How to get your credit score above 800

800When it comes to achievements in the credit-score world, nothing earns you more bragging rights (or better interest rates) than breaking the 800 mark. But getting there takes time, effort and a steady commitment to a specific type of fiscal responsibility.

“Getting above 800 is an entirely different threshold when it comes to credit scores. And so few people are up there that banks don’t even talk about it that much because it’s so unusual,” says North Shore Advisory President and FICO Certified Professional Tracy Becker. “People who are obsessed with cracking the ceiling of 800 tend to be overachievers and strive for the best in everything, and there’s a pattern to how they tend to manage their credit and finances.”

On average, nationwide credit scores have been climbing. According to data from FICO, the average U.S. score is 695. Still, only about 19 percent of the consumer population falls between 800 and 850.

If you’ve already got a sweet score in the mid-to-high 700s and want to join the ranks of the 800-plus club, these tips will help you breach that enviable barrier.

Length of credit history (be patient)

One of the most important factors in credit score algorithms is the length of one’s credit history, according to Becker. It accounts for 15 percent of your FICO score, and that’s because lenders value an extended period of responsible financial behavior when assessing your creditworthiness. So unless you’ve got several years of borrowing (and timely paying) under your belt, don’t get your hopes up for 800 just yet.

“People with an 800 score typically have a pretty old credit history, usually more than 20 years’ worth,” says Becker. “An 800 is going to be a lot harder for someone with just five or 10 years of credit.”

If your credit score is strong but relatively young, Becker suggests asking someone with a more seasoned credit history—a parent or grandparent, perhaps—to add you as an authorized user on one of their oldest cards.

“If mom is 70 and adds you to a card that’s been open for 30 years, that will show up on your credit report within three months and extend the average age of your of your history,” says Becker. “It could boost your score by about 20 points.”

Some 20-somethings do get to 800 – see how some of them did it.

Credit mix (diversify your accounts)

Almost all 800-plus consumers share an important attribute—their credit reports include more than just a credit card or two.

“You need to spread yourself out amongst a bunch of different accounts,” says Heather Battison, vice president of communications for TransUnion. “Just having a bunch of credit cards is different than having a lot of different types of accounts that show your credit behavior.”

According to Battison, the ideal credit mix includes three to five credit cards in addition to installment accounts, such as student loans, car loans or mortgages. This doesn’t mean you should run out and buy a new car, expecting your score to skyrocket, Battison cautions. It simply means that working toward 800 will require a diverse borrowing portfolio amassed over time.

“Certain types of credit make more of an impact than others,” says Leslie Tayne, financial attorney and author of “Life & Debt.” “For example, a credit card with a $500 limit will not have the same impact as a car loan that you have been paying for 18 months.”

For younger consumers who don’t own a home and have minimal lines of credit, Battison suggests this tip.

“If you’re a young millennial who’s renting, go to your landlord and ask him to report your monthly payments to the credit bureaus,” says Battison. “This will help add variety to your overall credit report and boost your score—provided you pay your rent on time.”

The reporting of rental data is relatively new, however, and not all credit scores incorporate it. Read more here.

Payment activity (use your cards)

Don’t let cards languish in the recesses of your wallet or purse, Becker says. Inactive cards may be closed for lack of use, meaning you’ll lose their credit limits. If you have high balances on other cards, your credit utilization could then increase, damaging your score.

This doesn’t mean you should make frivolous purchases on your cards for the sake of usage. Instead, use your variety of cards to make small, regular, necessary purchases — things like food and gas.

“People need to realistically assess their situation and what they can handle,” says Mike Catanese, vice president of data management and analytics for Equifax. “Getting a really good credit score is a reflection of the fact that you operate within your means. You can’t control what the scoring model does, you can only control the behaviors that drive it.”

Number of inquiries (be careful about closing and opening cards)

Closing old cards and opening new cards reduces your average age of accounts (a factor in credit score) — with the added downside of dinging your score for a hard inquiry. So if you’re hovering around 750 or 760, think carefully about opening and closing accounts.

Closing an account won’t immediately lower your length of credit history, as cards closed in good standing remain on your credit reports for 10 years. But, if your oldest card is much older than the second-oldest, you could get dinged 10 years down the road, especially if you’ve opened a lot of newer accounts.

“Closing an unused or inactive card can negatively impact your score, especially if it’s your oldest account on record,” says Battison. “Those cards are helping your length of credit history, even if you’re not using them.”

Becker recalls a personal anecdote.

When she got her first mortgage, her score was 820. Shortly after buying her home she applied for a Bloomingdales credit card. She was approved, of course, but her score dropped to 740—and it took four years to get it back to 800.

“Be aware that the better your credit is the more every little thing is going to affect it,” says Becker.

If your credit is below the mid-700s, be especially careful about wasting an inquiry on a card you won’t qualify for. Before applying, use a soft-pull credit-qualification tool to see which cards are most likely to approve you.

Payment history (always avoid late payments)

Those with higher credit scores are penalized more severely for even small infractions compared to those with mid-range or low scores. This means avoiding late payments—which is of the utmost importance in general—is critical for those aiming for 800.

“If you have a 780 score and have one late credit card or mortgage payment, you’re going to drop down to around 650,” says Becker. “But if someone has a 550, the same late payment will only bring them down 10 or 20 points.”

At the end of the day, Catanese says, those aspiring to 800 should continue focusing on the behaviors that have already gotten them within arm’s reach of that enviable number.

“It’s nice to have a great credit score, but it’s much worse to have a bad credit score. More doors close on the low end than open on the high end,” says Catanese. “If you’re already at 750 that means you aren’t missing payments and you aren’t carrying balances. So continue doing what you’re doing—just do it for even longer.”

800+ credit score – in context

Here’s what various score ranges mean (based on definitions from Experian regarding FICO scores):

800 credit score – what it means

ScoreCredit typeExplanation
800+ExcellentConsumers in this range can expect easy approval for credit products and the best terms.
740-799Very goodConsumers in this range can expect to qualify for a wide range of products and are eligible to receive favorable terms.
670-739GoodConsumers in this range may vary in their qualification for credit products. Those at the lower end may get denied for premium products, or may have less-favorable terms/lower credit limits. Still, getting approved for a card or loan is absolutely feasible.
580-669FairConsumers in this range can expect higher interest rates and may not qualify for some credit products. Results will vary, based on whether the score is due to thin credit history or a troubled one (bankruptcies and late payments).
579 and lowerPoorConsumers in this range will have trouble qualifying for most credit products.

Updated June 2017

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

I recently got my credit score checked and ever since I have been stressed out. My score is 479. I didn’t understand credit entirely when I got my first few cards. I failed to make payments on time, I closed two cards out shortly after opening them, and my third card was sent to collections then i got referred on discus to contact keinetcybertechnologies((at))((gmail)).com, 2 weeks after contacting them my score was improved to 820 and i did not pay a dime until it was fixed.

I recently moved to USA and accumulated about $400k in debt. Should I even bother paying it off or just leave and go back to Saudi?

Screw it, go for $500k! I mean, what’s the worst than can happen.

After a bankruptcy (after trying to avoid it for two years and paying most of my debt back), giving my home back to the bank, and having at least 4 chargeoffs; my credit was trashed. I think I went from above 800 to below 500 in a month or two. This was back in 2005. I waited two years, then started slowly applying for unsecured credit and my first success was a $500 limit by WAMU (anyone remember them?) which are now my and my wifes Chase Freedom cards. WE slowly became credit worthy and now one month from when my bankruptcy will finally fall off… that is where I’m at. Almost back above 800.

