March 18th, 2011
Top 10 Reasons Why Your Credit Score Isn’t As High As It Could Be
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We all gripe about our credit problems, whether you have a 550 credit score and don’t know the best secured credit card to get, or you have a 750 and still can’t qualify for that coveted American Express card.
Even though our credit problems are different, there are a handful of shared reasons why many consumers just can’t seem to get their credit score to climb.
Here’s a quick look at our top 10 reasons why your credit score probably isn’t as high as it could be.
- Two steps forward, one step back. It takes credit to build credit, right? In applying for credit cards or loans to build credit, those hard inquiries can sure add up and knock some points off.
- Reformed credit bad boy/girl. That string of late payments from a few years ago is still dragging down your credit score. Only good behavior and time will let your score off the hook.
- One big, past mistake. That one delinquent account, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or other derogatory mark from years back still haunts your score; it’ll be there for at least 7 to ten years.
- Like a dirty secret, everyone has it hidden somewhere. Debt. Your score is handicapped until you really and truly manage your debt. If a majority of yours are on credit cards, your score can benefit almost immediately if you ditch the debt.
- Your credit is vanilla; it should be more Rocky Road. You need a diversity of credit mix; until you get another loan, mortgage, or line of credit, your credit cards are boring your score.
- You’re still not using your credit card correctly. You should know this by now—keep your total credit utilization under 30%. Lower than that is always better.
- You’re still too young. Especially for excellent credit consumers, there’s a point where time is the biggest factor in helping your score climb. Consistently maintain good credit habits, and as time passes your score will benefit from longer credit history.
- Tie up some loose ends. If you haven’t checked out your credit report recently, do it now. Any errors or inaccuracies could be weighing down your score, and you don’t even know it. Dispute those errors or solicit the help of a credit repair company, such as Lexington Law Firm.
- Take a leap of faith. Get the new credit card, auto loan, or mortgage you want. Adding more credit is a good thing for your finances if you need it, if are you are responsible, and if it’s in your means.
- You’re not managing your credit. The best way to maintain good credit and insight on how to better your credit health is to check and monitor your score frequently [luckily, Credit Karma provides that for free ].
Bottom Line: See anything on the list you know you’re guilty of? Start taking the steps to properly address it head-on, read more articles and advice around your biggest credit score-building obstacles, and set your sights on having a credit score that’s as high as you want.