Money Matters

Simple Steps to Raise Your FICO Score

In the wake of the subprime market fallout, lenders are making it tougher for consumers to get a loan. As a result, borrowers are wise to try to raise their credit scores to qualify for loans, secure better loan terms and receive lower interest rates.

According to Edward Jamison, a Los Angeles-based credit attorney who has appeared as a credit expert several times on the NBC Emmy Award-winning show, Starting Over, borrowers can follow seven simple steps to raise their credit scores. "The steps required to raise credit scores may appear counterintuitive," explains Jamison. "In fact, individuals should be warned that without knowledge of how credit scores are derived, individuals can be damaging their credit scores rather than raising them when taking such actions as closing credit cards."

Jamison, whose legal practice is focused on consumer credit repair and restoration, recommends that borrowers wishing to raise their credit scores first check their credit limits and evenly distribute the balances they're carrying to help increase their credit scores, or that they pay them off in full to get the highest score increase. "Make sure your maximum limit is reported," advises Jamison. "When no limit is reported, credit scoring software presumes the account is 'maxed out'." The credit scoring software scores more favorably the closer a balance is to zero. Balances over 70 percent damage credit the most, followed by the next tier of 50 percent and again by the tier of 30 percent of the maximum credit limit. "Rather than carrying a large balance in an unfavorable tier, redistribute outstanding balances over several credit cards," advises Jamison.

Jamison also advises keeping credit cards open. "Closing credit card accounts can hurt your score unless the accounts were opened less than two years ago, and you have over six credit cards," states Jamison, adding that consumers should make sure to keep their old credit cards open as well. "Fair Isaac's credit scoring software assumes that people who have had credit for a longer time are at less risk of defaulting on payments."

Borrowers also need to get rid of late payments listed on the credit report. "Contact the creditors that report late payments and request a good faith adjustment that removes the late payments reported on your account," instructs Jamison. Since you are a customer in good standing, the creditor may work with you. This may require more than one phone call. "If you're frustrated, rude or unclear with your request, you're making it very difficult for the creditor's representative to help you," adds Jamison.

A very important step is for consumers to rid themselves of any collection accounts by paying them off provided the collection agency agrees to delete them in return. Paying it off can otherwise actually lead to a decreased credit score due to the date of last activity getting updated to the current date when you pay. "The consumer should contact the collector and request a letter explicitly stating their agreement to delete the account upon receipt or clearance of the payment," he states. "Although not all collection agencies will delete reporting, it's certainly worth the effort."

Next, consumers should pay off past due amounts on delinquent accounts that are not in charge-off status. After that, Jamison advises getting rid of charge-offs and liens that are less than two years old. "Charge-offs and liens that are older than 24 months do not affect your credit score nearly as much as ones under 24 months," says Jamison. "But if they're newer than 24 months, they can seriously damage your credit." If you have both charge-offs and collection accounts, but have limited funds, he advises paying off the past due balances first, then paying collection accounts that agree to remove all references to credit bureaus.

"Individuals can positively affect their credit scores in as little as three weeks," explains Jamison. "It's just a matter of getting educated and focused on the best, fastest and most reliable course of action to raise one's credit score."

For more information, please visit http://www.CreditCRM.com.

See more from Money Matters


Other Pages You Might Enjoy...

The Meissen Porcelain Manufactory
For more than 300 years the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory has been a central figure in European porcelain. It was at Meissen that the first true hard-paste porcelain was manufactured outside of China, and the story of that accomplishment has the high drama of fiction - all the more intriguing because it is true.

Pirated Glassware that Collectors Want to Own
The 1996 discovery of what is believed to be the wreckage of Blackbeardís ship Queen Anneís Revenge, is providing historians and collectors new information about the fragile and transparent objects that came onto the North American Continent before arrival of the first piece of cut glass.

Collecting Antique Furniture
Of all the collectible antiques, the broad category of furniture is perhaps the most widely held and most satisfying. Frequently handed down through generations, the various chairs, tables, cabinets and other pieces are often in use, adding character and constancy to our daily lives. This guide includes an overview of the significant styles and historical periods, and other important information for collectors.

Collecting Antique Clocks and Watches
Information for collectors of antique clocks and watches. Includes a history of clock and watchmaking, an overview of styles, and important terminology.

Collecting Antique Jewelry
Embodying the wealth and treasure of bygone days, the antique jewelry pieces available today include some of the world's most valuable artifacts. Includes a history of jewelry making, an overview of the major historical periods, and a glossary of antique jewelry terminology.

Finance Professors Don't Practice What They Preach
A recent survey of finance professors from universities across the United States revealed that most use passive techniques such as mutual funds to manage their own wealth. Those that do trade actively perform only basic screens on fundamentals, avoiding the complex pricing models so often advocated by professional investment advisors.

Use JavaScript to Dynamically Update Your Website
Learn to use this simple JavaScript technique to change content and make instant updates across your entire site. Whether you update five pages or thousands, this handy web tip is a must read!

Five Tips to Help Disaster Victims Recover Financially
After a flood or other disaster strikes it is important to move quickly to assess your financial situation and file any claims. The Texas Society of Certified Public Accounts offers some advice to help disaster victims get back on their feet.

Online or Traditional Education: Which Is Right For You?
Compares and contrasts online and brick and morter educators giving you the information you need to chart the course which is right for you.

How To Choose the Right Degree For You
The number and nature of college degrees are as diverse as the people who get them. They come in different sizes - associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral - and in scores of different subjects. So how do you choose the right degree for you? Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself.

How To Build a Dynamite Resume
Hiring decisions are often made on first impressions. As such, you want to make sure your resume not only explains who you are and what you have to offer, but also does so in a way that is attractive to potential employers. Learn how you can create, beautify, and even airbrush your resume in order to make a lasting impression.

Research Gives New Insight on Retail Industry Customer Relationships
A new study confirms that customers really do feel strong relationships with the retailers they patronize.



The MiFio Network

Visit cache.MiFio.com for more pages about business, technology, programming, home, travel and more.

Visit www.MiFio.com the website dedicated to antiques and collectibles.