How Do I Increase My Credit Score?

Recently I stumbled upon a list of tips on how to increase credit score in order to improve the chances of being approved for different finance products, including personal loans, mortgages, etc.

What do you ppl think?

1) Don’t close all your accounts!

Even if you have the means to pay off your debt, any lending institution is looking for your capacity to make timely payments. To show this, you will need to have payments to make! While it’s wonderful if you can pay a balance in full every time a bill comes in (and don’t we all wish we could do that?) it’s also important to keep at least 1 or 2 revolving accounts open and active.

2) Don’t be LATE! (ok I know this one is probably obvious)

While this could be an ability condition for some (can’t afford it!) others are just not structured enough in their life to stay organized! I have seen wealthy people who JUST don’t keep a good grasp on when their payments are due, or leave their bills to be paid by someone else.

Find a way to organize your debts and your due dates, so you don’t miss any payments!

3) Don’t max out your revolving credit!

For those of us, like me, that can’t pay those bills in full every month – my best advice is to keep your balance at or under 50% of your limit. I have seen this create a 20 point or MORE difference in a credit score! This is BIG. If you DO need to exceed this amount, pay it back down as soon as possible.

4) Don’t EVER exceed your credit limit!

This is also a HUGE factor that can pull your credit score down as much as being past due! Always know what your credit limits are! I keep a spreadsheet that I send every time I make a payment or get in a bill. It’s good to stay organized!

5) Keep an installment loan or two…

Important in credit scoring is a balance between revolving and installment loans. A mortgage, car loan, or personal loan from websites like – 1 or 2 is going to be good. Too many – as in most everything – is not advisable.

6). Those pesky collection accounts!

It seems to happen to even the best of us – that small amount that we thought our medical insurance was going to pay! While medical collection accounts are pretty common – even if you think it is an error – pay it before it becomes a collection – and if it does, pay it right away! You can always dispute it afterward when it is no longer affecting your credit profile.

7) Where to begin to get credit?

If you are just starting out, or just have not used credit before and want to get started establishing a credit profile, I recommend applying for a secured credit card. These can be as simple as investing $200 for a $300 credit limit card. Once you have made a year or so of timely payments, you will not only get your $200 investment back – but you will be on your way to getting a credit score! Just make sure to ALWAYS make those payments on time – and don’t exceed 50% of the limit – and you’ll be on your way before you know it!

Keep these things in mind – and your credit score will be there when you need it!

I am not disagreeing with anything written before

I do not mean for this to sound picky. You stated you had 5 children ‘living at home.’ Are they all HS and younger? I say this because I know a lot of people having financial problems still have adult children at home. I bring it up because the term ‘living at home’ struck me as a little odd. I mostly hear that speaking of adult children.

If they are still HS and younger then I have nothing more to add at this time, however..

If any of them are HS graduates 18 years and older, then this is a prime time to teach them about finances. They need to pitch in, anyway they can, whether helping pay bills from their job, watching the younger ones as suggested earlier or finding somewhere else to live. I know this is harsh, but parents do their grown children no good letting them live at home totally free. Especially if the parent(s) are in a financial crisis.

Every situation is different and every child is different but all can pitch in. Whether it be doing laundry, making simple and easy dinners, keeping the house picked up and things like that. Little things that can keep stress levels down at home so that the parent can face the challenges that the day is bringing. Some second jobs can involve the children like delivering newspapers (a job one of my sons’ did when he was 13) and certainly ebaying/garage selling can include the children in pricing, sorting etc.

If the kids are in elementary school they can still pitch in but I realize that it may limit the effectiveness of how much can be accomplished.

I am just saying, don’t discount the effectiveness of involving the kids, even if they are little. Plus, I think that if you do involve the kids, this will help alleviate fears as you will be showing them that you are working together as a family toward a common goal.

Then again, I could be wrong. Just wanting to offer some additional solutions to someone in need.

This is an illusion and people will get taken in by it…

This is an illusion and people will get taken in by it. Oil prices are being held artificially lower until after the Fall election through the release of emergency oil reserves. Then watch out for the heating season when they plan to make it all back in spades. Best to stock up now and save for the eventual. Many economists expect gas to go to nearly $5 by next summer, especially if we have a go at it with Iran or Venezuela – both likely scenarios.