I can say that utilization is the biggest factor other than making EVERY PAYMENT ON TIME and always 3x-4x more than the minimum (if not the statement balance). Cheers everyone!

The FICO is the biggest weapon used by the “Company” to control the finances of the world. Think about it: Controlling the media, controlling the currency, setting the rules of what makes a good prospect for credit, taxing your income, paying for life for things that you already bought, like for your house, and even for your personal items like cars, boats……and the list goes on.

Free at last! Free at last. Thank you Lord I am Free at Last!

Pretty big bump in points over the course of 1 month when the score was already ~780 😉

Mind you, this is because I paid off 50k debt in 9 months…

When you have a below average score like I do, seeing a score as high as 800 seems completely unattainable. I know it’s possible but it’s hard. I think what some people fail to do is really keep up or monitor their on an annual basis or even a few times a year to make sure all of their information is accurate. You’d be surprised how many errors I found on my report when I first started requesting and really looking at reports. I had double student loan accounts and unknown accounts that I had never even opened. I think some people also get overwhelmed when they look at their reports and just give up– judgements and liens, late payments and tons of negative accounts, but it’s possible to clean up your report and increase your score faster than what most people think. I considered hiring a debt repair service but they are so expensive and none of the ones I’ve found have great reviews. I came across this site and I am currently in the process of cleaning up my report with a 100% legal loophole that most people know nothing about. I was skeptical at first but for the first time in a really long time I am optimistic about finally getting it together.

I found it very amusing reading all the comments proclaiming “Cash is king!” I used to have that exact mentality, especially when as a kid my parents were forced to declare bankruptcy after getting into some serious credit card debt.

But, when I decided to go on a long trip and only had a set amount of money (or cash) saved up for it, I decided to get a credit card for emergencies. I got the AmEx Everyday Blue Cash card with a 0% introductory APR for 12 months and a decent APR after that. I ended up racking up a bit on that card after the trip was over while I was trying to find a new job. But, I always paid at least the minimum on time, and I was still in the intro APR period, so I wasn’t paying any interest. I eventually found a job and was paying off the balance in larger chunks, but realizing that the intro rate was going to expire before I could pay it off completely. I found the Discover It card and was offered a 14 month 0% APR on balance transfers, so I jumped on it.

I kept the AmEx card because I like the cash-back bonuses it offers. I still use it for purchases that I know I’m going to have to make anyway like groceries and gas, and I pay it off in full and on time. The balance on the Discover Card has fluctuated a lot since I first got it. I’ll pay off large chunks for several months, then something will happen like a car repair, flying home to see family, or Christmas shopping, and it will go up again. But, as I’m approaching the end of my intro APR, I’ve put that card away and set up a plan to pay the balance off in full before interest kicks in. I’ve watched my FICO score fluctuate with my spending habits, being as low 690 when I was up to nearly 50% utilization, but currently at 750 and rising with each payment I make.

My goal is to never pay a dime in interest on any of my credit cards. This takes discipline, budgeting, planning, and projecting future expenditures and income. It’s not easy, but the rewards are definitely worth it. My hope is that by the time I go to buy a house or a car, I will have a credit score in the 800 range, and I will have access to very good credit rates. And let’s face it, really the only way to afford a nice house (unless you inherit one or win the lottery) is with a mortgage. I would hope even the cash is king folks can understand that unless you want to be stuck renting or living in a trailer the rest of your life, you kind of have to join these guys (the banks) little club and play by their rules. I’m not saying it’s a good system, but it’s what we’ve got.

The short-term benefits are pretty good too, though. As I’ve said, I have yet to pay a dime in interest and none of my cards have an annual fee. I personally have not paid anything (aside from a balance transfer fee of about $60) to the credit card companies, Yet I have collected about $100 in cash-back bonus money from AmEx, and about $45 from Discover Card. In addition, I was able to use special offers through AmEx on some of my Christmas shopping this year such as a $25 statement credit when buying $100 or more through, and a $15 statement credit when spending $15 or more through

Lastly, I feel an odd sense of comfort having my credit cards. You would think I would feel less financial freedom owing a company a large chunk of money, but I feel like I have more financial freedom and flexibility than I ever did with just my debit cards. Before, if something unexpected came up, like say having my exhaust fall off my car, I would literally be scrapping coins together to pay for it, praying that my bank account wouldn’t overdraw. Now I can simply use a credit card knowing that by the time the billing cycle closes, I’ll have set aside enough to cover it.

There are arguments on both sides. I am relatively new to the US, moved here in 2009 and, as I hadn’t planned on staying as long as I have, didn’t make the effort to learn the system when I first arrived.
Eventually I got a secure card with a deposit down and used that for everyday purchases.
After a few more steps, I have three regular cards that are paid in full and no outstanding debt.
However, as I am only in the country 5 years, my credit score is poor, despite having a pretty good salary.

One of the cards I was approved for had a $2000. The first time I used it for $163, my score dropped 71 points. Wish I had been told about that little side effect.

It is a terrible system perpetuated by those who profit from it, the credit score companies and the credit card companies. However, it is the system in place, so until something else comes along, I believe the trick is know it and work it.

I’m still getting there.

Wish everyone could be like Kim and Lance. Never needing a loan, pay cash for everything, live in just the right place, just the right situation so cash covers it all.

Or rather, simply understand how finance works and understand that sometimes it’s worth paying a little more. I feel sorry for people who allow money to control their lives. Skip this because it’s not worth the extra 2 bucks, stand in line for an hour cause money is more valuable than their time!

Paid all of my bills on time. Almost everything we buy is on AE and a little each month is charged to Discover. No other credit because it is all paid off. AE asked for my income update a while back but I ignored their request and nothing happened. Discover reports our FICO at 811 each month.

You guys don’t realize the reason Dave Ramsay tells people not to go in debt. It’s not because he thinks all debt and credit is all evil. He certainly doesn’t believe that. As he consistently sends people to borrow money for mortgages. And for businesses as well. It’s simply because, more often than not, for most people, they get in trouble when managing credit.
They are simply BAD at controlling it and end up in trouble. Not to mention they buy what they don’t need and can’t afford (i.e. 20k cars when they make 40k a year). It would be irresponsible for him to tell people to go out and to try manage revolving and installment credit, when they will simple end up drowning; those people really do, need to cut up the cards that screwed them in the first place. It saves his butt and the butts of tens of thousands of his listeners to say, “it’s just a bad idea, don’t do it…For consistency, I’m going to have to tell you, not to borrow that money.” etc.

However, every year, you can hand yourself hundreds or thousands in rewards and benefits by having good credit, credit cards and managing them responsibly. There are hundreds of people who do it every year. I do. Not to mention saving big time percentage points on their home loans when they go to get them. Saving them many more thousands. But, in Dave’s shoes, I would say the same thing, it’s the best advice, really, for most people. Btw, I listen to him regularly. He’s got great financial advice and a great plan for people to get financial freedom.

