Tips to improve your credit score

By
Mortgage and Lending with Capital Loan Associates NMLS #229167

Create Some Balance: Paying off revolving debt will increase your credit score more than paying off installment debt. Keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit on each card. If you pay off any credit cards completely; do not close your accounts. Canceling those cards may inadvertently lower your credit score. 

Know Your Limits: Make sure that your credit card issuers are reporting the correct limits on your accounts to the major credit bureaus. You can check to see the limit reported by going to www.Experian.com. If you see any balances that are listed incorrectly you can dispute the account online. If the available limit does not show up on your credit report, your account will look like it is maxed out at its highest reported balance each month. This could cost you up to 80 points in certain instances. Some creditors, such as American Express® and certain cards issued by Capital One®, actually have a policy of not reporting available credit. However, most companies will report your credit limits if you ask them in writing.

Take Some Credit: If you have a credit card account in very good standing, make sure that all three credit bureaus know about it. Just like your credit limits, some creditors don’t report your information to all three credit companies – this is why credit scores often vary between bureaus. If this is the case, give them a call to find out why. Correcting this oversight could provide a significant boost to your score. Also, if you’re in very good standing, ask your creditor for a lower rate or higher credit limit. 

Protect Your Interests: Your credit score is calculated solely on the information provided by your creditors. If you have a HELOC, make sure it’s listed as a mortgage or an installment account on your credit reports and not a revolving debt. If they are misreporting the Heloc your credit score will suffer because it may look like a large maxed out credit card. 

 

Comments (2)

Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker-Owner,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Heidi,

Good info. Your comment on HELOC's is the first time I've heard of this. If your HELOC shows up as revolving, how do you get it changed? Will your lender actually do this for you?

Also, it was my understanding to also keep your HELOC balance low, less than 30%. A few months ago I did a post on FICO scoring myself. I took a class in improving your score. We were told that  under 30% was a positive, 30-50% is neutral, in excess of 50% is viewed as detrimental.  Is that your understanding?

Mar 22, 2008 06:34 PM
Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR
Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale - Mesquite, NV
Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS
Hi Heidi - Thanks for these credit tips, very well presented.  Welcome to Active Rain, too.  Be sure and join the newbie group and read up there - you will learn about "all things blog" there, including SEO - Search Engine Optimization, very important.  Good luck and enjoy the Rain.
Mar 24, 2008 03:56 PM