How to Raise Your Credit Score
It’s a scary time to have — or need — a credit card.
According to the Federal Reserve’s quarterly survey of senior loan officers, banks are lowering credit limits and scrutinizing potential new customers a lot more.
About 65 percent said they had lowered limits on new or existing customers. In January, just 45 percent said they had done that.
Nearly 60 percent said they have tightened their standards for extending credit. That wasn’t much of a change from January. And nearly 55 percent said they had raised minimum required credit scores over the past three months.
“These numbers show that it is still a difficult time for credit card loans for anyone with less than excellent credit. We don’t see this changing anytime soon," said Bill Hardekopf, chief executive of LowCards.com and author of “The Credit Card Guidebook.”
Having a good credit score is extremely important, especially at a time like this.
Hardekopf offered some tips on raising your credit score, which lenders use to decide if they should extend you credit and at what interest rate. Here they are:
Pay your bills on time. Make at least the minimum payments on your credit cards and loans on time each month.
Keep your oldest accounts open. Longevity looks good on a credit report.
Don’t use more than 30 percent of the credit you have available to you.
Don’t open new accounts all at once. That looks risky.
Diversify. Having a variety of loans, such as a mortgage or car loan, that you pay on time each month, helps your score.
Pay off your balances. Don’t keep transferring your balance. If you can’t pay your bills, contact your creditors to work out a payment plan or see a credit counselor, which you can find at National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
Posted by: laura33 | June 12, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse
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