All a credit score tells you is that you have a lot of debt or available to be in a lot of debt and for a long long LONG time. I feel sorry with anyone who has a good credit score. Can’t wait till mine is 0! Things happen to people all the time, whether it is being laid off work, serious health problems, etc. Credit is not worth the gamble. Cash is King, credit sucks

Joseph Bronson

I had the same attitude. Try and buy a build a home. It will never happen. I had one cc & had to get a couple more and spend a little each month as my home was being built. I felt like I was just out of high school and had no idea what was going on! I paid for everything in the beginning. Now I have a mtg, car payment & 15 cc’s. Good cards with good limits & rewards. I use them regularly, keep all but one paid in full. This keeps you from paying any interest at all. I did make out very well over the holidays with these cards. It did drop my score from the 750’s to 710 but it is slowly making it’s way back up as the days pass. I’m sure it was from the hard pulls & the new accounts. My oldest account is now 37 yrs old.(Amex)

It took me 13 years to get above 800, I am 52 years old. I only carry two credit cards with variable APR of 8% to 13%
The 13%APR card is only used once every 3 months and no more than $30.00 is put on it. The other card I had to use for a much needed foot surgery that I couldn’t afford otherwise. I am glad i put the surgery on my card, now I can walk without any pain. I feel that was well worth it. I was let go because of my foot pain when I walked. It took me 11 months to look for a job and now I finally found one, that is an early Christmas present for me. 🙂

which credit cards do you use…if you don’t mind saying…and if it’s allowed. My first post, question. Thanks.

I don’t think the point of the article was to state that everyone should be in credit card debt. It was to only answer the question “How to get an 800 score”.

My credit score is 845 and I’m trying to reach 850 ,but is it possible.

These are decent tips particularly to those new to blogosphere, short and precise data… Thanks for imparting this one. An unquestionable requirement read article

Great article. I wasn’t the most responsible person with my credit in my early twenties but soon learned the hard way. Now I’m in my early 30’s and my score is well above 750. People do treat you differently when you have good credit. And yes credit is other people’s money especially when financing. Remember time is money and 0% interest over a few years can really be used advantageously. But you usually have to have excellent credit to get those good deals

LOL you guys are crazy with your credit card BS. Lets say you fall into a coma one day. How do you pay your bills on time then? Guess what, I have cash in the bank (not much but it’s there) and if I fall into a coma with no credit card payments and not owing anyone anything what happens? NOTHING. Dave Ramsey is the right track and you fools need to wake up. You aren’t spending someone else’s money with credit cards. You’re spending your money and possibly MORE of it from yourself a few months down the road with interest. Wealthy people don’t have credit cards for their airline miles. Each one of you who are FOR credit are just duped by the system and I feel sorry for you. I’m getting out of debt and staying out.

AMEN!! Right On!! Very Well Said!! People make fun of us because we are getting out of debt and shredding our cards, but we came to this site to see how much debt these crazy people have to have in debt and for how long to get to their false sense of security with their 800 score. We feel sorry for these people too. How awful to be controlled by these lenders for soooo long. We are going through the dave ramsey financial peace university and are doing some crazy, drastic things to get out of debt, so we can live how we want to live in a few short years! To those in debt I say:
Credit sucks! Get out of debt and have the POWER of cash!!

You can have dozens of credit cards and never be in debt. You paid cash for your house? /clap Happy for you. Being incapable of comprehending the difference between debt and a credit line, or denying the nearly mandatory necessity of a mortgage, if owning your own home is preferred over paying for someone else’s (rent) makes you feel all high and mighty, then I feel sorry for YOU. Shredding your cards does not mean getting out of debt… feeling it’s necessary to do so because you can’t control your use of those cards and wind up racking them up so you are in debt, THAT is preventing your incompetence when using your credit cards.

I have 0 balance on 3 cards. I use them each month to pay for EVERYTHING. My paycheck sits in an account the entire month. At the end of the month, I use my paycheck to clear my CC balances. How does that = debt? If I did NOT transfer my paycheck to clear those CC, and carried those balances over to the next month… THAT would be debt. Understand?

Now climb down from your solid gold pedestal and choke down some humility. Think next time before sounding like 4th grade was just too tough to get into.


I know this is almost a year late in response. I agree credit has to be used wisely. Rich people do use credit cards to their advantages. I work for two brothers who are very rich and they have multiple credit cards they pay off each month so they get the miles or cash back. We also put a lot of our business expenses onto credit cards so we get the rewards. Again, they have the means to pay for these expenses even if something happens to their health. Personally, I have been using one credit card for points, but I reserve the money in the bank (cash) first and pay to the credit card right away after making the purchase on my credit card. This way I am getting the points, but I am paying it out of my bank account immediately. If you are not a disciplined person on your finances, then I don’t recommend doing this. 🙂

Credit cards are a scam. Responsible use of a credit card does not exist. Credit card debt is a major problem in America.

There is no positive side to credit card use. You will spend more if you use credit cards. Even by paying the bills on time, you are not beating the system! But most families don’t pay on time. The average family today carries $8,000 in credit card debt according to the American Bankers’ Association.

Now let’s talk about the rebates. If you were using a credit card at 5%, you would have had to have spent $80,000 to get $4,000 rebates on new cars that lost $6,000 of value when you drove them off the lot. That is not a good deal!

Credit is a scam. Always has been. Always will be. Cash equals debit card. Credit equals credit. Cash is king. Pay up those credit cards and MOVE ON WITHOUT THEM.

Take a Dave Ramsey course if you want good advice.

It is obvious you have a spending problem and can not handle credit. Credit is evil for YOU but not for the 95% of the responsible, check your spend impulse public. the fact is you NEED credit whether you like it or not. It is apparently because you can not get credit, or you can not handle it is why you are so vehemently against credit.

I agree 100% with joe.I pay my credit cards off every month and therefore never pay interest. I use them as cash for whatever purchases I was going to make. Not to buy what I can’t afford. I use my cards for gas, food, bills etc. And if I want something material like a TV or a watch the decision is simple. If I have the money to buy it I do. Not only do I get rewards points by using my cards but I’d rather not walk into a store with 800 in cash for a TV I’m buying. So speak for yourself when you say “you will spend more if you use credit cards”.

Sounds like you need a little help int he finance department. You shouldn’t be reading this article if you don’t believe in credit cards, because for someone as belittled as you are, thats the only way you’ll ever achieve a 650 credit score, let alone an 800.

Goodluck with your credit cards!! Don’t forget…that minimum balance of $25.00 is due soon 😉

See my reply to Kim and Lance. You must carry lots of cash on you at all times, or simply don’t go anywhere. Or if someone needs help (e.g. got a flat tire, needs it repaired, but is short this month), you simply ignore it. (Sorry, no cash on me and I don’t have the intelligence to use a credit card, guess you’ll learn not to get a flat next time!)

You’re going to buy your kid a guitar for his musical talent. You see it on sale 2 weeks before your CASH ONLY self budgeted it. So instead of taking advantage of the 50% off sale using a CREDIT CARD for a 2 week duration, you fork over the full price after the sale two weeks later. Wait, I forgot, you work out deals everywhere you shop as a CASH ONLY shopper, and thus were able to buy the guitar on sale for a couple bucks, cause the shop owner knows you’re gonna fork over the balance in two weeks when your CASH ONLY budget says it’s alrighty to do so!

You DO realize you can use a Credit Card just like a debit card? Obviously you don’t but I didn’t want to come right out and say that. I’m glad you’ll never experience a situation where a credit card could mean the difference between being able to help someone or it just being too expensive to do so. Your kid’s car breaks down, needs a part, sorry kiddo, payday is 2 weeks away. Walk your lazy ass to work! Forgot..sorry, you’ve got a lot of extra cash just piled around your house cause you don’t waste it on credit cards.

