Ten Tips to Boost Your Credit Score:
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1. Dispute all errors, even minor ones
2. Add missing accounts
3. Pay down your highest outstanding balance first
4. Pay by your report date, not your due date
5. Blend your credit
6. Keep using your credit cards
7. Ask for a credit line increase
8. If you have trouble getting a major credit card, get a gas store card
9. Don’t open accounts just to improve your score
10. Protect your credit score
Your Credit Score
Your credit (FICO) scores which can range from 300-850 points affect everything from loan rates to insurance premiums. You actually have 3 scores – one from each major credit bureau (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) – that can vary by as much as 100 points. Order one free credit report a year from each bureau at annualcreditreports.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. We recommend that you check your credit score and reported history even if you are not ready to buy a home, since a federal study found that 70% of reports contain a mistake.
Your score is comprised of your payment history (35%), your debt (30%), the length of your credit history (15%), your credit types (10%), and newly issued credit (10%). Ready to buy? A mortgage loan officer can tell you your score.
Credit score indicates your creditworthiness to potential lenders, banks, landlords, insurance companies, and even some employers. The higher your score the better.
What’s a Good Credit Score?
Creditors establish their own guidelines and break points for doling out credit. But here’s what credit scores can mean for your personal finances:
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