Knowing your Credit Score Can Make Buying a Car a Snap

It’s true, the more tools you have on your side, the easier the negotiating process is.

Here are few easy ways to raise your credit score I found at myautoloan.com:

1. Pay your bills in full and on time. Your current bill payment accounts for about 35% of the FICO score.  Missing credit card payments or submitting the minimum due each month will immediately lower scores, as will any debt collections or bankruptcy filings.

2. Build up an active and lengthy credit history. Don’t close out all of those old credit cards! Keeping them open builds your credit history.  This makes up about 15% of the FICO score.  Keep a few dormant accounts active.

3. Don’t open new accounts within 60 days of making a major purchase. This is 10% of your score.  Taking out new credit lines raises red flags because it makes you look riskier.

4. Maxing or topping out your credit cards will drop your score like a rock.   Even using 50% or more of your limit can cause problems because it increases the risk that you may not be able to repay.  If you have five credit cards with a $10,000 credit line each, for example, it’s not wise to carry a balance of more than $5,000 per card.  It’s better to carry smaller balances on several cards than to pile everything onto one card.

5. Get a copy of your credit report. This is very important.  Since credit scores are based on credit reports, it’s very important to make sure the information in your reports are fee of errors and fraud.  Federal law gives you the right to get a free report from each of the major credit bureaus once per year.

6. Hold a wide variety of credit experiences and loans, over time.  This is diversification. You’ll get credit for having a variety of loans. It’s better to have an assortment, including installment plans like auto loans or mortgages rather than simply credit cards.

Here’s an informative video that will explain the importance of understanding how your credit score is calculated and what you can do to raise it.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask, or come by and see me.