3 easy steps to a better FICO score

by Doc Schmyz

In the old days the “man behind the desk” decided to give you a loan or not. Your handshake was the contract and your honor was the collateral. Now however the “man” has a name…the name is FICO SCORE.

Although there are several credit models, the most commonly used is FICO, based on a model created by Fair, Isaac Company. Their consumer website is myfico.com, and you can find information about the FICO credit scores there.

Your FICO credit score can be used to determine your interest rate and how much credit a lender will give you. So taking care of your score, and keeping your credit clean will save you money.

Getting and improving your credit score is not hard at all, just takes time. Here is a tip or two that will help you improve and increase your score.

FIRST: You need to get a copy of your credit history

You may not have a credit history for several reasons. Maybe you?re a student, maybe you pay all your bills with cash, maybe you have never needed a loan for anything. All this will have an effect on your history.

An easy way to improve your credit history is to get a loan and pay it off onetime. A loan such as a car loan (also known as an installment loan) is generally looked at as more important, and given more value, then a credit card loan.

A second idea is to take a sum of money, let?s say $1000, and put it in to a 6 month CD at a bank or credit union. Then you in turn go and get an installment loan against the first CD as collateral. The final part of this step is to take your new loan and repeat the process 2 more times at a different bank each time.

Let the CD’s mature, paying only the minimum for the 6 months. Once they mature you cash them out and pay off all three loans. Congratulations…you now have a credit history.

SECOND: Keep your credit history clean.

Ok…now you have a good history. No major debt…now to keep the FICO as high as you can.

Don’t close your old accounts. One part of your credit score is based on the amount of credit available verses amount of credit used. Closing old accounts can lower this part of your score.

Here is a thing to think about. Paying off your credit cards every month is good money management, but you may be able to improve in this area. Here’s the scenario: you have a $2000 credit card. Every month, you charge about $1800 to that card. And, every month you pay it off. But here’s what happens – your credit card company reports your credit information monthly to FICO. If they report it before you pay off your card, it looks like you carry a balance on your credit card every month. You may find your FICO score improves if you pay off your credit card at a different time of the month.

THIRD: Fix your bad credit

For whatever reason, if you have a poor credit history, there are things you can do to improve your score. Some of them take time, and you will probably be best served by talking to a credit counselor to be sure that you not only repair your credit history, but also eliminate what caused that poor credit history in the first place.

The FICO score is most affected by your credit history. To repair a low credit score start paying your bills onetime. In order of value you need to pay your Mortgage, Installment loans, and last your credit cards.

The next factor in your FICO score is how you have used your credit. So pay off those credit cards

When you?re all done with the rest of things…review your credit report. Get one from all the credit agencies. Look for errors and mistakes. Contact them to see if they can remove them or correct the errors.

A good FICO score is a huge part of your financial life. Keep it healthy. Use these tips and watch your score climb.

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