At every one of my seminars, someone asks about their credit score. How they can raise it, what actions they do that will affect their score and how many times they can access their report are some questions that keep coming up. Given today’s credit market and if you want to borrow any money, keep reading. Having a solid credit report is especially important in today’s credit market. Make sure you know your FICO credit score, have run a recent credit report and get started on fixing any errors. I will also dispel a few myths below.
1) Can I get a free credit report? Yes you can at www.annualcreditreport.com . You can only get one once a year from each of the 3 credit companies. There is not as much information as with the reports you pay for but if you know your credit is in good shape, you can just do this one. If you have any doubts, order the full report from www.myfico.com.
2) Should I close my credit cards? That depends. You want to have available balance on your credit report that has no debt. If you have maxed out all your credit cards and have no available balance, you should not close them. However, if you have 10 credit cards and have a good amount of balance available to you, perhaps it is worth cleaning up your wallet. Start with the cards that have the highest interest rate, especially department store cards.
3) How high should your FICO score be? You ideally want it above 700. That will determine the interest rate you will get when you need a loan. A lower FICO score just means you will get a higher interest rate when applying for a mortgage loan.
4) Pay your bills automatically. Late fees can really hurt your credit score. By paying your bills online and automatically you can prevent late fees and keep your credit score intact.
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