Don’t close old accounts
Closing trade lines won’t help. In fact, it will hurt your score by reducing your total available credit and make your balances seem higher. It also makes your total credit look young, and the FICO model likes to see age on accounts because of payment history. Last, you want to keep the cards active by having a month-ly bill debited from your card at the end of the month to avoid the creditor from closing your account due to lack of use. Most lenders will close inactive accounts after 18 months of not using the card.
Ask for a credit increase
Ask your creditor to raise your credit limit to reduce your balance. This will help raise your score slightly. Only do this if your balances are low with your other credit cards.
Apply for credit sparingly
Don’t apply for many accounts in a short period of time because the credit bureaus will send a Trans Alert to the creditors informing them that you have applied for multiple accounts.
Ask your creditor to re-age your account to improve your credit score. This method is the process by which your creditor agrees to forgive your late payment history and reclassify your account as up-to-date. You must qualify for re-aging, according to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), and establish and follow a policy that requires you to demonstrate a renewed willingness and ability to repay the debt. The account must be at least nine months old, and you must make three consecutive, monthly payments.
Rapid re-score with mortgage lenders
This method is used when you are trying to buy a home. With this strategy, the lender will review your credit report and tell you which item needs to be paid off or fixed. You will then pay off the negative items and get proof from the creditor. You then give the proof to the lender who will give it to the third-party vendor who passes the information to the credit bureau. The bureau will then update your credit report reflecting your new credit score. This strategy is used, primarily, when you are trying to get a home. This feature is offered by a third-party vendor, and the company is contracted by the credit bureau. The service is not offered to the public, only to mortgage brokers.
Your credit score
A credit score of 720 opens the doors to all credit, and a score of 500 closes the door to all credit. A 651 gets you qualified and a 700 opens the door to additional programs.
Have the credit bureaus add new accounts
Ask the credit bureau to add any account with a payment history that is not reflected on your credit report.
Don’t pay off old debts to collectors
Paying off outdated, negative bills can actually hurt your score by renewing the date of the last activity of the debt and making it current. If the debt is close to falling off of your credit report, according to the Fair Credit Reporting Act Statute, then just let it come off on its own.
Your true credit card balance
If you know that your credit card balance is lower than what the credit bureau is showing, write the credit card company and have them update your credit card balance with the credit bureaus so that your score will increase.