Do You Know All Ways to Raise Your Credit Score?

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

When it comes to increasing a credit score, you’ve probably done the good citizen routine well.

You pay on time, try to raze the entire balance every month and never close too many accounts at once.

Beyond the basics, though, people don’t understand what goes into a credit score. Many consumers are still unaware of what makes their credit scores go up and down.

Consumers understand that the credit utilization ratio – the total amount of revolving credit someone uses in a month, compared to the amount of available credit they have – is a main factor in calculating a score.

But barely anybody knows that it’s often calculated from the total on the statement date, not the due date. Even if you pay balances in full every month, a card issuer may report a balance. And that can hurt your credit score.

Here are four ways you can use to boost your credit rating:

  • pay bills before the statement date

If you charge a balance every month but pays it off and can’t understand why your score isn’t higher, it could be that your utilization ratio is what’s suppressing your score.

Typically, the balance as of your last statement date is the balance that will report to the bureaus. So if you pay most of the bill before the statement date, you can lower your utilization rate. And that can equal a higher credit score.

This might not work with every card though. Some lenders don’t use the balance on your statement date when they report to the bureaus.

  • make multiple payments

Another way to lower the balance on your statement date is to make periodic payments throughout the month.

If you use your card throughout the week and pay it off every Friday, you’ll cut the amount of credit you’re using at any one time. Basically, the lower the balance on your credit report, the better. Check with your card issuer to learn how they handle multiple monthly payments.

  • ask for a deletion

If you only have one or two bad marks on your credit record, you may be able to strike them out.

Say you’ve paid late, but have an otherwise immaculate credit history. You can ask your creditor for a deletion. It may work but only if you err rarely. And the sooner you request for deletion after the error, the better. If you get one or two of your three bad things on your credit report removed through deletion, you will be surprised how quickly your score may go up.

  • pay for removal

If you have an account that’s gone into collection, sometimes collectors will agree to remove the debt from your credit report in exchange for payment.

But before you agree to pay anything, ask for the arrangement in writing. Get a letter on company letterhead that spells out they will remove the debt from all three major credit-reporting agencies.

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