Friday, April 06, 2007

6 Simple Steps to Optimize your Credit Score

by Osman Parvez
----

A few weeks ago I received an email from a friend in the lending industry. Lucas Ingmire, a former client and Boulder resident wrote,

I met with a credit expert today who is very much on top of the credit reporting game and knows what goes into a FICO score compilation more than most. I asked him to compile a list of simple steps to improve your credit score - he had some interesting things to say. I have attached the document he prepared for me. FYI, he is with Veracity Credit Consultants, the only credit repair company approved by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) and are very trusted in the industry. If you're interested in credit repair, I can put you in touch with him.

[if you want this contact info drop me a line and I'll put you in touch with Lucas]

------------

Below are 6 easy steps that can be made to increase your credit score 200 points or more. These are things that can be done in a matter of minutes, and reflect within weeks.

1. Credit Card Ratios
By paying your credit card balances down to under 30% of the limit will raise your FICO score. EX: If my Visa has a $1000 limit, I want my balance at $300 or less. Pay as many cards down below 30% as possible.

2. Raise Limits on Credit Cards
By raising the limit on your credit cards you effectively decrease the ratio of utilization (as mentioned in #1) EX: My Visa has a $1000 limit and my balance is $700. I want to raise my limit to $2500 which would effectively bring my ratios to under 30%, hence, increasing my FICO score.

3. Find out your Credit Card Reporting Dates
Credit Card companies and banks alike report whether your payment was made on time and also what your balance is on a certain date each month. This date, by law, is a date that can be released to the consumer. Call your credit card companies and find out when they report your information to the credit reporting agencies. In turn, change your statement cycle or bill due date to prior to the date of reporting. By doing this, every time your credit file is viewed, you will show the smallest balance carried throughout the statement cycle date. EX: AMEX reports my information on the 15th of each month; I would effectively want my bill due date to be set to the 14th or slightly prior.

4. Be aware of Inquiries
When a 3rd party views your credit file, your score can decrease 1-4 points. Being aware of this during the home buying process will assist in maintaining the highest score possible. Shopping rates between several different lenders can be detrimental to the FICO score.

5. Collection Accounts
If collection accounts appear on your credit file, it is important to understand that paying these collections without attaining a letter of deletion from the collection agency may lower your score. The reason is that paying collections resets the date of last activity. The d.l.a. determines the negative affect had on the credit score. Thus, simply paying the collection resets the activity date, making that trade line “new debt” and is detrimental to the score.

6. Pay bills on TIME
Paying bills on time is always in your best interest. This may seem obvious, however, a recent late payment on a mortgage or credit card is known to be one of the most detrimental hazards to the FICO score.

-------

As of this writing our team has no business relationship with Veracity Credit Repair. If any reader has positive or negative experiences with the company, please leave a comment and let us know.


Image:johannrela



----
Like this analysis?    Subscribe to our client research report.     
Want to get blog updates via email?  Click HERE.       
Ready to buy or sell?  Schedule an appointment or call 303.746.6896. 
You can also like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.

As always, your referrals are deeply appreciated.  

--
The ideas and strategies described in this blog are the opinion of the writer and subject to business, economic, and competitive uncertainties.   We strongly recommend conducting rigorous due diligence and obtaining professional advice before buying or selling real estate. 

8 comments:

  1. Good tips on optimization.

    Here is an excellent article about how your score is calculated and what you can do to raise your score.

    http://www.homefindinginfo.com/creditscore.htm

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for the reminder--I need to get my three free credit reports as I do each year. Of course this year I will have significantly more debt...bleh.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks to post mi photograph

    Johannrela
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/johannrela/

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very insightful. I was aware of all but the third point you listed, thanks for providing such valuable information.

    Check out www.analyzemoney.blogspot.com for my take on increasing the score.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I had a horrible experience with Veracity Credit.

    Your damned credit file gets sent to India when you join.

    I think that should be illegal or they should at least tell you ahead of time so you have the choice.

    ReplyDelete
  7. You indicate that your friend and former client Lucas told you that Veracity Credit Repair is the only credit repair agency approved by the NAMB. I went to the NAMB website and they do not reference Veracity anywhere on their website.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anon,
    Thanks for leaving a comment. however, this blog post is over two years old. It's possible that Veracity is no longer approved by NAMB.

    And to reiterate, we do not endorse or recommend any particular credit repair agency, (including Veracity).

    ReplyDelete