5 Uncommon Ways To Raise
Your Credit Score For The
When it comes to cultivating a credit score you’ve
probably got the good citizen routine down cold. You pay on
time, try to wipe out the entire balance every month and never
close too many accounts at once. Beyond the basics, though,
many consumers are still in the dark about what makes their
credit scores go up and down.
Consumers understand the credit utilization ratio is the
total amount of revolving credit someone uses in a month,
compared to the amount of available credit they have. But
did you know that it’s often calculated from the total on the
statement date, not the due date? So even if you pay balances
in full every month, a card issuer may report a balance. That can
hurt your credit score. Here are five ways you can use that bit of knowledge, along with some other expert know-how, to boost your credit rating.
Pay Bills Before The Statement Date
The balance as of your last statement date is the balance
that will be reported. So if you pay most of the bill before the statement date, you can lower your utilization rate. That can equal a higher credit score. How much you owe is 30 percent of your score and the utilization
ratio is a large part of that.
Make A Timely Payment
Another way to lower the balance on your
statement date is to make a payment just prior to
the statement date.
Ask For A ‘Good-Will Deletion’
If you only have one or two bad marks
on your credit record, you may be able to get
them expunged. Say you’ve paid late, but have an
otherwise spotless credit history. You can ask your
lender for a “good-will deletion.” The good news:
“You’ll be surprised how many times they will.”
Pay For Removal
If you have an account that’s gone into
collection, sometimes collectors will agree to
remove the debt from your credit report if you agree
to pay it off. You’d be surprised how many collection
agencies will stop credit reporting in exchange for
Protect Yourself In A Short Sale
After a short sale, the mortgage lender
often will report to credit bureaus that the home
loan was settled for less than the full amount.
In addition, it can also note the amount of the
deficit as “balance owed” on the credit report, even
though the obligation has been finalized and no
additional money is owed. While the short sale will
damage your credit score dramatically (as much as a
foreclosure, according to examples recently released
by FICO), you can mitigate the damage slightly by
arranging with the lender not to report a balance
owed. The best time to negotiate this with the
lender: before or during the short sale process.
10 Steps To Financial Happiness
Come up with a system that you understand, so that if you
have to put your fingers on an important piece of paper, you
can do it quickly and without hassle.
Pay Bills When Rceived
People who pay their bills as they come in rather than
stockpiling them to do once a month are happier.
Keep Tabs On Your Cash
If you don’t know where your money goes, you’re more
likely to be unhappy. Balance your checkbook regularly, as
research shows that people who do so are happier.
Save 5 Percent Of Your Income
There is a powerful relationship between saving and
investing and being happy with your finances.
Protect Your Family
Amass an emergency fund of 3 to 6 months’ living expenses,
write a will and purchase life insurance, you no longer have
to worry every time you get on a plane.
Minimize Credit Card Debt
If you can rid your life of revolving credit-card debt, there’s a
good chance that you’ll be happier financially, and overall.
Do Unto Others
Simply doing unto others, by volunteering or giving away
money or even old belongings, can add to your own
happiness. Less clutter in your life brings happiness.
That double decaf skim latte may make your stomach sing,
but $3.25 a day can add up to $1,000 over a year.
Involve your spouse or partner in spending and borrowing
decisions, and be sure everyone understands the planning.
Don’t Be Consumed With A Desire For More
The first 9 steps are behavior-oriented. This one requires an
Get Organized: 5 Tips To Get Your Home
Organized In The New Year
The things you reach for regularly should be easy to grab.
The things you use every day should be at arm’s length.
The things you use once in a while should be harder to get to.
Things you use once a year should require a ladder.
To add storage take a small wall and do shelves floor to ceiling. Paint them the same color as the wall. They’ll completely disappear.
Harness wasted space by installing shelves 15 inches from the ceiling
all the way around the room. Line them with wicker baskets that hold
supplies, linens and extra towels. It’s a nice look and gives a spa feeling.
When it comes to clearing out closets, you have to be cruel to be kind.
Start by getting rid of the clothes you don’t wear. Out of style, wrong
size, needs repair? Out. Now it’s time to organize what’s left. Put out-ofseason
clothes out of sight. (A different closet, or packed in boxes).
The secret to a neat garage: Storage.
Want a high-priced look for the cost of a couple of cans of paint?
You can use old furniture or flea market finds to organize your garage.
The secret to making it look pulled together. Paint all your discount
finds the same color.
Purge, purge, purge.
Get rid of the damaged, chipped and outdated stuff. If it’s waiting for
repairs or a tailor to take it out or in, it goes. Plans to fix that broken
whatever-it-is? Calculate what that time would cost at your present
salary. Go paperless as much as you possibly can.
Make furniture and rooms serve you.
Selecting new items? Look for pieces that fit your needs and also add
some storage space. A trunk serves as a coffee table or ‘end of the bed’
bench, while adding a “closet” for blankets, clothes or other supplies.
Design your home around your life, not the other way around.