When I heard them saying that on a morning news show I thought how stupid and who put them up to saying that ? I’m reminded of something my Mom used to say where her children were small “A fool and his money are soon parted” I should have listened to my dear Mom! I’m improving though!

We should all be so embarassed 😎 When I was 45 I asked my dad for a loan that I KNOW he could have afforded and said he could not give it to me. A very good friend came through for me and I was able to keep my house. Sure it might be embarassing, but if I had relatives who could help, I would ask. I understand that is what family is all about (I put it in that way as not my family).

And if you’re into ‘subliminal messages’ TARGET’s new ad has a rock song style singing: “Don’t stop livin’ in the Red” so even though their trademark colour is Red, “Don’t stop livin’ in the Red” can also be “Don’t stop owing to the card …!”
I am working on climbing our family out of debt, but feel like I’m not
getting anywhere.

We make $5700 a month, approximately, to support a family of 8. I
spent a year being so tight that I squeaked with every step (made our
own laundry soap, bought absolutely nothing, etc) – and got really,
really tired of that.


Car payments – $480 a month for three cars. We had one sedan each when
we married 18 months ago and had to purchase an SUV in order to
accommodate our new family size after marriage. I am not sure of the
balance owing on two of the cars – the loans are through my
father-in-law. My Chevy Aveo has 4,294.87 owing on it.

Student Loans – $53.913.93 that I know about (my husbands). They have
never been paid on because he ended up with health problems and too
many kids and a non-functional spouse right out of college. I don’t
even know where to begin with them.

Lawyers – $2220.99 that husband owes for custody of his kids and another $8,900 that I owe for custody of my son (trial still pending, so that is due to increase). I do get $480 child support a month, he gets nothing for his kids.

Medical Bills – $3,000 or thereabouts. I have been trying to sort out what we actually owe and what collection agencies are double-billing us for, etc.

Tuition (for me) that was supposed to be reimbursed by my job and was not – $1185.57

A lease fee for an apartment that became not safe for me and I had to flee (related to the ex-spouse) – $1445.04 + whatever exorbitant fees that I stopped keeping track of.

A couple other miscellaneous “dumb” credit accounts (Dell and a Mastercard that I am paying off with savings) – $1000

I make sure we put money in savings with every check and fund our 401K plans. I have done nothing about college funds, but our kids are 10-15 and will need something soon I suppose. We also make sure to tithe.

Currently, I am attempting to put 10% of our checks into debt, but it always seems like we are robbing Peter to pay Paul somewhere and I get discouraged. Help and bother!!!!

Is it possible to really repair your credit?

I’ve been a member of this blog for some time now and I am thankfully to read each new post and reply because they hold some small shimmer of hope for me. I am 34, married with four children. I have been out of work since Jan. 2007 and my husband just filed bankruptcy (ch.13). I did not file. In 1997 I had a discharged chapter 7.To be quite honest, my husband and I have a rocky marriage at best.

And I really feel like I need to concentrate on becoming a more responsible adult and clean up my credit so that in a year or three from now I’ll be able to have nicer things for myself / my children should my husband and I divorce. The only problem with that is … I don’t even know where to begin.

In 2006 I had my youngest son. My husband never turned in the paperwork to have him added to our insurance so … now I have a HUGE dr. bill on my credit report. In 2001 I had emergency gall bladder surgery THE DAY my health insurance kicked in. I have been trying to get that paid for for… years to no avail. That is alone $10,000 or better.

There are a lot of small items such as utilities (all the bills are in my husband’s name) and I do have one auto repossession. They want me to make payments on a $4000 – $5,000 debt on the car (the majority of which is INTEREST). Other than that, that’s all I have on my credit report.

I would like to lease a vehicle within the next year but I don’t even know where to BEGIN to clean up my credit. I have had a very hard time getting my credit report from Equifax and Transunion. They ask security questions that I honestly don’t know the answers to and then when you call their customer service department you get someone from India or Pakistan and you can’t understand a word they say nor can they understand you!

I know that my highest credit score as of three weeks ago was 569 and my lowest was 498 – luckily I just applied for a loan and they were nice enough to give me my scores.

Is there hope for me?? If I go back to work within the next month is it possible to get these things paid down quickly (yay economic stimulus package!) and nurse my credit score back to health? If so, are there any suggestions for doing so??? I’d like to try and lease a car by winter for dependability issues.

Thanks for your help and advice in advance. You guys are all great!