5 Quick Tips to Raise Your Credit Score

Raise your credit score

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5 Quick Tips to Raise Your Credit Score

As you probably already know, your credit score affects lots of things in life, including where you live, what job you get, what loans you get and what interest rate, and more. It’s important to pay attention to it because raising your score can potentially save you thousands of dollars.

That’s why I created a course on how to raise your credit score, and you can check that out here.

To start you out, today’s Daily Smartening is just 5 quick tips you can use in your quest to raise your credit score.

Here they are:

  • Everyone is entitled to a free credit report every year. But did you know that if you opt for the free credit report and then contest an item on it, the creditors have 45 days to verify the item instead of the regular 30 days? Normally, when you contest an item, the creditor has 30 days to verify it, and if they can’t get verification within 30 days, they have to remove the item from your report.Sometimes, they simply don’t get a response within the 30-day time frame, so even if the item is accurate, without verification, they must delete it. So why would you want to give them 45 days to verify? Opt for the paid credit report instead of the free one so they only have 30 days to verify disputed items.

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that limits the behavior and actions of third-party debt collectors who are attempting to collect debts on behalf of another person or entity. It sets forth rules for creditors and debt collectors. If they break the rules, you can seek damages from them. If a creditor or a reporting agency or someone who uses your report violates the rules, you can sue them and seek money for damages in state or federal court.

    Some of those rules are:

    1. They can only contact you between 8am – 9 pm (unless you state otherwise).

    2. They can’t call you at work if they know your employer disapproves.

    3. They aren’t allowed to harass or abuse you.

    4. They’re not allowed to lie, like saying you’ve committed a crime and are going to be prosecuted.

    5. They have to give their identifying information (name, contact information) on the phone.

    6. They have to stop contacting you altogether if you mail them a cease-communication letter.

  • All credit-reporting agencies (CRA) allow you to dispute items on your credit report online, but it’s better to do it by sending a certified letter. That way, you have a record of what you sent and when. Also, if you dispute it online, there are provisions in place that limit the CRA’s liability, which means that if they do something wrong, and later you decide to seek monetary damages because they didn’t follow the rules set forth by FCRA and FACTA, you will not be able to sue for more than a small amount of money. So it’s much better to do your disputes by mailing them via certified mail.

  • If a bill is past due (especially if it’s more than 90 days past due), you can usually negotiate a deal with the debt collector on terms that are favorable to you. You must understand, however, that debt collectors get paid only when they collect a debt, and they’re very good at what they do.So you really need to be on your toes, document everything, and stand your ground, even when they try to make you agree to terms you’re not comfortable with.Normally, creditors try to get more than half of what is owed. So if you agree to pay an amount above 50% of the debt, you’ll have a better chance of getting them to remove the item from your report.When creditors write off an unpaid debt as a charge-off, they get a credit for it on their tax return. That credit is about 25 cents for each dollar written off, so when you’re negotiating a deal with them to pay less than what you owe, most will not go below 25%.

  • If you get behind on student loans, you can recover and clean up your credit by making on-time payments for 12 consecutive months. If you’re in default, depending on what kind of loan you have, you can get out of default by making 9 consecutive payments within 20 days of the due date. Check all the rules for that here.

CHECK OUT
6 Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About Mortgage Finance

For more in-depth info, be sure to get the Repair Your Credit and Raise Your Credit Score book.

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Michele Swensen is a writer and web designer who loves learning, animals, writing, reading, and playing the piano. She’s a member of Mensa and a college graduate.

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Michele Swensen is a writer and web designer who loves learning, animals, writing, reading, and playing the piano. She’s a member of Mensa and a college graduate.
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