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How to Increase Credit Score

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How to Increase Credit Score

Most New Year’s resolutions require consumers to spend money, but here’s one that actually doesn’t cost anything and ultimately helps people save: Boost your credit score.

Low credit scores result in higher interest charges for all types of debt, including credit cards and home loans. Borrowers with a FICO credit score (the score used for most consumer lending decisions) of 700 save an average of $648 in interest on their credit card, $1,392 on their car loan and $2,340 on their mortgage each year, compared with borrowers who have scores below 620, according to a study by CardHub.com , a credit-card comparison website. Those savings get even larger for borrowers whose credit score is above 700. Separately, lower scores can lead to larger home and car insurance bills and make it harder to rent or buy a home.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve a low credit score and most involve scaling back on credit-card usage. That’s because in the world of credit scores, all debt is not treated equally. FICO scores tend to drop as consumers rack up more credit-card debt but don’t decline as much if someone signs up for a student loan, car loan or mortgage. Here are five steps to improving your credit score.

Pay down credit-card debt
To improve their credit scores, borrowers need to lessen their credit-card debt.

Once a borrower surpasses a 10% “credit utilization ratio” — that is, the amount of their credit card debt in relation to their total spending limit — their FICO score will likely drop, says John Ulzheimer, consumer credit expert with CreditSesame.com, a credit-management site, and a former manager at FICO. For instance, borrowers whose credit-card spending limits total $10,000 should not surpass $1,000 in debt — whether or not they pay off their balance in full each month.

That can be an onerous task for many borrowers. They’ll need to adhere to stricter limits if they want the highest score possible. According to FICO, borrowers with the best credit scores — of 785 or greater — use an average of 7% of their total credit-card limit. In contrast, student loans, car loans and mortgages are not considered by the credit-utilization ratio.

Consumers can consider asking their card issuers to increase their credit-card limits, which could in turn increase their credit score. Of course, that will require not swiping for more purchases on those cards.

Convert credit-card debt to personal loans
Borrowers with a lot of credit-card debt aren’t out of luck. They can actually improve their score before they even pay down their debt — with a bit of strategizing: They can consider rolling their credit-card debt into a personal loan.

Here’s why: Credit-card debt tends to be more damaging to credit scores than a personal loan, which is considered installment debt. The credit-utilization ratio (see previous section) does not take installment debt into account. This strategy would result in zero dollars of credit-card debt on the borrower’s credit report, which could boost their score by 100 points or more, says Ulzheimer. They’ll also pay lower rates to boot: The rates on personal loans currently average 11.36%, according to Bankrate.com. In contrast, rates on credit cards average just over 13% to 15.4%.

This strategy will only help borrowers if they stop using their credit cards or if they pay off the charges they make on their card quickly. Otherwise, their score won’t stay up for very long. Of course, consumers should pay off all their credit-card debt with their savings rather than signing up for a loan. But that assumes they have enough cash set aside after paying this debt for their emergency fund. (Financial advisers typically recommend people have savings equal to six to eight months of living expenses in a savings account.) More at 5 ways to boost your credit score

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Best Credit Repair Companies: The People Decide

“What are the best credit repair companies? Let the people decide. Read more now!”

The Best Credit Repair Companies

Credit Repair Companies

Anyone with a low credit score can tell you that bad credit is no fun. It’s expensive, it’s embarrassing, and it can stand in the way of achieving your goals. Fortunately, it is possible to legally and permanently fix your credit with credit repair.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been able to improve their credit scores. By removing bad credit, adding good credit, and better managing their credit profile, people have been able to increase their credit scores from 500s and 600s all the way to 700s and even 800s.

If you have had difficulty getting reasonable loans in the past, raising your credit score through credit repair can help you qualify for lower interest payments. These lower payments can help you purchase a new car or even get into a new home.

Even if your credit score is good enough to get a loan, improving it by just a few more points can save you thousands. Using credit repair to increase your credit score from 680 to 720 can save you a hundred dollars or more per month on your mortgage payment; a savings of tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your loan.

You can clean your credit yourself or you can get help from a credit repair expert. This is a top five list of the best credit repair companies out there.

1. Lexington Law
I have only been with Lexington since September, 2009, already I have seen positive results. I am kept aware of all that is going on with my case, they are so helpful in answering questions. I feel very confident in Lexington Law Firm, they are very good in keeping in contact, and walking with you every step of the way. I am already seeing results. They are very professional, my experience with them has been very gratifying. I am very happy with this firm, and feel very positive in a good outcome.

