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Your credit score can be a strong advantage or strong disadvantage to your financial success. Here are some tips to help improve it.

Credit Score/FICO Report - 5 Steps To Improvement
By Jed Jones

Freelance Your credit score/FICO report can determine your eligibility for loans, what interest rate you pay for loans, and even
whether you get a job to which you are applying. With every
incentive to improve your score and nothing to lose, it should
be a priority step in getting your financial life on track.

Here are 5 steps to improve your credit score.

Tip #1: Pull your report for free:

The first step in fixing your credit is to get a handle on your
current score. The Federal Trade Commission has an agreement
with the Big Three credit reporting agencies to provide every
U.S. citizen with a free credit report every 12 months. To get
your free copy, go to the official Annual Credit Report Request
Service Web site and follow instructions for requesting your

Tip #2: Pay your bills on time:
A full 35% of your FICO score is determined by how timely you
pay your bills. If you have missed any payments in the past few
years, it will likely help your score significantly to go back
and fix your past-due status with the creditors involved. By
paying your overdue bill, your creditors will remove these
glitches from your report from each reporting agency. Hint: go
back and pull your report again later to make sure that all
three of the agencies have actually removed the problem from
your records as promised.

Tip #3: Get the balance (of credit types) right:

10% of your credit score reflects the specific diversity of
types of debt you have and the credit lines you have available
to you. Make sure you have the right balance of auto or home
loan, department store cards, charge cards, and credit cards.
This healthy mix shows potential creditors that you know how to
handle different types of debt.

Tip #4: Reduce your debt:
Your debt-to-credit ratio is the ratio of the amount you owe
versus the amount of credit extended to you. It determines a
full 30% of your credit score. There are three ways to reduce
your debt: 1. Make more money; 2. Put more of your current
income toward paying off your debt; 3. Reduce the cost of your
debt. One great way to reduce the cost of your debt is to
transfer your current credit card balances to credit cards with
lower interest rates. Doing this can save you $100s per month in
debt payments if you have large credit card balances.

Tip #5: Open more lines of credit:

You can also improve your debt-to-credit ratio by actually
increasing the amount of credit extended to you. The key here is
to do so while avoiding actually using these new credit cards.
To avoid using the cards extensively, make a purchase or two
with them each month and then hide them so they are not readily
accessible. Also: if you do open more lines of credit, do so
over a period of a few months since having too much new credit
can actually hurt your score.

There are many straightforward ways to improve your credit
score. So, pull your free report, assess your situation, and
start taking steps toward a healthier financial life.

About The Author: A 50-point improvement in your credit score
can mean saving $1,000s in annual debt payments. For insider
tips on improving your credit score by up to 249 points or more
within 90 days, download the "Credit Secrets Bible" right now

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