You might have often heard that a bad credit history never goes away. But that may not be true. There are several methods by which you may increase your credit score and credibility.
An underhand, yet clever method would be to dispute some claims in hopes that the original creditor would not respond. If you are lucky, after a certain time you shall be cleared of it. However, there are legal and better methods. Let’s take a look at some of the methods that might help you achieve a better credit score.
- Pay off your debts
The best way to increase your credit score is to pay off old debts. This lowers the total amount of debt and the interest owed, which is a big consideration for FICO and VantageScore credit models. Thus paying off your debts can seriously help increase your credit scores.
- Never apply for too much credit
Maybe you have done that in the past. But you can always avoid it in the future. Applying for too much credit can lead to a lower credit score.
- Get your hands on a copy of your credit report
Free Annual credit reports are available on AnnualCreditReport.com website. Do check them for any errors. These reports have reliable data.
- Pay more than the bare minimum
Only paying off the credit card minimums could lead to a longer debt period. This also hampers the credit score. Always try to pay more than the bare minimum if possible. This keeps the credit score healthy.
- Opt for auto bill payment facilities
Bad credits are often the result of forgetfulness. It is also hectic and inconvenient to keep a track of every credit card and bills. Try to make them automated. This way there will be less room for mistakes.
- Opt for a mix of credit
Use a mix of credit for a home equity, mortgage loans, auto loans and credit cards. There is 10% weightage on credit mix in FICO model for credit score calculation.
- The balance in your credit account should be below 35% of your credit limit
This lowers your credit score greatly as credit utilization has 30% weightage in FICO credit scores.
- Avoiding closing credit cards
Credit scores are formed by monitoring how long you have kept a credit account and the time since your last activity. Closing accounts can cause your credit score to take a beating.
- Keep a track of your FICO scores
FICO scores range between 300 and 850. The higher your FICO score, the better. However, people with a credit score of 720 and above get the best credit interest rates.
APPROACHING A CREDIT REPAIR COMPANY
There are lots of credit repair companies out there; however, credit repair companies can’t really do much for you if you decide to proceed legally. You yourself can do the same with nominal expenses by following the above steps. Credit repair companies also come with a cost. This cost can range from several hundred to thousands of dollars. You can challenge or dispute any inaccurate or incorrect information in your credit report.
CREDIT REPAIR ORGANIZATIONS ACT
On 1st of April 1997, the Credit Repair Organizations Act came into being as a federal law to protect the consumers from credit repair hoaxes. This act states the following:
- Credit repair companies cannot charge their service fee until the promises made to the customers have been fulfilled.
- The terms and conditions of payment and the services provided have to be clearly stated by the Credit repair company in the form of a written contract. Consumers are given a window of three days to withdraw from the contract.
- They are restricted by federal law from coercing or tricking customers into taking illegal steps. This includes alteration of the identity of the customer to delete credit history.
- They cannot make false claims regarding the services provided by them or what they can accomplish
- Credit repair companies cannot by any means make the customer sign a written document stating that they relinquish their rights stated under the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Anything signed, cannot be legally enforced upon the customer under any circumstances.
In general, a lot of people become desperate to remove a bad credit history. History can never be removed, but your credit score can be improved making you more credible to lenders. But a lot of people fall prey of scams and frauds related to credit repair. It is always recommended that you know your rights and be vigilant. Always stay informed and stay within the legal boundaries. Credit plays a vital role in your life and the things you purchase. When used smartly, it can help you to reach a healthy financial state. Therefore always try to improve and maintain your credit score.
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