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How can I improve my credit score
How can I improve my credit score? This is a very common question that is asked quite often. There are many different factors that will impact your credit score, good or bad. One such factor, that is probably the most obvious, is making all of your payments for all of your bills on time. This has the single biggest impact on credit scoring of all other single factors. Payment history accounts for roughly 35% of your total credit score. If you do have derogatory credit or late payments in your credit profile, the more recent the late payments are, the more negative the impact will be on your credit score.

Correct blatant mistakes. Your credit score is only as good as what shows up in your credit report. Review your reports from all three credit bureaus for accuracy once a year as well as several months before applying for a loan. Changing a mistake on your report - such as a payment that is wrongly labeled as late -- can take 30 days to three months, sometimes longer.

You should also have a mix of different trade lines. Limiting yourself to 3-5 revolving cards and installment loans such as an auto or home loan will result in a higher score than multiple revolving accounts alone. It is also important not to open and close credit accounts frequently. Transferring balances to new intro-rate cards may look attractive, but lenders also like to see aged accounts with perfect payment history.

In a situation where you do not have credit scores due to lack of use of credit in the past, you can apply for a couple of credit cards and the three major credit bureaus will create a credit profile for you. However, it can take 3 to 6 months for the credit scores to show on your credit report. Always manage your credit in a responsible manner to get higher credit scores.

One of the best ways to improve your credit scores is to look at your balance to limit ratios. Open up your latest credit card statements and write down your balances on one line, and your credit limits on another. If the balance on any one of your cards is more than 50% of your limit, you may see immediate benefits by either paying down the balance until it is below 40% of the limit, looking into raising the credit limit on that card, or by moving around some the balances onto other cards which have plenty of available credit. If many of your credit card balances are above 70% of their limits, you may be a good candidate for a debt consolidation refinance to help reduce your debt ratios and improve your credit scores. To review your credit with a financial professional experienced in analyzing credit reports, contact a financing advisor at 415-617-5448 or via email at [email protected]

If you are trying to establish credit to improve your score, getting a secured credit card from a local bank or credit union can establish credit history and be reported as a tradeline.

Paying credit card balances down below 50% of the high-credit limit will help increase your credit score.

It is very important to remember that in today's market, you can still get a mortgage even with a low credit score. Many lenders offer what are known as "subprime" mortgage loans. These loan programs are designed for customers with less-than-perfect credit. They typically carry a higher interest rate, since the mortgage is considered riskier for the lender. However, obtaining a mortgage and making the payments on time is perhaps the best and quickest way to raise your credit score.

So if you are considering a home purchase or a cash-out refinance, and your credit score is on the low side, do not be discouraged! There is likely still a loan program out there that will be perfect for you for the short-term period. Before you know it, your credit profile will have greatly improved and you will be able to refinance into a much more attractive mortgage program. Call me at 415-617-5448 for more details on the many programs we have to offer.


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