Illinois Residential Mortgage Licensee

How can I raise my credit score?

Raising your credit score is a task that must be accomplished over time. The credit score is an assessment of credit history factors. Therefore, it is generally impossible to change your score during the short period of time you are applying for a loan.

As such, it is important to be aware of the positive and negative variables that affect your rating so that you can improve your credit score before you need to use it as a tool to obtain a loan. You can improve your credit score a little each year (by as much as 50 points) by careful management of your credit obligations.

Positive Habits

  • Develop habits that promote good credit history (make payments on time, pay down cards leaving available balances, etc)
  • Monitor all three credit reporting bureaus (to ensure accurate reports)
  • Obtain credit reports annually and request corrections in writing
  • Look around for lenders that will loan to high-risk consumers:
  • Alternative lending sources can help re-establish credit and recover from damaged credit history. They often charge higher interest rates to reduce their risk.
  • Create a savings account. Money down is a positive motivator to a lender as it reduces the credit risk
  • Pay timely even if the bill is not a loan (such as your utility bills)
  • Explain one-time digressions; lenders may take it into consideration.


Negative Habits

  • Don't request a series of credit checks in a short period of time – lenders presume unstable credit conditions (However, lenders understand that vigilant credit managers will monitor their own credit reports to keep them accurate and positive)
  • Don't take on more credit than you can consistently manage
  • Don't “max out” your credit cards
  • Don't spend beyond your ability to pay - lenders are not going to want to fund extravagance beyond your economic abilities
  • Don't quit building credit because of a setback such as a bankruptcy – go to work re-establishing credit (even a small consumer loan allows you to rebuild a good payment history)

Many lenders are more concerned with what you have done since a derogatory incident than what happened before, say, a bankruptcy

Don't leave errors undisputed; request corrections in writing.

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