CONSUMER ED: Take steps to boost your credit score
News from Savannah Morning News:

Q: My mortgage company is not reporting my payments to the credit bureaus. I always pay on time, and I feel this information would boost my credit score. Are mortgage companies legally required to report this information to the credit bureaus?

A: Although mortgage companies usually report mortgage loans and ongoing payments to one of the major credit bureaus, they are not legally required to do so.

It is possible that your mortgage payment information is not being reported because of a clerical error. If you have not already done so, contact your mortgage lender, explain the situation and request that it furnish your payment information to a credit reporting agency. If your lender refuses to do so, there are some other things you can do to improve your credit score:

• Review the information on your credit report to make sure there are no errors or collection items that you are unaware of. You can access your credit report for fr…………… continues on Savannah Morning News
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How to Boost Your Business Credit Score
News from Entrepreneur:

Do you know your credit score? When was the last time you checked your credit report? Your credit history plays a key role in your financial future, yet most people are blissfully ignorant of how credit scores work–and how to improve them.

Companies like Fair Isaac use secret formulas to crunch data from your credit report, comparing it to millions of other people. Such formulas spit out a single number that helps banks and credit card companies decide how much to lend you and at what terms. This number is your credit score (the most common, from Fair Isaac, is called a FICO score).

“A good credit score can make a big difference in a small-business owner’s life,” says Liz Weston, author of Your Credit Score, Your Money & What’s at Stak…………… continues on Entrepreneur
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Credit Scores and Credit Reports 3rd ed: How The System Really Works, What You Can Do (Credit Scores & Credit Reports: How the System Really Works,)

Credit Scores & Credit Reports provides the first thorough examination of the all-important, but little understood, credit scoring and credit reporting systems. The Third Edition of this highly-acclaimed book enables consumers to understand how both of these systems actually work, and what they can do to improve their FICO scores, and to ensure their credit reports are accurate. Importantly, the book also describes how the system sometimes doesn t work, and how hundreds of thousands if not mil

List Price: $ 19.95

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Will Paying Off Old Debt Boost Your Credit Score?
News from San Francisco Chronicle:

If you have a low credit score and are working towards raising it, it seems to make sense to pay off all of your old delinquent debts. However, this strategy can sometimes backfire and drop your score further. Any credit score repair strategy should involve analyzing each debt and predicting how changes to it will affect your overall score. (For more on what can affect your credit score, check out The 5 Biggest Factors That Affect Your Credit.)

TUTORIAL: Credit and Debt Management

Although the exact formula used by FICO is proprietary and not publicly-disclosed, it is estimated that approximately 35% of the score relates to your payment history and 30% to the amount you…………… continues on San Francisco Chronicle
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Banks requiring much higher credit score numbers than in the past for loans
News from New York Daily News:

Lennihan/AP

While a FICO score in the 500s used to be good enough for a government-backed mortgage, now banks are looking for a hundred points higher.

A three-digit number could determine where your child goes to college, where you will live and how much interest you will pay on your credit card.

Credit scores have always played a role in credit approval for everything from student loans to mortgages. But with banks holding up borrowers to higher standards in the wake of the financial meltdown, they are requiring much higher numbers than in the past.

“Before, you could breathe and get a loan,” said Tracy Becker, CEO of credit restoration company North Shore Advisory in Tarrytown, N.Y. “Now, you must have specific scores to be a…………… continues on New York Daily News
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