2. Sky Blue Credit Repair Services
Sky Blue Credit, one of the more seasoned members of the credit repair community, has been in operation since 1989. Once a south-east regional operation with a significant following, Sky Blue now offers its powerful credit repair program nationally. Completely dedicated to producing the optimal result for each customer they utilize an impressive array of tools gathered over almost two decades of operation.

The hands-on approach utilized by Sky Blue insures that each customer gets the personal attention that makes it possible to produce truly dramatic results. Sky Blue provides their complete range of services for a single low monthly fee without requiring any upgrades or costly program options.

3. CreditRepair.com
When I signed up for CreditRepair.com, I was a little skeptical. I’d heard bad things about credit repair scams and I didn’t want to be a victim. But I needed help. It only took a few weeks before I got my first notice of positive results. I know the process might not work that fast for everyone, but I was thrilled. The funny thing is, I had been sitting in church when I got the alert via text message and I just about stood up and shouted! I’ve found the people at CreditRepair.com to be really helpful and empathetic. It’s the one company that doesn’t treat me like a second-class citizen because of my poor credit history.

4. CreditFirm.net
We (my wife and I) were looking for a trustworthy credit repair company. Along with the reasonable price, credit Repair Company had to be registered with BBB. We found CreditFirm.net website and were pleased to find out Credit Firm is registered with Better Business Bureau (you can see the link on their website) and offers VERY reasonable price for the service. We signed up: 90 days later my score is 695 and my wife’s credit score is 708.

5. Ovation Credit
This is a very nice company, highly focused on your account and getting results. They are careful and diligent and will not set off alarms with the credit reporting agencies. Ovation Law will not rush in, instead they take a strategic course of action to clean up your credit reports. There is no such thing as a quick fix for damaged credit, only careful and concise action over time will work. Ovation Law will clearly explain the process, time frame and expected results up front for you. I recommend this firm for your credit repair needs. More at Best Credit Repair Companies

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What is a Credit Bureau

“What is a Credit Bureau? Most of us are still wondering what it does and why it’s important. Let this article help. Read more now!”

Credit Bureau Definition

Credit Bureau

A credit bureau is an organization that tracks the credit histories and related information of individuals. Whenever someone applies for credit, housing, employment, or anything else that their credit history could have an impact on, their potential creditor, landlord, or employer can check the information on file. If the bureau shows less-than-satisfactory information in its report on the person, it may affect the person’s chances of receiving the credit, lease, or job. A poor credit report can also result in higher interest rates on a loan or credit card.

There are three major US credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Although the three companies share information, each maintains its own report and credit score on each individual. When someone applies for a line of credit, housing, or employment, the creditor or employer may look at the report and score from all three. For this reason, if an individual is monitoring his or her credit report for fraud or false information, it is a good idea to request a copy of the report from each agency.

A credit bureau gets the information for their reports from the individuals’ creditors. For example, if someone has a line of credit with his bank, that bank will report information regularly to the credit agency — good or bad. If the individual is always on time with payments, that fact will show on the credit report; however, if the individual has been more than 30 days late on one or more payments, the report is sure to reveal that, as well.

A variety of information gets reported to each agency. They all have personal information for each person who has gotten credit or opened a bank account on file, including their name, date of birth, Social Security number, current and previous addresses, and employment history. All of this information is collected by tracking people via creditor reports and Social Security numbers.

Account information is listed on the report, including the business handling the account, the date the account was opened, the credit line limit, the current balance, and the payment history. Even if an individual closes an account or the account becomes inactive, the report will still show this information for seven to 11 years. The accounts that each bureau includes on a credit report can be anything that is credit related, such as checking and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, and leases.

Each agency also reports any inquiries made into a person’s credit report. The report will show the type of inquiry and who made it. If too many inquiries are made within a certain period of time, the person’s credit rating can be negatively affected.

A credit bureau also includes public records on an individual’s credit report, if they are deemed related to a person’s credit worthiness. For example, if a person has declared bankruptcy, he or she will not be considered reliable, and companies may be hesitant to give him or her a line of credit. Bankruptcies are included on credit reports as a result. Even unpaid child support is considered to pertain to an individual’s dependability. This sort of information typically remains on a credit report for seven years. More at What is a Credit Bureau?

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