Fast Back To Good Credit Rating

As of this year, there's a new credit rating model known as "FICO 08." The new model will be more forgiving of people who may have slipped on one payment but are otherwise in good standing. It also eliminates young students who wish to "piggyback" on their parents' good credit by appearing as an authorized user on a credit card. Basically, if you have one major account in delinquency but you also have a number of other accounts in good standing, then your credit score will increase with the new model. However, if you have one major delinquent account and a poor payment history across the board, then your credit score will decline. FICO says a 20-30 point adjustment is likely this year for many borrowers who fall into these categories. Getting your free credit scores from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion is the first step toward developing a reasonable financial plan.

Improving credit scores involves avoiding many things. In the order of importance, they are late payments, high credit card balances, closing credit card accounts and having too many in-store charge cards. Late payments carry 35% of the weight in terms of your credit score, so do not take them lightly, even if it's just a store charge card, a cell phone bill or a rent payment. Your credit score can drop by as little as 20 points or more than 100 points, depending on how often you are late and how many accounts you're late on, as well as whether you are 30, 60, 90, or more than 120 days late. Secondly, your credit usage should be no more than 40% of what is offered to you. If your credit line is $1,000, then you should owe no more than $400, and that goes for all lines of credit you have open. If you have any maxed out cards, then pay them down until you hit the 40% mark! Some people think they should close out their accounts to "do the right thing" or "prevent overspending," although this will decrease your overall credit offering and will reflect negatively on you. Instead, work on paying those balances down and once you're finished, aim to purchase one thing a year on those cards to keep them active, and pay them off right away. Lastly, opening and closing store charge cards just to get that 10-15% initial discount is a signal of irresponsible credit behavior and will not result in high scores for your credit.

Once your past debts are paid off, you may want to negotiate your way toward a higher credit rating. If you were a good borrower but missed a payment, often lenders will remove your delinquency if you ask. If you're in larger trouble, then you can ask your lender to "re-age" your account and delete previous delinquencies by making 12 consecutive on-time payments. Some people hire a credit bureau to blitz old blemishes, such as late payments, charge-offs, fraudulent collection items, under-reported/inaccurate credit limits, accounts listed as "settled," "paid derogatory," "paid charge-off" or anything other than "current" or "paid as agreed," accounts listed as "unpaid" if previously settled by bankruptcy or items that are more than seven years old but have not disappeared yet. Good credit scores can't always be negotiated but if you have some of these ugly mishaps on your report, it's worth a try.

There are some things on your free credit report that you don't need to worry about, as they don't really harm your credit rating. Sometimes, you'll see an incorrect previous address, an outdated employer or a misspelling of your name. Often times, this is just a screw-up by someone in collections or a lender who mixed up the files and isn't worth worrying about. Personal information like that doesn't matter in terms of scoring. Also, don't worry about closing credit inquiries since these have very low point values. In fact, closing out old accounts may actually hurt your credit score because it lowers the amount of credit extended to you.

Related topics about credit rating
While it'd be nice to live a "credit-free existence," it can be difficult to do so in today's world. Purchasing a house, a car or securing a loan typically requires some level of credit. The most commonly used credit score is called FICO, where credit scores range from 300 to 850, with the national average being around 723.

The bank world is foreign to many consumers outside of the industry. While many people labor over their Myspace and Facebook profiles and rewrite resumes to best reflect their employment profile, their financial profiles go neglected. Usually, they don't even think about what their financial situation looks like on paper, until they are denied a loan.

There is a set of numbers that rules your life. It is with you no matter what you do and where you go. Credit scores seem to be involved in every aspect of our lives.