It is important to note that repairing bad credit takes time as there is no quick way to fix a credit score. The best advice for rebuilding credit is to manage it responsibly over time. A credit score reflects credit payment patterns over time with more emphasis on recent information.
Credit scores are based entirely on the information provided on an individual’s personal credit report. Any changes to the credit report would affect the individual’s credit score. For instance, closing two accounts not only lowers the number of open accounts, but it also decreases the total amount of available credit. This results in a higher utilization ratio which generally lowers scores.
You don’t actually rebuild the credit score, you rebuild the credit history which is then reflected by the credit score. The length of time to rebuild your credit history after a negative change depends on the reasons behind the change.
Most negative changes in credit scores are due to the addition of a negative element to the credit report such as a delinquency or a collection amount. Such elements will continue to negatively impact your credit score until they reach a certain age:
Delinquencies remain on credit report for 7 years
Most public record items remain on your credit score for 7 years; although, some bankruptcies can remain for 10 years
Unpaid tax liens remain for 10 years
Inquiries can remain on credit reports for up to 2 years
The first thing to do is get a copy of your credit report from one of the 3 credit reporting bureaus which must provide you with one free copy each year.
Review the report for any errors or mistakes and have those items removed from your report.
Negotiate with creditors to remove any debt that may have been caused due to a hardship, such as loss of job or unexpected illness. Some creditors may make a “goodwill adjustment” particularly if you were a customer in good standing up to the point of hardship.
Check your account limits to ensure that the reported limits are current, as opposed to lower than they actually are. You don’t want it to look like you’re maxing out all your credit cards each month.
Get a credit card or two and use them responsibly. Don’t charge too much on each card and pay your bills in a timely manner. A good credit utilization ratio should be no more than 30%.
If you are finding that you are using more credit than previously recommended, even if you’re paying it off before it’s due, the credit bureaus will see this as you using all of your available credit. To remedy this, ask your creditors to increase your credit limit but do not make the mistake of increasing spending due to the higher limits.
To maximize any credit score you should do the following:
Pay your bills on time as delinquent payments and collections can have a negative impact on a credit score.
Maintain balances at low levels on credit cards and other “revolving credit”. High outstanding debt can negatively affect a credit score.
Open new credit accounts only as needed. Don’t open accounts just to have a better credit mix.
Pay off debt and don’t use unused cards as a short term strategy to improve your credit score. Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your credit score.
It should be noted the average credit score of the American consumer is 699. Scores are generally grouped into the following categories:
The higher the score, the easier it will be to not only secure credit but to obtain a lower interest rate.
Should you have any questions on credit scores in general or have an interest in buying or selling real estate in South Florida please call me at 954-457-9483 or via email at jaykenney@SFProprtyTeam.com.