How to Raise your Credit Scores

By: Chane Steiner

You can raise your credit scores by taking a close look at your credit reports and creating a plan of action to improve them. It takes time and a continual effort from you to raise your credit scores. There are really now quick-fixes of besides paying down debt and to successfully disputing negative information on your credit report.

One of the most important things you can do is simply pay your bills on time - that should be fairly obvious. Late payments play a major role in driving down your credit scores. You will also want to keep your debt-to-credit-limit (or available credit) ratio as low as possible. Never let it get above 40%. If you don't have many positive accounts reporting, you may want to open some new accounts to raise your debt-to-available-credit ratio. Try to get an unsecured credit card from your local credit union or a secured card from a legitimate site online. Remember; don't apply for too many because the inquiries count against your credit score.

Don't close unused accounts, especially if they are old and reporting positive, because zero balances can help your score. Also, don't open several new accounts in a short period, especially if your credit history is less than three years old. Too many inquiries in a short period of time can really be hurtful to your credit scores. Apply for credit wisely.

It should be mentioned though, that pulling your own credit does not harm your scores. In fact, many people think it's wise to use a monthly credit monitoring service online to monitor your progress and make sure there are no unauthorized inquiries or new accounts showing up on your reports.

As mentioned, disputing negative accounts on your credit reports is an excellent way to raise your credit scores. All negative accounts on your credit report should be disputed to make sure they are accurate. If they are not, they must be removed. You don't have to be dishonest when disputing accounts; the burden of proof is on the credit bureaus and the lenders. If you know that an account is yours, do not dispute it as "not mine".

It's the credit bureau's obligation by law to verify the account and show proof that every little thing they are reporting is 100% accurate. If it's an old account and the lender no longer has the records to verify an account, guess what? It must be removed. Just remember to always be careful and honest when disputing. Unintended consequences happen quite frequently with credit bureaus. They know how to play the game and they are NOT happy about having to verify your accounts, so be smart about it or you will find yourself with even worse credit.

Credit Matters
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