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September 16, 2009

Pretty good article with tips to improve your credit score

The Bellingham Herald (not sure where that is) has a pretty good article that lists 5 ways to improve your credit score.  Pretty good because I actually agree with 4 of the 5 suggestions.  The article can be found at
"Worried about having a low credit score? Well, you can do something about your score, but it will take a good dose of self-discipline.

The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice on how to improve a credit score.

—Review your credit report at least once a year. Errors on your credit report could hurt your score. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide consumer reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. Only one Web site is authorized to fill orders for the free annual credit report —

—Pay your bills on time. Late payments tarnish a credit score.
—Pay traffic tickets on time. Tickets for simple parking and moving violations, and any other fines owed to your local government, can hurt a credit score.
—Keep credit card debt and balance low. Carrying a large balance relative to a credit card limit can have a negative impact.
—Limit the number of credit cards you hold.
—Consider credit counseling. Credit counselors can help a person get debt under control and manage it better."
I agree with the first three points completely.  The fourth point about limiting the number of credit cards is true but don't go closing cards you already have because that can hurt your score too. 

I would also be wary of the last tip.  There are a lot of debt counseling companies that are nothing but scams.  Be sure to check them out thoroughly (including googling for others' experiences with them) before using them at all.

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