Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Free Credit Repair Tips to Raise Your FICO Scores

Good advice from Blog Talk Radio:

Your FICO score is the same as your credit score (FICO is short for Fair Isaac Corporation). Your score is based on information about you from companies that gave you credit in the past. In this article, we provide some free tips for people with low FICO scores.

The first challenge is to determine if your credit score is considered low. FICO scores range from 300 to a perfect 850. Anything under 700 could stand a some improvement. After all, your credit score determines how high an interest you'll pay on your loans, credit card balances, and your home mortgage. The higher your fico score, the lower the interest rates you'll be offered.

Free Credit Repair Tip #1.

Monitor your credit report. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months (go to But since there are three major credit reporting bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax), if you request a report from one of them every four months, you will be able to monitor your reports over the course of a full year. The purpose of monitoring your credit reports is to look for any inaccurate information and then work with the credit bureaus to get it removed.

Free Credit Repair Tip #2.

Pay down, but not off, your credit balances. Your FICO score will improve as you start paying down any large balances on your credit cards and other debts. But here's the tip: do not pay off the entire balance. Leave a relatively low balance to demonstrate to potential new lenders that you can handle credit in a responsible way.

Free Credit Repair Tip #3.

Secured credit cards can help. If your FICO score is too low, you probably have trouble getting a credit card. There is a type of card, called a secured credit card, that you can obtain - for a price. Secured credit cards typically require a cash deposit. For example, if you put $500 in your secured account, you can charge up to $500. So, why not just spend the cash? The answer is that using the secured credit card will raise your credit limit, and help your credit rating. But shop around for the best deal - some secured cards have high fees.

Free Credit Repair Tip #4.

Get a sub-prime merchandise card. If the question is "how can I raise my high credit limit," then sub-prime merchandise cards may be the answer. These are nothing more than a card attached to a line of credit that allows you to buy merchandise from a specific vendor. You're required to put down a deposit on whatever you purchase, and the remaining balance is financed on the card. This new line of credit is reported to the credit bureaus, and your credit score will reflect this good news.

Free Credit Repair Tip #5.

Try the "piggyback" method. If you are a married woman with a low FICO score and your husband has good credit, read on. You can leverage his credit with the piggyback method. It lets you build credit in your own name, and at a much faster pace than if you had to build it all by yourself. Have your husband add you as an "authorized user" or "secondary account holder" to his account. You may find his entire account history gets posted to your credit report. However, the creators of the FICO score have announced they are changing the way their scored models treat "authorized users," so don't expect miracles.

If you take the time and effort to apply some of these free tips, you will be rewarded with better credit, and a more comfortable lifestyle.

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