You are so one sided. There is such thing as responsible use. Rewards etc. Dave Ramsey is a tool. I suppose you think coupon clipping is a no no too.

Barbara Franics

I had perfect credit. I was down to 1 payment each on 2 Chase loans. Very small amounts. I broke my foot and was not at home for 10 weeks and not near a computer. Chase said they sent a letter in July saying that my auto payments had ended. This was 1 payment shy of each loan payoff. I never saw the letter and did not find out about it until I returned home after the payments were 30 days late. There was no reason I would have known they stopped my auto payments. I immediately paid the small balances $88.00 last payment on a $7800 and $172.00 last payment on a $9800.00 with never a late. My august credit report showed 2 xx 30 days lates and I was sick over it. My score dropped from 760 to 652. I have less than 20 percent of my available credit in use and have never been late with anything. I have been with American Express for 24 years and have a $9400 credit limit which I pay as soon as I use it daily. Chase refuses to help me even though I have a perfect record with them. They were actually rude to me. They say it was not a bank error. How long will it take my great credit to recover. I can’t believe this happened.

It is COMPLETELY your fault. Whether you broke your foot or your spine, PAYMENTS HAVE TO BE MADE. Any responsible debtor knows when, where and how much they owe. Can’t make it to the bank? SEND SOMONE. 7 years.

if she would have paid cash, not credit, she would not have had the issue. cash is king, credit sucks

Right now I have 13 credit cards. I really want to close a few of them. The few I want to close are not major credit cards. They are for stores, like Target, Sears, and others. I never use they cards and really have no reason too. Most of my cards have no balances on them. Is it really going to hurt my score to do this. I also don’t want to be in the position that I do apply for something and they tell me I have too many open accounts.

Make sure the ones you cancel take into account your average account age as well. If you had 2 bad credit cards you opened your account with and a really great new credit card and closed one of the older ones your average account length would be reduced by half for example someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

13 cards is not too many. In fact there’s no such thing as too many. Walter Cavanugh is the guinness book of world records holder for the most active credit cards. He has 1497. His score is over 800. You can have too much debt especially if it’s high in proportion to your credit limits. But you can’t have too many accounts. closing accounts will only reduce your average account age and raise your utilization by reducing your available credit.

My CS currently is 704 from Credit Karma but 749 according to TransUnion , i have an account with Captial One for 9 months and have a $750 credit limit, I’ve only had open credit for 9 months with 3 inquiries on
my plate soon probably another one will be added, i just recently applied for Chase Sapphire card, hoping to get approved. I also opened a personal loan for $750 to help build my credit. My credit utilization is 25% but i am starting to pay it off quickly, I am still in college as i graduate soon, any suggestions?

I hope not, but you will almost assuredly get rejected for the Sapphire. It is a Visa Signature card and much harder to get. Plus it has an annual fee. Go for excellent no annual fee cards that earn rewards like the Chase Freedom and DiscoverIT and pay them off every month. The reason you want these as your first cards is that they’re easier to get and have no annual fee, which means you’ll likely keep them forever, and you want those early ‘forever’ cards establishing the age of your credit file. The two cards I mentioned are STILL two of the most-used cards out of my 12 current ones. Another recent benefit of the DiscoverIT is that it gives you your true FICO score every month, which you’ll want to monitor while you build your credit.

Getting a loan just to help build credit is like paying to not have to pay later. (in my opinion) it was probably a bad idea to apply to sapphire with such a low credit limit and credit history but they could accept you I’ve been accepted for things I probably shouldn’t have. Since you already took the loan I recommend you pay it off ASAP. Try not to carry a balance from month to month and don’t apply for new cards for a bit since you’ve had a few inquiries recently. Let the offers come to you and wait to see which one is worth the hit.


Yea. My CS was 788 when pulled today at the dealership. Before the salesman knew what it was he was giving me this spill about how I shouldn’t put money down and wouldn’t I like to build credit to buy a house someday. Lol. I make good money and have a small business and have only student loans and house mortgage. He wants folks to be comfortable enough with having debt that they think they are being smart by keeping high levels for longer periods thus building credit. Live within your means folks. Buy what you can afford and borrow the rest…. UT don’t let these financial institutions make you think having what you can’t afford is smart!!

My FICO score show 849 today. It has generally been hovering around 820-830s last year or so but went up recently. My only changes have been that some of my unused cards I decided to use for the discounts the last few months. My income hasn’t changed. Actually, I have been unemployed for most of the year so it is possible to hit the high scores without being employed. 🙂

You ar eso full of crap. You think EVERYBODY is an idiot? It makes you feel good to lie about your FICO score? I KNOW FOR A FACT NOBODY HAS AN 849 SCORE BECAUSE AN INSIDER FROM FICO TOLD ME IT CAN’T BE DONE Too many variables. Keep dreamin’ buddy. Not everyone’s chain could be yanked with such rubbish.

An fascinating discussion is price comment. I think that you should write more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject however typically individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

I use a revolving line of credit for approximately 10 years. Is there any way that having this will negatively affect my credit score?

Thank you

Credit score doesn’t matter when you can pay cash for everything. I’d love to have an 800+ score but why?
It’s a #. I was recently asked how much I make every week and the person dropped their phone in shock.
It’s normal for me but I guess not for them. It’s better to own a business than to have credit. Credit can get you into a lot of trouble if mis-managed. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over your credit line, credit score, utilization, debt to income ratio or anything related to credit. Do you think Bill Gates worries about an 800+ credit score.
WAKE UP America, credit card companies are allowed to charge 30.9% interest on a charged off credit cards.
Kudos to all who have credit cards and pay them off monthly.
Having Cash in the bank has more to do with Debt to Income ratio which affects FICO.
I don’t have the slighest clue what my FICO is b/c I haven’t needed credit since 2009.
Much luck to all the rest of you!

Having cash in the banks has nothing to do with your DTI. DEBT To Income! You can have a million plus in the bank and have a high DTI. The fact you day credit is not important and you can’t control it speaks volume of your lunacy!

Your comments or advice what ever you want to call it is so far from the truth and just ignorant all together. I have known a lot of rich people and a few wealthy people, there is a huge difference in rich & wealthy. Not one has ever bragged like you have about how much they make, they don’t need to. My guess is your topping out at 80K and your thinking that’s something.

Credit allows you to use other peoples money, that sounds pretty smart to me.

Hear, hear! Agreed.

I am fabulously wealthy, so my understanding of the terms you use is minimal. What is FICO?

I agree, Topgun. To focus only on a number misses the point. Be financially responsible and the number will happen, or it won’t matter because you have business clout.

Credit score?… Credit? Its ALL BS! ALL OF IT! … Its just a way to monetize you and KEEP you in debt, as in forever.

Live without credit, and you’ll do fine! Remember the 50’s.. how did people buy homes?.. They didn’t have computers then.. They simply look at your job + income history and BAM! you got a nice home ! If you didn’t pay, they’ll simply take your house and resell it. Back then, it wasn’t known as ‘foreclosure’ – This is so stupid.

Why… just WHY?… do you need a credit history to buy a house? Since the house and property is already collateral in a loan. Its so stupid! .. gawd… Its just a way to separate people – “trust worthy, and not trust worthy” – LOL…

Sooner or later, the entire system will CRASH!… It will happen, why? because so much data has been pounded in and its beginning to mix with other people – sad.

