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Pulling Up Credit Scores

By Sally Maison
Published: Saturday, February 6th, 2010

No three digit number can make or break an American consumer like a credit score can. Credit scores is now one of the most important numbers that an American consumer keeps. So much so that many Americans are already looking into building up their credit score even while they are still in college.

Pulling Up Credit ScoresA consumer’s credit score dictates how well an application for a loan, a mortgage or an insurance plan goes. A high score guarantees an easy time acquiring the aforementioned, a low score guarantees the opposite. Credit scores are generated from a consumer’s credit line which is kept track of by the three major credit bureaus: Trans Union, Experian and Equifax. There are a number of credit score generators out there but the most popular by far is the one from FICO.

FICO scores can be as low as 350 and as high as 850. The good scores start at 720. Higher than 720 is very good while anything below it is bad and gets progressively worse the further from 720 it gets.

It is hardly a secret among consumers that maintaining a high credit score is a must. That is especially true nowadays. What with banks and lenders being miserly with loan applications, consumers will need a really good credit score to get their loan applications approved.

A lot of consumers are interested in pulling their credit scores up. Knowing that credit scores are tied directly to debt payments, most consumers assume that credit scores go up simply by paying off debts. That is partly true. Repayment history plays the biggest part in a consumer’s credit score. However, there are few minor details which could make pulling up a credit score easier or harder depending on how well a consumer attends to them.

Aside from paying off their debts, consumers should also keep an eye on their debt levels. Basically, a consumer has an available credit and the amount of that available credit that he or she has used – his debt. The ratio between the two is of utmost importance and consumers should aim to keep their debt level as far away from maximizing their available credit as possible.

Another detail is credit history. The longer a consumer maintains a certain line of credit, the better his or her credit history. Thus, if a consumer wants to cancel a certain credit line, it is better to keep the older credit lines and get rid of the newer ones.

A good credit mix is also an important factor in credit scores. The best mix is a collection of five to six credit lines. Thus, a consumer with a mortgage, a student loan, an auto loan, a credit card and a couple of store cards is better off than one who only has a credit card.

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