Credit scores are a number indicating how reliable you are in meeting your financial obligations. Reliability includes past performance, your financial ability, and how responsible you have proven to be. Needless to say, a good track record leads to a good credit report. If you're reading this article, however, you probably have had some problems.
Financial ability is a combination of your amount of credit wiggle room. If you have $20,000 available, but owe $19,000, you don't have much wiggle room. That hurts your score. Having $20,000 worth of credit and only owing $1500 is a boon.
Gaining more credit will improve your score. If you can pay down more of your debt, that will help. Are you a responsible person? Consider opening a new line of credit, and hardly use it. The additional credit, combined with low debt, will raise your score quite fast.
Past events such as bankruptcies, reduced debt through negotiation and payment defaults will hurt a credit score for some time. Beginning a program of debt management or consolidation goes a long way towards fixing that. Any action that you take to put your financial problems behind you begins the process of restoring your rating.
Erroneous charges often happen, and sometimes remain on your record. Keep tab of your card bills, and make sure that there are no false charges or mistakes. If there are, contact the company immediately and have them removed.
Ask the card companies to forgive and forget. If you missed payments, make them up immediately. Then ask the credit company to remove those missed payments from your record. They can update your status to be "paid in full." That will have an immediate positive effect on your credit score.
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