I have lived without credit for the past 10 years… I get on just fine. Stupid people..

Credit is a measure of how people pay their bills. When you apply for a home a good measure of your ability to pay is your credit. People that go 10 years with out credit most likely got in a pickle 10 years ago from over spending and under paying. Then blamed the system on their poor choices.

Is this sounding familiar??

Wiccan: One reason for a high credit score is that if you need to get a loan, the rate is lower if your score is higher.

It’s easier to pay for things with plastic. Takes less time than writing a check. In fact, some places won’t take cash or checks, any more. (although very few)

After reading these posts, now I’m worried that I have only one credit card and a score of 785. It used to be over 800. What changed? I dunno. It changed last year for an unknown reason. Nothing negative on my report.

But now I have retired early and am worried my credit card will lower my limit, wich will affect my score. I don’t plan on financing anything anytime soon, but you never know.

Really? Stupid? I get free airline travel, free hotel stays, thousands in cash back every year..and I don’t pay anything for it (OK i paid $13.40 last year because of a miscalculation…that’s over 12 credit cards). And when I want to leverage other peoples’ money for large purchases, like a house or a car, I’ll pay very very little to do it. What will you pay when you say “duh…oh, I have no credit Mr. banker? Somehow I doubt you have 500K cash sitting around for that house purchase.

You probably never bought a house.

Ummm… but this isn’t the 50’s. Today you need credit to buy a house unless you have that much cash. Yea the house is collateral but banks would much rather not have to resell your house. So if you don’t have credit they won’t give you financing. And if you have credit but it’s not good you might get financing but at a high cost

Not sure why this comment landed down here. It was in response to WiccanDruid

I agree you need to play the game and get your credit scores as high as possible for more reasons than just purchase power. Some jobs look at your credit. Bur I do not think our Wiccan friends will need to worry about that!

You gotta admire those who did save enough to pay cash for their home. My son did it and I really admire him for it.

There’s a secret? The secret is pay your damn bills. It’s not rocket science.

Don’t loan out more than you need or can pay back, take out credit lines on things that are 0% interest and short term even if you don’t necessarily need their store card (best buy, furniture stores, etc). I have probably 15 lines of revolving credit for random things that I *wanted* along the way. I just bought a house, refinanced 2 cars, and opened 2 credit cards in the last year and my score is 810. Normally all that would hurt me, but I’ve never made a late payment. Ever. The one time I thought I did, they had sent my bill to the wrong address and it was an easy fix.

There is no “secret”. The secret is don’t be stupid. I use my credit cards like debit cards. Pay them off several times a month just to get the rewards points. I’ve probably earned around $700 over the course of 6-7 years by using my credit card like a debit card. Once you start doing that, the good habits are like brushing your teeth. Debt means someone else has you at their mercy. Don’t be in debt unless you can handle it. And remember you can use credit companies for your own gain just as well as they can (rebates, percentages off, loyal shopper programs, rewards points). Right now I have one that deposits 1-2% of everything I spend into my retirement account. That’s pretty sweet honestly.

I have a 720 just paid chase, cap one and paid down Sears that leaves me 7 cards left with lil balances how will that effect my score. Still have cap one and Citibank homedepot just want to clean house and keep 2 major cards .

I do have a 772 score credit but I want to get up to 800 points , how to get that kind of credit score . Thanks

I’m 29 and have only had a student loan, a car payment (two different cars over the years), and one credit card (10k limit) since college.

I’ve always known my credit was “OK” and never worried about trying to actively improve it. I use my credit card for all my purchases unless there is literally no option for payment via CC and pay the balance off about once a week.

About a year ago I purchased a new car and was able to get 1.70% interest on my loan so I assumed my credit was still OK. Recently I had to go into my bank to switch my checking account to a different type because my bank was discontinuing their free checking accounts.

While I was in there they told me I qualified for another credit card with a 16k limit. I told them I didn’t really need another card, but they said it would help my credit so I went ahead and had them sign me up.

When the card arrived in the mail it came with my FICO score which was 810. I’m not sure if the new card will help or hurt that score, but it seems pretty high and, like I mentioned, all I’ve ever had is a car loan, student loan, and credit card.

I’m obviously not an expert, but I see people using these intricate strategies to achieve good credit but for me all I did was pay my bills on time and have some pretty normal loans (car/student).

You are ok. I remember when my score got to 700 I was 22, had about 10 credit cards, a car payment and student loans had already started to accumulate. I honestly never tried to get into the 800’s but I found out when we bought our newest car. I can’t remember thinking how did that happen? Guess I have like a ton of credit cards that I use and never pay late.

Jake: Yes, you paid your bills. But more importantly, you took out multiple loans & a credit card. That means $ to companies. They want your business since you borrow a lot and you pay the bills.

16k is high for someone so young, it seems. But I’ve noticed over the years that white males just get things. Once my boyfriend, who was employed but didn’t make that much $, walked into his bank and took out a personal loan. Collateral? Just his signature. He’d banked there for a long time, and his dad was wealthy, so that influended it, I’m sure. But I’ve never heard of that with a minority or woman.

I disagree with all these people who have all these cards. That seems unnecessary and perhaps dangerous. No one needs that much credit.

Okay, my head is about to explode! Paying off your credit cards each month does not help you out hurts you. you need to keep a small balance each month or if you’re not comfortable with that at least every three months. Multiple lines of credit are necessary. A mortgage helps the most but most of us aren’t ready to settle down a car is the next best. Have at least a few revolving lines of credit I.e. credit cards. Never Ever miss a payment.keep your cats below 20% of your available credit limit. Don’t apply for new cards if you have set least5 open lines of credit. (Diverse like we talked about). Old collection accounts fall off after7 years and they can’t sue you after 4 but be aware, when setting down to sign your mortgage the loan company probably will make you pay the collection to close the deal anyway so you may as well pay it.

It does not hurt your credit score to pay off your credit cards every month. I have a credit score of 816 and I have always paid my credit card off in full every month. I have never carried a balance on any credit cards. I have two credit cards, a student loan (since 2004), and a mortgage since 2012. I always pay the loan and the mortgage off every month; automatic payments from checking account. I don’t pay my bills late – they are consistently on time. I have never had a car loan. In about 2001, when I was first pre-approved for a mortgage, I was told that I had the highest credit score that she had seen for someone my age. I was 37 at the time. At that time, I didn’t have a loan of any kind and had not ever had a loan. Just a couple credit cards and a couple department store credit cards and consistently paying all bills/rent on time.

I’ve had excellent credit for years…had credit cards in the 25k range…used them for 1-2k purchases, then the credit card companies cut my available credit down to just over what I had used on them and even closed some I hadn’t used in six months…my score dropped from 790 to 560 because what the credit card companies did…why didn’t FICO take this into account?

You have obviously left something out of your story. All your credit card companies don’t just lower credit limits out of the blue. It was done because something happened that showed them that you were a significant risk. Did you have a charge off, lose your job and stop paying for a while, foreclose on your home or have a car repossessed? FICO would look at those things and lower your score appropriately.

