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Credit Score and How It"s Built

Nov 14, 2007
Credit Scores are so important because they are used for everything today. They determine the interest rate on loans; auto, personal and mortgages. They determine the premium you will pay for auto insurance etc.

How do you build an excellent credit score? There are three important factors that build you score.

1. History - your payment history is an important part of building your credit score. The credit bureaus monitor the amount of delinquencies (past due accounts) you have. It is very important to make your payments even if it is the minimum on time. Judgments and collection accounts will have a larger impact on your score; the drop in points will be substantial. Medical collections are seen on credit reports all the time usually for small dollar amounts. FYI: If the collection agency is not updating the file it is recommended to leave it alone. From what I have learned if it hasn't updated in six months it is no longer impacting your score. If you now pay that debt it will re-active the history and effect you score. I'm not saying don't pay the debt because it looks better in the long run that it is paid when applying for a mortgage it will need to be paid. I'm saying if it is small amount to pay it in full because if you are making payments the negative history will start reporting again.
2. Length of Credit - this makes up a good portion of your credit score. If you have no credit score and are just starting out it takes at least six months of good payment history to establish a credit score. When starting out do not go out applying everywhere in town since the inquiries also affect your score and you do not want to have excessive inquires on your report. Try not to take out a lot of new credit all at one time since this will affect the history and make it look like you have all new credit.
3. Capacity - this is about 35% of your credit score and often the most misunderstood. Capacity is were they look at your revolving credit limits (credit cards, overdraft, HELOC etc) and compare the balances that are carried. For example if you have 10 credit cards with $10,000 line each and you carry a balance of about $500 a month you will have about 90% capacity available giving you a higher score. If you have one card with a $1000 limit and you carry a balance of $900 every month you will have about 10% capacity giving you a lower score. This is very important: DO NOT CLOSE CREDIT LINES! If you are disciplined and do not use the credit limits given to you do not close them. Closing them can decrease your capacity therefore decreasing your score.

This is a simple explanation on how a credit score is built. Please pay close attention so you too can have an excellent score and get the low interest rates you deserve.
About the Author
By Lisa Burkhardt is Editor of http://12546bc.NewCreditApplications.com. and http://www.work-home-today.com; great resources.
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