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How to Win the Credit Repair Game

Jun 27, 2008
Right Where You Belong

The credit bureaus are not the enemy. And the folks that created the FICO credit score model are not out to get you. In fact, if you take time to learn the rules you will find out how fun the game can be. Here are a few moves that will boost your credit scores and put you right where you belong, in control.

Your Credit Repair Lifeline

No matter how bad your credit might be there is a quick way to get your credit scores moving in the right direction. The FICO scoring model places considerable weight on your ability to manage your debt; and credit cards offer the perfect way to demonstrate your responsibility and influence your credit scores quickly.

Get Back in the Action Right Now

If the events of life have left you without credit cards, now is the time to get back in the action. It does not matter what your credit report looks like. Forget the past. Credit repair is about the present. Forget your fear of denial. You can do this now. Secured credit cards are the perfect credit repair option.

Secured Cards Done Right

Open two new secured credit cards today. Secured cards require a small savings deposit that will secure a modest line of credit. Once you have your cards it is time to work the system. It's credit repair magic. Just maintain your balances under 20% of your credit limit. Don't pay them off, and don't let them go above 20% of the limit. Do it right and watch your scores improve.

Pay Down Your Balances

If you have plenty of credit, secured cards are not for you. But here are some facts that should aid your credit repair efforts. The FICO credit-scoring model is very sensitive to the relationship between your current balance and your high credit limit. FICO acknowledges six different balance-to-limit ratios: 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%, and over 100%. The first two are positive, 60% is neutral, and 80% and 100% are increasingly bad. To go over the limit is credit repair suicide.

Up Your Limits

Pay down your credit card balances and your scores will improve on the next reporting cycle. The affect can be dramatic. But there is another way. While you work on paying your balances down you should try this easy credit repair strategy. Call the credit card issuers and ask them to increase your limit. The affect on your credit score will be the same as if you paid your balance down. Can't hurt to ask!

Give Uncle Bob a Call

Additional card member accounts still work! For those unfamiliar with the concept, here is an overview. Let's say old uncle Bob has fantastic credit. If he is willing to make you an additional card member on one of his well-managed credit cards you will miraculously inherit the credit history of the card as if it were yours. It's a real credit repair boost. So if you are on good terms with uncle Bob, give him a call.

A Caution About Additional Card Member Accounts

There is a downside to the additional card member strategy. Fair Isaac and Company, the creators of the FICO scoring model, are well aware of the loophole and have already blocked the benefit in the latest release of the software. The credit bureaus always take time to adopt a new release; you just might have another year to use this credit repair trick. If you take this route, you should also open two new secured cards and start building real credit of your own.

Pay off an Old Judgment

Here is an interesting credit repair trick. Unpaid judgments can report for seven years or the state statute of limitation, which ever is longer. Statutes of limitation on judgments are usually longer than seven years, and they can be re-filed in most states. Paid judgments are a different story altogether. Paid judgments are removed by the credit bureaus seven years from the original filing date. So if you have a judgment that is seven years old, payment will cause it to be removed from your credit report.

Negotiate That Collection Away

If you have a collection account on your credit report chances are that there is a collector that would love to hear from you. Collectors play hard, but they also know that something is better than nothing. And if you hang up without making a deal, they get nothing. You can always try to negotiate with a collector, but there is one circumstance where you are virtually guaranteed to succeed...

Credit Repair and the Statute of Limitation

Collections can only be enforced through the courts for a limited time. Once the statute of limitation expires a collector may talk big, but they have no way to force payment. They can't get a judgment, and if you send them a cease communication letter they can't call you again. The collection, on the other hand will linger on your credit report until the seven years are up. Are you past the statute of limitation? Want to get rid of the collection for ten to twenty-five cents on the dollar? Call your collector, and make them an offer. Your credit repair efforts will pay off.

Copyright 2007 James W. Kemish. All Content. All Rights Reserved.
About the Author
Jim Kemish, a nationally recognized credit repair and restoration expert, is the president of Sky Blue Credit, a leading credit repair service since 1989. Jim is also the president of Power Mortgage, a Florida mortgage company.
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