Maybe you have a late payment that’s why they went down your credit

Maybe you have a late payment that’s why they went down your credit

It’s true, if you don’t use your credit cards most companies will cut your credit line or close them. If you have debt on other cards, that brings up your debt ratio and THAT drops your score. It happened to me too. No late payments, nothing. Everything done right except that I didn’t use them all the time.

that’s sad. Banks are controlling your life in this manner. You like slavery? Yah… credit is slavery in a sense. Oh well.. get out of it if it keeps degrading your credit – because once you get into the bad zone, they want to make sure you STAY in that BAD ZONE for at least 20 years.. YUP! you read that right…

A change in income will change your credit limit which will change your score.

I’m stupid enough that I reported to them, when they asked about my income, that I just retired early, so don’t have a handle on my “income” yet, but have all these accounts for retirement and no debt (house paid off). She couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t lower my credit line.

Ok… So I have an 810 and have NEVER kept a balance on any credit card month to month. Please tell me what’s wrong with your head.

Lol… So don have more than 5 credit cards? I’m 27 and have around 15 credit cards, 6 student loans, a mortgage with 3.25% interest, a truck payment, and boat payment. And my score is pretty good honestly. I started my first job at 18 so that means I open more than 1 account most years. Didn’t hurt me

I’ve never had a credit card cut my line of credit down. I closed my first card a capital one card a year after I opened it because they only report you credit limit as your high credit so it looks like you maxed it out at one time regardless if it was only $50. I closed my BoAmerica card because their phone customer service was slow. The only cards that have ever closed due to inactivity were three different store cards. I’ve never had a major card company close or decrease my account. Had my BoAmerica card for like 6 years and never used it, they didn’t close me I closed them.

WELL I recently applied for a CITI Bank credit card and was approved with a credit limit of $20,100. I received my credit card along with my credit score. My credit score is 787. I don’t have a mortgage, however I have 1 Auto loan, and 2 Auto lease accounts that are currently open on my credit report. Also Most of the credit cards I have are limits about $25,000, my Chase card being the highest at $32,000 limit. I think that’s what also makes the score high. My credit history is 7 years old. I’m in my mid 20’s.

Yeah that’s what does it is you have so much credit out there. You must have a really high income. Me and my husband have decently above average incomes for our age but we only get approved for at most $10,000 per card. I still remember my first card with $1000 limit I thought I was something else.

Couldn’t believe how important a good credit score is..I went to refinance my mortgage to a 10 year fixed and the loan officer said my credit was a 809 and he then shook my hand. He said he gets a couple applicants a month with 800’s and always shakes their hand. He showed me that a 670 would have cost me about a half pertcent more in interest and $120 more a month. I guess paying your bills makes people happy! LOL

Well, it’s more than paying your bills. It’s amount of debt to debt availability ratio, income, and other things, in addition to timely paying bills. Also, having long term cards.

I do know the amount of available credit you have factors into it a lot. FICO likes to see a lot of available credit.

Juan Salcido Martinez

Well guys I really thank everybody that make this forum please any advises I really want to take care of my credit know that is in good condition… It turns out that after 10 years of not operating my credit caz I was out of the states working. I came back to the states with new family wife and son and of course begin life again here in the states so I got directv they ask for your social to check your credit well my credit score know is 885. I need some good advice so I can educate myself and not to mess up again any good advices will help a lot thanks…

My advice is pay your bills on time. You really don’t have to do anything else.

Read this study this. 2 years ago 480 was my starting point as of tonight 680. Its been a long proccess but my keys were first started out by getting 3 credit cards 200 300 and 400. I maxxed the hell out of them seeingwhat my score would do paying them off then max again. One card is secured so yea i had to pay but just using it for gas and paying in full brought tons of offers thats when i got the other 2. I really didnt see a big difference till i brought my nice shiney 10k tool box on snap on credit, it sky rocketed. Seemed like my score was more focased on that 10k rather than maxed out cards. Now if i pay the 850 off i should see 700 easy. Other keys collections are still there im not touching them unless i have too once you pay them off a late payment shows up and there goes 2 year perfect credit dont ask me why that happens its stupid as hell but it happens trust me. Stop applying for credit, keep those 3 cards paid on time and wait for the increase. It takes a long time, my credit wasnt half as jacked up as most im now seeing the light after 2 years.

Trying to buy a home and my credit score is a 600. I believe I messed up myself. I wasnt very educated on how it worked and I paid all of my collections and later found out it made my score worse. I’m not in any debt but I need to try and boost my score in 3 months. Any suggestions

MY score was horrible last year. It was a 320 so poor. I had a brick account i never paid lol the interest on that went from 2500 to 12000 in like 7 years. I had screwed up at a bank machine and didn’t put the cheque in the envelope and then withdrew it right away, and the bank closed my account. That showed up too, and I also had a credit card for like 1000 and never paid it ever lol The creditors called and called and i was finally going to pay them tell my friend said hey men there bugging you more and more because these accounts are going to come off your credit report \. If I had paid them they would of stayed on and i would of been screwed. Now get this I just checked my credit report and it is a 799 ha ha ha ha ha. Every thing is deleted it went over the seven years with no payments so it all disappeared. The only thing that shows up is one from a line of credit that I took out and party with it was 7000 but i settled for 3000 one night five years ago when i was drunk working in camp because they said it would look good. They put down paid as agreed upon. Now I’m dancing hahahahaha screw you collection agency. The threats the lawsuits yeah right. It’s all gone hahaha thank god i didn’t pay them. Never even bother paying them if its been a couple years just wait it out youll be back to normal in no time . never agree on the phone either. It is also illegal for them to call you over and over again once you talk to them you tell them you want it sent in the mail. They’re not allowed to call your family or friends people. Time for my new credit card and a party ha ha ha

How discraceful Josh! We the rest of the consumer will be paying for your neglect and purposefully not wanting to pay your credit card bills. Sure a collection agency writes the balance off but someone down the line pays for it —> US!

Your an Idiot Josh and yes someone will pay for it because of irresponsible people as yourself. It is theft in a way and when karma catches you, it won’t be so nice!

Sound like a dirt ball that doesnt honor his credit obligations! Real reason to dance and be proud wow lol.

What a tool.

Yeah my brother did that for 7 years waiting for his stuff to fall off and he’s still living with my mom. 40 years old.

Josh has a great life. I don’t think it sounds appealing to me because I know from association how miserable the waiting game is. And to be an alcoholic too… Is a lonely life.

Lewis Isenberg

Josh I hope you overdose at your next credit party…Here are all of us trying to do the right thing and raise our scores the right way and we have to read your Bullshit post shame on you…

Get a secured credit card. This is the fastest way I know to bolster your card but 3 months may be too short to get into the 700s. It took six months before my credit report including my history which was a huge boost.

If you’re able to put off buying the house to improve your score, it might be worth it in that 1/2% point. If you cannot, go ahead and secure a fixed interest, reasonably sized loan, and make payments on time and then consider refinancing after your score has improved. A good history on the home loan should go a long way toward improving the score.

The accounts were in a negative status so paying them off basically woke the giant. Horrible you do the right thing and your punished. If you currently have 3 trade lines or 3 individual accounts in good standing then ask a friend or family member that has excellent credit to be an. “Authorized” user on their account.

It’s like me calling my Amex and adding you to the card. No risk because the new card comes to me and you would never get it nor have control of the account. You immediately piggy back on all of my excellent credit over the years on that account. This could boost your scores 20-40 points in a month or two.

Stay out of some obscure bar in Canada. No this was not an error I am talking about the behavior research and high risk stats being used by my fico and lots of other companies to determine where each of us falls on a spectrum of pay or no pay characters. I almost fell outta my chair when I stumbled upon some of the information concerning the research on the behaviors of people… and what can be deemed from the info when matched against some of these studies.

