Avoid a Low Credit Score

By: Mike Clover
With your Credit Score being the doorway to financial health I thought I would give some tips on what to avoid so your credit score is not affected. If your credit score is currently low I guarantee that you are paying too much to your creditors. Any business that is in business for profit is looking for a reason to make money. If a creditor knows your credit scores are low they will charge you for it. The reason is because they can. Here is what to avoid so your creditworthiness is not affected.

Late Payments
This is one credit dink I see all the time. If you are late on a obligation that reports to the credit bureaus I assure you that your score will drop around 75 to 100 points. Timely payments account for 35% of your overall FICO score. This particular factor in your credit score is the biggest factor of all.

Amounted Owed
If you have credit card debt, and the balanced owed vs. the allowed credit limit is more than 30%, your score is affected. The amount owed accounts for 30% of your overall FICO score. You should keep your credit debt well below 30% of the allowed credit limit.

Length of Credit History
Once you are granted some credit the FICO score model looks at how long you have been in good standing with your credit. If you have a good history with your creditors, you can count on it helping your overall credit health. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your score.

Mix of Credit
Mix of credit accounts for 10% of your FICO score according to Fair Isaac. So you need credit cards, installment loans, auto loans, department store credit, etc...... The rule of thumb is to have at least 3 to 4 lines of different types of credit to get the best overall score.

New Credit
New credit accounts for 10% of your FICO score. The FICO score model does not like to see you applying for too much credit. Too many hard credit inquiries will affect your credit score. The rule of thumb is around 3 to 4 different types of credit.

Identity Theft & Credit Monitoring
Make sure you are pulling a copy of your free credit report regularly. With the identity theft problem it is recommended to set up some type of credit monitoring with immediate alerts. So if something happens you will know about it quickly.

Co-Signing
Co-signing is a big problem as well. We don't recommend co-signing for anyone. If a family member or friend does not have the credit to buy, the best thing they can do to get credit established is to get a couple of secured credit cards. This is the fastest way to improved credit health. With a little history, usually 12 months of good payment history the creditors will open the doors of credit.
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