Did you promise to boost your credit score in 2012? These 3 steps can get you …
News from The Republic:

NEW YORK — You didn’t get into a credit mess overnight, so don’t expect to get out of it quickly.

Although it will take time to bring your credit score up, don’t let that deter you from getting started on your New Year’s resolution. You won’t vault from the depths to the top of the heap in a few months, but you can make significant gains. Making the effort should help you get your overall finances in order.

Credit scores are an integral part of everyone’s financial life, yet the ratings remain a mystery to many. Nearly 60 percent of respondents to a Visa Inc. survey last year incorrectly believed that employment history was factored into scores, and almost 59 percent mistakenly thought the interest rates on their current debts played a role.

Those elements are important when it comes to the ability to pay debt, but are not part of a credit score. Neither are other factors like race, age or gender.

The most commonly used scoring system is produced by FICO Inc., and uses a range between 300 and 850. One individual can have several FICO scores. That’s because the company creates a separate mathematical formula for scoring various types of lending, like mortgages, credit cards and auto loans — as well as other financial transactions, such as insurance. All FICO scores weigh factors like payment history, amounts owed, lengt…………… continues on The Republic

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Soft checks for loans and credit cards: Avoid damaging your credit score
News from This is Money:

By Tara Evans

Last updated at 11:21 AM on 19th January 2012

Some comparison websites and lenders are offering customers ‘soft’ credit searches when applying for loans and credit cards. These promise to not leave a footprint on your credit rating – but how do they work? And are they reliable?

Whenever you make an application for a credit card or loan it leaves a mark on your credit score.

Applications typically make up about 10 per cent of your credit score – so making a large number of applications can have a negative impact on your rating.

Assured: Multiple applications for credit can damage your score – we explain how new ‘soft’ checks help you find the most suitable product.

James Jones of credit reference agency Experian says: ‘Every application that is made leaves a footprint on your credit report. If you’re making a lot of applications in a short space of time then this can have a negative impact on your score.’

However, some comparison sites and lenders have introduced a ‘soft’ check feature to give customers an indication if they’re likely to get accepted for a product.

The majority of fi…………… continues on This is Money

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