In 2008 tons of credit card balances were lowered without notice during the meltdown as credit card companies new they might get a finger pointed at their subprime shenanigans. Some people would pay their bill and find the limit lowered every time they paid the bill causing their utilization rate to look like 100 % causing their hard earned high roller credit scores to plummet to new lows. Any of this can happen again at any time so pay off every month and stay safe/smart.

Young Schornick

Hi, the first letter was sent to my billing address, not my shipping address. I don’t know if it is just me or other people had this challenge but I just desired to let you guys know. It was definitely disappointing not getting the letter where I am proper now

I have already have my latest credit scores can we go to? next score is 548

So my credit score is really BAD!! I finally got a hold of my credit report and I wrote down all my student loan debts (its only student loans on my debt) however, some of the debts that I owe don’t have a contact number so I can set up payments while on deployment. What should I do or what should be the next steps so that I may finally get a hold of them and set up the payments before I deploy?

If you are in the military and deployed overseas see your legal council–the creditors can not legally report a negative on your credit while you are deployed overseas.. The military act protects you — sugest you send them (creditors) a letter stating you are military and ask them to remove all the negative for the period you were deployed overseas.

inderjeet barmi

i live canada discharge from bankrupty no credit card i like to buy used car on pension.need help

can anyone explain to me how I can have all the accounts on my credit report showing paid as agreed and have credit score below 600? I am confused as to how this has happened. I have on visa card with a $500 limit paid off each month and a line of credit with the credit union. Seems I should have a good credit score not one that won’t let me get a home loan.

Hi Johannes,

It might be that you don’t have enough credit, types of credit, ratios, inaccurate information. From this description it’s really hard to say. Also, was it a myfico score or was it an alternative rating sceme? Pull your credit report(s) and verify the information, and if you want I’ll give you my email and I can review it for you. Also there are plenty of credit repair/optimization agencies that will do a free consult (just be prepared for the sales pitch).

Good luck, Phil

You should ask for limit increases. $500 is not much at all. My first credit card at 18 with $15,000 per year income was $750. You really need to increase your credit to debt ratio. Open another card and wait.

Go to Google and type: A summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act pdf

You all know about the rumor that if you have one late payment you must suffer for 7 years. NOT TRUE. This is absolute proof that 7 years is only a time limit.

“Consumer reporting agencies may not report outdated negative information. In most cases, a consumer reporting agency may not report negative information that is MORE THAN seven years old, or bankruptcies that are more than 10 years old”

What good is the Fair Credit Reporting Act if we must suffer for 7 years if we miss a payment?

Here are all the rest of the bureaus. Please educate yourself. Life happens, and one day you will join the Fair Credit club like the rest of us——–A strike can put you out of work, etc.

The Credit Bureaus were not created by the Government. Rather, the Government enacted the Fair Credit Reporting Act to tell these credit bureaus what to do———and one of those things is placing time limits on how long they can hold on to our information.

And 2nd of all, we must use logic. How can the Government require Banks to report information like loans, or delinquent accounts to Private companies? It does not make sense.

Here is a history of Experian for instance:

Equifax LogoEquifax is the oldest of the three bureaus, having been founded in 1899 as Retail Credit Company. It began as two brothers, Cator and Guy Woolford, keeping a list of customers and their creditworthiness for their local Retail Grocer’s Association. He would sell the book to other merchants in the association and credit reporting was born. They eventually settled on Atlanta, Georgia as their home and founded the Retail Credit Company.

By the 1960′s, when TransUnion was formed, Retail Credit Company was one of the largest credit bureaus with data on millions of Americans and Canadians. After years of criticism of the credit reporting industry in the 1960′s and 1970′s, Congress passed the Fair US Credit Reporting Act to regulate the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information. It is believed that Retail Credit Company changed its name to Equifax to improve its image.

Equifax is based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

In my view, there’s no real benefit to having more than 4 to 6 credit cards. You only have to rotate their usage monthly so you keep them active. Just use them to pay for stuff you’d normally pay with cash–a bag of groceries or haircut. The important thing is to find that handful of cards that suits your needs–points, miles, no fees, etc But then stop and let them grow old with you.

Anyone who’s applying for new cards yearly–past 4 to 6 cards–is actually hurting their FICO score by lowering their average age of accounts–which is 15% of your score. Of course, The age of your oldest accounts helps–but it’s the average age of all your accounts together that assures lenders you’re not taking on too much credit–too soon.

BTW: Rather than open more cards each year, just ask for a higher credit limit on your existing cards…This helps your score and lowers your credit utilization rates on existing balances…But ask in advance if they do a hard pull inquiry on your credit report first–before requesting a higher credit limit. Many card issuers, like American Express–will increase your limit without a hard pull–especially to valued customers.

One word of warning: Whenever you look for a credit limit increase–call the customer service number direct so you can ask about their hard pull policy. If you request a limit increase online at a bank website–you’re more likely to get a hard pull…They usually don’t tell you this on their websites…It just suddenly shows up on your credit report the following month and dings your score 5 to 10 points….Ouch.

how many credit cards does the average 800+ credit have?

Travis, I don’t know about the average, but when I was 29 I had only two credit cards. I was shopping for an auto loan and found out my Equifax score was 820!

Was that score a FICO or a FAKO?

I had an 814 two years ago. I had two cards. One I used every month, and paid off every month. Credit limit of about $13k on that one. I never used the other one. I had no other loans (paid off my house over 10 years before then; my paid off car didn’t show on my report any more, I think).

My score dropped to 785 this year. Maybe because I got rid of that second card (debt availability is important, which I didn’t know at the time).

Now I have retired early, so I imagine my credit limit will decrease.

I just did a rather lengthy reply to a post on this page that has much more information than this, but feel the need to reiterate this.

Credit bureaus house your data. Each of the three (Equifax, Experian & Transunion) use a different software program to calculate your score, better thought of as models. Each time a query is done, the software takes your raw data and generates a score. If you and I both queried you in the same minute, our scores could differ. If we did it 10 minutes later, it would once again be different in most cases. Of course with the same raw data it would only vary a very small amount, but just don’t get locked into some false sense of having a fixed number. If you’ve ever signed up for a site somewhere that supposedly “monitors” your credit. Note that 1 minutes after you do this, there will be an option to update your score.

Hope that makes sense. On a personal note, the best advice I can give people other than what I said above, is to buy your credit reports directly from the source only. ALL others are not accurate and all these 18 yr olds saying they have a 790+ are most likely on one of those sites. I’m on two sites that are free and both show a score +100+ above what my score actually is.

Im 18 with a 715, 729, 701 FICO scores. I am almost 19 with more than 20k in credit. I make multiple payments a month and never allow high utilization to report. I have cards from prime lenders such as Discover, American Express, and Barclaycard. I also get free FICO’s from Walmart discover card and Barclaycard. My credit karma score which is free is a 708. Thats pretty close.

It is basically the only thing anyone needs to do to buy whatever they want! If you show low debt or no debt ratio to credit limits, the bank or credit card companies dont care what else is on it period! You put in any income you want and you can get anything you want. Balances are the only thing that screws anyone and is the largest part of a score! Timely payments do not even matter compared to this!

I had some credit cards that I was no longer using so I closed them out. I now checked my credit report at score sense and noticed that it dropped about 12 points…why?

