting your payment in.
By making a modest charge every month and paying in full you’ll be showing positive trade history and starting to build the length of your credit history.
— if you’re rebuilding and having a bunch of negatives on your CR’s, get a current copy from each agency plus pull your fico and review all you derogatory accounts. Put in disputes to see what falls off – you have to be diligent about that. Educate yourself through forums – Credit Karma, MyFico Forums, and Credit Board. I had a consumer credit company handle all the disputes for me but if you have to do it yourself know it will take time and you can read up on the proper steps to take. Find out the SOL in your state. And prioritize what you want to tackle paying off in debt first. i.e. – after 7 years debts fall off your reports, and older debts, unless a major bank or credit card charge off do not damage your report as much as the ones that are the more recent. Figure out what you can handle and which you want to tackle first. DO NOT got for paid in full. It will not boost your credit at all even though they will be marked as no longer owed. Your aim is to have them removed. Many can be done by dispute – those that cannot can often be accomplished by a pay for delete. Read up on it and ask for advice from the veterans on the above sites before you go in for those and remember to always get an agreement in writing first from the CA’s that they will honor the agreement. 9 times out of 10 a creditor will not honor his verbal agreement to give you a deletion if you just give him your payment first.
— you can also look into a secured loan through a credit union. the loan does not have to be for a large sum. once again, you will be investing your own money, since it is secured but it is another rebuilding tool to boost your score so that you can get to a place where it is the lender lending you money and not the other way around. a secured loan often really helps to optimize your credit score because you need more than one type of credit line to show diversity. a credit card is a revolving account. a loan is an installment account.
Hope I’ve offered you some helpful options that might apply to you. And remember to keep the faith. My scores were at 500 when I started two months ago. Granted I’ve been very aggressive and hit every side mentioned above but I’m now in the upper 600’s (700’s on credit karma). So educate yourself as much as you can through the forums listed, ask for advice, look at your situation and where it’s realistic for you to start repairing at the moment, come up with a game strategy and just hit it. You will start to see the rewards and progress.
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