Credit Reports & Ratings Articles

Four Success Factors To Improve Your Credit Score

Most people are unaware of the importance of improving credit scores. If your credit score is bad, then there are many simple but not well-known ways to raise it.

How is the credit score calculated?

The variables involved in calculating credit scores are: a person's payment history:
- number of trade-lines or debts
- balance on a debt versus total credit amount given
- other negative factors like bankruptcy, tax liens and trouble with the law

These variables are used to assign a number to every person in the country, who is of legal age. This is what is known as a credit score. There are three major credit bureaus: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. You can access your credit report from them all on one easy to read report.

Credit Score Ranges

A credit score in the range of 400 is extremely poor. While on the other hand, a credit score of above 800 is nearly perfect. Regardless of what your score is, it will follow you every where you ever go, and it will change monthly, which can be a good thing, if you follow the tips for increasing your score, outlined below.

Improving your Credit Score

Whether your score is low or high, you can most certainly use a few more points on the higher side. However, it takes up to 2 to 3 months to see the effects on your score once you've started following the following tips.

1. Never pay a debt late.
Paying your debts late kills your credit score instantly, since credit scores and reports are all about the ability to pay loans and debts on time. Your score drops as soon as you pay a bill late, which results in potential lenders becoming reluctant to help you.

2. Give your car loans and mortgage loans first priority.
For some reason, if you're unable to pay all of your bills for a month on time, pay your mortgage and car loans first while keeping tip 1 above in mind. These loans count for more on your credit score than other debts because they are bigger debts, and in most cases you have them longer. Paying a mortgage on time will improve credit scores rapidly.

3. Consolidate credit card debt.
If you do not have a credit card, get a new one - read the next tip for details. However, if you have been using credit cards then search for a new credit card that offers a higher balance and pay off all of the other cards with this new one. This is called consolidating your credit card debt. The disadvantage of having several credit cards with balances on them makes makes you look like a risk to borrowers, and it makes improving credit difficult.

4. Get a new credit card, and use it frequently.
Find this advice odd? Here is the reasoning. If you have credit cards that are all maxed to the spending limit, it brings your credit score down. Getting a new credit card, spending a decent amount on it monthly, and then paying off the balance as soon as you receive the bill will help improve your credit score quickly.