Improve Your Credit Score - Oro Valley Real Estate
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As a general rule, the higher your credit score, the better off you are.
However, a missed payment or default can quickly drag your score down, sometimes significantly.
As many consumers know, your credit score plays a big role in daily life. It can determine the interest rate you’ll pay for credit cards, car loans and mortgages — or whether you’ll get a loan at all.
Depending on your credit history, a 15- or 20-point shift could mean the difference between being approved or declined or better terms or higher costs.
The good news is that average credit scores have steadily ticked higher since bottoming out during the housing crisis about a decade ago, when there was a sharp increase in foreclosures.
The best way to increase your credit score comes down to paying your bills on time or reducing your credit-card balance.
Your payment history and utilization rate typically account for 60% to 70% of a credit score'
Such positive credit behaviors can start to improve your score as soon as a few billing cycles.
However, that also depends on the issues you are trying to overcome.
For example, if a missed payment has dragged your score down, your score could rebound in a month or two, a series of late payments will take longer to make a full recovery.
Being late on a mortgage payment is a more serious problem, yet you can recover from that in as little as nine months. File for bankruptcy, on the other hand, and it could take 5 years to 10 years to get back to where you once were.
In addition, the condition of your credit history also plays a role. The better your scores are to start with, the more difficult it is to improve them.
That’s because a lower credit score reflects a pattern of missed payments. Adding one more missed payment is not as significant as it would be on someone who has a clean credit report.
The goal isn’t to have a perfect score. The goal is the have a score that qualifies you for the best terms of rates, generally 750 or above.
Regardless of your starting point, to achieve very good or excellent credit, there are simple things you can do that will have an immediate impact.
Check your credit report and dispute every error you find.
Pay your bills on time. Late payments stay on your report for seven years.
Pay off your credit card balances. This will reduce your credit utilization ratio, which will do wonders for your score.
Stop applying for credit. Hard inquiries ding your credit for up to 12 months.
Ask a relative or friend who has good credit habits to add you as an authorized user on their credit card. As long as their payments are made on time, your credit score will improve.