6 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Credit Score
News from Chicago Tribune:

Raise your FICO score with these lesser-known tips

Your credit score is an all-powerful number, capable of determining whether you get that new loan, car, or apartment. Banks use your credit score to determine your credit risk–the higher the score, the lower the risk and the more appealing you look on paper, which can give you better interest rates on loans. Even job applicants can have their credit scores pulled by employers, as a means of determining if they’ll be a risky hire for the company.

And now it is arguably more important to have a great credit score, since banks have been forced to write off record levels of credit card debt and are requiring borrowers to have higher credit scores. “Because of the recession, a lot of issuers are closely scrutinizing your credit score,” says Bill Hardekopf, a credit expert from LowCards.com. Now, a FICO score in the mid- to high-700s is considered a great credit score, according to Hardekopf.

To land yourself in that credit-friendly range, consider these six surprising ways to boost your credit score:

Vet your credit report for errors. It may sound hard to believe, but Hardek…………… continues on Chicago Tribune

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Qualifying without perfect credit: Steps you can take to make your score stronger
News from CultureMap Austin:

Most of us don’t have perfect credit. Fortunately it doesn’t take perfect credit to qualify for a mortgage. This week we’re going to look at factors that affect your credit score and how negative items on your credit report can affect your credit score.

Your credit score is a statistical calculation designed to reflect your likelihood to repay your debts. The developers of the FICO score haven’t revealed the exact formula used to compute the score, but they have identified factors that affect your score. They also have provided the relative weights of these factors:

35%: Whether you pay your bills on time
30%: How much of your available credit you are using (“credit utilization”)
15%: Age of your credit accounts
10%: Types of credit used
10%: Recent credit inquiries

Based on the list above, you can see that the most influential factor is paying your bills on time. The FICO creators performed a simulation last year to determine the effect of “failure to pay” on a credit score. While the effect depends on one’s starting score, the simulation showed that paying your mortgage 30 days late can drop your score between 80 and 110 poin…………… continues on CultureMap Austin

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