Strengthen Your Credit Power
roll you in a $79.95 credit-monitoring service. Cancel this service within 30 days and you owe nothing. 3. Free reports. Various states require credit bureaus to provide reports for free (or at nominal cost). Also, under federal law you may receive free reports from each of the credit repositories if (1) you’re unemployed and looking for work, (2) you’re on welfare, or (3) you’ve been turned down for credit during the past 30 days. 4. General commentary. For the latest (usually critical) commentary about credit scoring and credit reporting, go to www.creditscoring.com and www.creditaccuracy.com. Also, the Federal Trade Commission maintains consumer information on all types of credit issues at www.ftc.gov.
How You Can Improve Your Credit Score Credit scorers place your credit data into their computer programs and out pops a number. But they won’t tell you precisely how they calculated that ﬁgure. However, after you’ve paid your fee at myﬁco.com, the website info will give you some pointers on how to improve your Beacon®-FICO® score. To learn how much your score actually does improve (if any) over the next 12 months, you will need to pay another fee. For that cost, you get four more periodic Beacon®-FICO® reports. Unfortunately, the information provided by FICO still doesn’t go far enough. It’s more like,“try this (really, pay us) to see what happens.”You really can’t tell ahead of time the speciﬁc score boost that suggested changes might bring about. Nevertheless, piecing together clues from myﬁco.com and several helpful loan reps, here are some good tips on how to raise your credit scores: 1. Number of open credit accounts. You can have too few or too many. The optimum number probably ranges between four and six. One highly paid, credit perfect (no lates) executive I know scored 640. After closing the 6 newest of her 12 credit card accounts, her score went to 780. (But it took six months before her score climbed up to that level.) 2. Balances. Open accounts with balances reduce your score more than open accounts per se.