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Sometimes it’s necessary to find quick ways to improve your credit scores. I see this a lot when customers have a score that falls below a minimum threshold for a mortgage loan program but need to qualify quickly to get the home they want. I use a credit simulator to forecast credit score improvement and that has been very successful for my customers. The first step is to check your credit report and see what’s out there if you don’t already know. You can get all three of your credit reports for www.AnnualCreditReport.com without scores, but I also recommend using a free scoring service like Credit Karma to get an estimate of your current scores. The score you get at Credit Karma will not be the same score I would pull, but it will give you an idea of where you stand.
Here are some basic tips on what you can do to improve your scores quickly:
Pay down credit card balances to 10% of the credit limit. Anything over 30% of the credit limit reflects poorly on your credit scores, but 10% is a magic number to get your scores as high as possible. Banks don’t want to see you over-extending yourself, but they also want to see responsible credit usage.
Do not close old accounts. The average age of your credit reports is a significant factor in your credit score and open accounts with excellent payment history only help your score.
Have collection accounts deleted from your credit report. Only paying them off can sometimes affect your score negatively, so it’s very important to ask for a “Letter of Deletion” before you agree to pay off those collections. That means that the collection agency has agreed to remove the account from your credit report.
Make all your payments on time. This is more of a preemptive strategy to keep your score from going down, but it’s still important. Any 30 day late payment stays on your credit for up to 7 years and will affect your score negatively.
These are just a few general tips, but can definitely help you improve your score quickly. If you want a detailed look at your credit report and advice specific to your situation, please give me a call or Apply Online and I will be more than happy to help you develop a plan!