No Personal Credit / Inquiries —
- No Credit Cards — Get a Secured Credit Card; Look for a free program at Credit Unions
- No Installment debt — Do a Share Loan Account at a Credit Union; be sure they report to all three credit bureaus
- Lots of Inquiries — More than three inquiries in a two-year period will hurt your score.
Late Payments —
- Late-30 + indicators less than two years old. The older they are the less impact they have.
Balance / Available —
- Revolving credit balance over 30% of available hurts scores. The closer you get to your credit limit the worse it hurts. Pay these off before the first of the month.
- If you are expecting to apply for a mortgage, pay them off the day before the statement date on the account.
Closing an Revolving Credit Account / Inactivity Alert —
- Closing an older credit card. One of the variables used in calculating scores is the length of time an account is open. Closing your oldest account could hurt for a much longer period of time.
- Except as above, this is a short term hurt (about 6-months). It does not matter who closed it, you or the credit granter, it will still hurt your score.
- Granter closes an account usually because of Inactivity. If you have two credit cards, use one for gas, and the other for groceries. Rotate the use of cards quarterly to keep them active. Pay them off each month; it is not necessary to carry a balance to improve credit scores.
Charge-Off and Collection Accounts
- In some case there can be multiple collection accounts reporting the same debt that is reported as a Charge-off. This is not proper reporting and must be addressed.
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