Friday, April 11, 2008

Tips for Increasing Your Credit Score

Are you planning to apply for a loan or new credit card any time soon? If so, you might want to check out your current credit rating before you complete that application. After all, if your credit rating is poor, you may find yourself spending a huge amount of money on finance charges and interest payments. In order to avoid tossing your money away because of a low credit score, you should put off the loan for a little longer and build up your credit score. By following these simple tips, you can build up your credit score faster than you may have thought possible.

Tip #1: Pay Your Bills on Time

The single most important thing you can do in order to increase your credit score is to simply pay your bills on time. Just one late payment can truly wreak havoc on your credit score. Even unusual bills, such as late fees to your library for books you returned late, need to paid. Otherwise, your failure to pay may be reported to the credit reporting bureaus and your credit score will be negatively impacted.

Tip #2: Check Your Credit Report

The federal government has determined that everyone is entitled to receive free copies of their credit reports. You can order yours by going to After you receive your free credit report, look it over for errors. Even a seemingly small error, such as showing a lower credit limit than you really have on your credit score, can have a negative impact on your credit score. Be certain to report any errors you find to the credit reporting agency as soon as possible. That way, the bureau can look into the error and make any necessary changes.

Tip #3: Pay Down Your Credit Cards

Your credit score is partially determined by your debt to credit limit ration. The more debt you have as compared to your available credit, the greater risk you become. For example, if you have a credit card with a $2,000 limit and you are carrying a debt of $1,800, this will actually hurt your credit score more than if you had a credit limit of $6,000 and you were carrying the same balance. Similarly, it is usually better to have $1,000 of debt spread over two credit cards than to have $1,000 in debt on one credit card.

Tip #4: Don’t Cancel Credit Cards

Although we all know that having too many credit cards in your wallet can be financially dangerous, it is a bad idea to cancel the credit cards that you already have. When you cancel your credit card, you lose all of the credit history you have acquired through the card. As a result, your credit rating will take a downward spiral.

Tip #5: Don’t Open New Credit Card Accounts

It is important to resist the temptation to open up several new credit card accounts. The more your credit report is accessed by lending institutions, the more your credit score is damaged. It is easy to get caught up in the thrill of applying for department store credit cards – particularly since they often provide very attractive benefits to new applicants – but the inquiries into your report makes it look as if you are trying to gather as much credit as possible. This makes you an increased credit risk to potential lenders. Therefore, you should hold off on these applications until after you have received the loan you are really wanting to acquire.

About the Author: Shannon Kietzman is a well known author and trusted resource. Shannon regularly writes for . For more info and to order your credit report with FREE credit score please visit

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