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Julie Ellefson's Blog

By Julie Ellefson | Other/Just Looking in Minneapolis, MN

14 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score

Your Credit Score is everything. It determines whether you will get a loan. It determines the interest rate that you will be charged. The better your credit score, the more options you have. At 640, the small banks will be all over you. At 700 the big banks will fight for your business.

Don't be turned down because of your credit score. Keep plugging away at it. Below are some tips that I have COPY-PASTEd from the Equifax Website. I hope they help you.

It takes time and there is no quick fix for eliminating past aspects of your credit history that may be negatively affecting your credit score. Credit scores are based on your credit history and can generally only be changed over time. "Credit repair clinics" often claim they can remove negative information from your credit report for you, but beware - these claims can sometimes be false and may even be illegal. Remember - accurate and timely negative information cannot be removed from your credit file. Your best approach for establishing credit worthiness is to handle your credit responsibly over time.

Credit scores can change gradually over time as one's overall credit picture gets better. This happens by consistently engaging in creditworthy behavior going forward, such as paying your bills on time and using credit conservatively. Here are some illustrations of the "dos" and "don'ts" of creditworthy behavior:

Do:

  • Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a significant negative impact on your score.
  • If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.
  • Pay off debt rather than shifting it to other accounts.
  • Re-establish your credit history if you have had problems. Opening new accounts responsibly and paying them off on time may help in the long term.
  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
  • Keep credit cards but manage them responsibly. In general, having credit cards and installment loans (and paying timely payments) may favorably impact your credit score in the long term. If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit.
  • Shop for rates for a given loan within a short period of time. The Equifax Risk Score distinguishes between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, partly by the length of time over which inquiries occur.

Do Not:

  • Close unused credit cards as a short-term strategy to try to raise your score.
  • Open a number of new credit cards, just to increase your available credit. This approach could actually have a negative impact on your score.
  • If you have been managing credit for a short time, avoid opening a lot of new accounts too rapidly. Adding new accounts will lower your average account age, which could have a negative impact on your credit score, particularly if you are a new credit user.
Hey keep working at it. Have a great day and a great weekend.

Julie Ellefson
Loan Officer, Summit Mortgage
612 227 5347
jellefson@summit-mortgage.com

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