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5 Credit Repair Tips

In school, the most important number to us was our GPA. After graduation that number is your credit score. This number determines the interest rate you get on cars, credit cards, home purchases, etc.

Listed below are five ways to increase your credit score:

1) Get a copy of your credit report

Obtaining a copy of your credit report is a good idea because if there is something on your report that is incorrect, you will raise credit score once it is removed. Make sure you contact the bureau immediately to remove any incorrect information.

Your credit report should come from the three major bureaus: Experian, Trans Union and Equifax. It's important to know that each service will give you a different credit score.

2) Pay Your Bills On Time

Your payment history makes up 35% of your total credit score. Your recent payment history will carry much more weight than what happened five years ago.

Missing just one months payment on anything can knock 50 to 100 points off of your credit score.

Paying your bills on time is a single best way to start rebuilding your credit rating and raise credit score for you.

3) Pay Down Your Debt

Your credit card issuer reports your outstanding balance once a month to the credit bureaus. It doesn't matter whether you pay off that balance a few days later or whether you carry it from month to month.

Most people don’t realize that credit bureaus don’t distinguish between those who carry a balance on their cards and those who don’t. So by charging less you can raise credit score even if you pay off your credit cards every month.

Lenders also like to see a lot of of room between the amount of debt on your credit cards and your total credit limits. So the more debt you pay off, the wider that gap and the better your credit score.

4) Don't close Old Accounts

In the past people were told to close old accounts they weren’t using. But with today's current scoring methods that could actually hurt your credit score.

Closing old or paid off credit accounts lowers the total credit available to you and makes any balances you have appear larger in credit score calculations. Closing your oldest accounts can actually shorten the length of your credit history and to a lender it makes you less credit worthy.

If you are trying to minimize identity theft and it's worth the peace of mind for you to close your old or paid off accounts, the good news is it will only lower you score a minimal amount. But just by keeping those old accounts open you can raise credit score for you.

5) Stay Out Of Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is the single worst thing that will destroy your credit score. Bankruptcy will lower your credit score by 200 points or more and is very difficult to come back from.

Once your credit score falls below 620, any loan you get will be far more expensive. A bankruptcy on your credit record is reported for up to 10 years.

The reality of a bankruptcy is it will limit you to high-interest lenders that will squeeze out high interest rate payments from you for years.

It is better to get credit counseling to help you with your bills and avoid bankruptcy at all costs. By getting credit counseling instead of declaring bankruptcy you can raise credit score over a much shorter period of time.

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