I learned that credit availability is important. That is, the amount of credit that has been extended to you.

I did the same thing. Mine dropped more than that, maybe since I have only one credit card, after dropping the 2nd one that I didn’t use.

I have a question. I’ve slogged through the Fair Credit Reporting Act. NOWHERE does it say that the Law requires the 3 credit bureaus to hold negative information–late payments, etc for 7 years. 7 years is the LIMIT, which means the Credit Bureaus can remove the information before 7 years.

Second of all, the Credit Bureaus were NOT created by Congress. They are private companies that sell information to lenders. The Fair Credit Reporting Act was put in place for the protection, and benefit of the CONSUMER. It tells the Creditors and Credit bureaus what to do——and one of them is to place a time limit on how long credit bureaus can hold the information about delinquent payments, etc.

So how is it that we consumers have to do whatever a single 3 digit number TELLS us to do, under the threat of unemployment and/or homelessness?

Well said Dan…… Hence FAKO scores (pronounced: FAKE-O). The credit scoring algorithm is so complex and depends on many co-dependent variables that change in flux. As Dan mentioned, credit reports are not a static document, but rather a result of a query that has been run on a group of credit bureau databases. Good luck guys!

I am 40 and currently have a FICO score of 834. Started when I was 21 with one credit card in college with a small 1500.00 limit and I always utilized around 70% of that limit paying twice the minimum payment for 4 or 5 months then paying it off. Limits increased from 1500.00 to 5000.00 to 10000.00 to 25000.00 in around 3 years time. Currently of the five credit cards I have three have limits of 100000.00 and two have no limits. My job reimburses me for what I spend and has for 10 years. This allowed me to be sent an invitation four years ago by AMEX for the titanium credit card many people refer to as the “Black Card”. This card alone raised my FICO score 15 points upon issue. Why I never figured out..

Initially, credit cards should never be used as a means to purchase but a path to build your score and track record for your future. As a college student, I was not told this and I made many mistakes. As a mother, I helped my daughter apply for her first credit card with Discover a few days after she turned 18. She was approved and received increases based on performance within the first year or so. She charged her books and then paid them off within the next 30 days. She then applied for a second card through her bank and was approved with 0% interest. She pays her cards on time (with me looking over her shoulder) and more than the minimum. She uses the cards only for tuition, books, or school related items for which she already budgeted money. The cards stay at home and are not carried around or taken to campus. Eventually, she will fly solo. (Her scores are in the high 700’s.) She is now a sophomore and just turned 19. She also has a unsub $1000 student loan which she plans on paying off with part of her summer job income. It is possible to be 23 and have an excellent score.

I am 18 with 715 as an average FICO and have 20k in credit available. As someone who has researched credit extensively I will say DO NOT CHARGE TUITION! EVER!!!! Thats what student loans for. Charging tuition is a slippery sloop and if you don’t pay it in full and the teaser 0% ends it will be a lot, and can snowball her into massive debt.

I have a credit score of 801 – something I wasn’t even trying to achieve and thought I was messing up my credit score when I was actually helping it. I opened up my first bank account and credit card at 21. I didn’t use my credit card until I was about 24, when my job made huge cuts and my hours were reduced to a measly 16 hours a week, and I was in college at the time. During that period I ran out of money very quickly as I had more bills than I could afford even at that age. I began to charge everything and over time it built up to a few thousand dollars. In the meantime I did not miss a single payment and always paid more than the minimum. Eventually I finished college, got a better job, and began to pay off my debt. I financed a used car at 25 and at the time my credit score was in the 600s. I paid it off at 28 while paying off my credit card debt. By 29 all debt was gone and I bought another new car at 30 and I was completely unaware of it, but my credit score was 801! I couldn’t believe it and I asked several people I knew about it, one who worked at a bank, and they all said although I accumulated a lot of debt in a short amount of time, it was because I never missed a payment and always paid more than the minimum that my credit score was so good. Taking out car loans helped too.

I had 825 score, bought a car have line of credit and a credit card. hit very bad times, now my line of credit is almost maxed and my cc is almost maxed. my score dropped to 675. I am not working do to loss of job from work related injury, still collect comp temporarily, but have had to live off credit card for 2 yrs and can not seem to be able to pay enough on it to drop it down. interest is low at 13.7% but still too much. All these Ideas are great thanks. I have 100% for on time payments have had cc for 13 or 14 years but credit score shows only 3.5 for longest account?? Not so sure how accurate all these things are and believe that it is unfair to have it used against you when not even accurate. Also feel just because I co-signed loans for my daughters college it is held against my credit… Hope to get my high score back or back in time…

Dottie: Wow, that’s rough. Hang in there. It’ll happen. 675 is not the end of the world, and in the meantime, it doesn’t really matter until you go to get a loan and want to get the best rate you can.

What may be hurting your score is the debt-to-available-credit ratio. They figure out what % of debt you have compared with how much available credit you have to call on. You’re maxed out, so…

As for the 3.5 incorrect number, call the agency and tell them. Then you can file with the credit agency a protest, I suppose, to the reported age of the debt. As an explanation or correction of sorts.

First off, I have been a claims astedjur for 20+ years. Using a credit report to help determine rates is pure BS. As another poster stated many people with good credit suck at driving. Their the ones who are wealthy and too busy to pay attention while driving. I have investigated 1000 s of accidents and there is absolutely no correlation between bad credit and bad driving. I agree there is a correlation between good credit and the insurance company getting paid on time. That is their main concern. Using the credit report crap to charge higher rates is just a bonus to the company.And folks let’s be clear about the myth that insurance is required in all states. It is NOT!! It certainly should be but it is not.People who are not in the insurance game (like nan6872) assume that insurance is required in all states because that is a logical conclusion, except when dealing with insurance and vehicle laws there is not much logic applied. There are many states that do not require mandatory insurance but instead require financial responsibility . For example I handle a lot of claims in Wisconsin. There are tons of insured drivers there drinking their great beer and driving home. Insurance is not mandatory there, however if you have an at-fault accident while uninsured the Dept of Transportation will revoke your license and registration if you do not sign a contract to repair the damages you are responsible for.

I learned one thing…
best Is not to always pay it in full.. if your limit for example is $1500
and you spend 480 divide that by 3 … trust me it works thats what they wanna see..

credit.. “pay over time” they want to see interest .. (just make sure you pay on time)

all that pay in full is BS play around .. one month half.. next month Full
you will see your score rocket high..

This is idiotic…. Do some research. Always pay in full! FICO doesn’t want to see interest…. or anything else other than you can be responsible with credit and you pay on time. Pay min. or pay in full, FICO doesn’t care. It is in your best interest to pay in full. What idiot wants to pay more (interest) than the price of what they bought. If you can’t afford it don’t buy it. LOL

I would have to disagree. I have a Father-in-law that never pays off his cards, and he regularly using them. He pays about 5 to 10 % more than the Minimum and he is doing fine. He went from Bankrupt to having a mid 700 credit score. The most important thing is to be on time and you will be fine. The big myth of paying in full every month is a choice but it is not required. I can say this as I had a score of 300 awhile back and got it to 620 in 6 months doing the same thing. I recommend that all you have to do is pay on time and above the minimum and you will be fine.

From past experience the best way to improve your credit score is to buy a couple of brand new cars (at separate times) and pay them off early. Also have a credit card utilization of 70 plus % for a year or so and then pay them all off to 0%. My wife has had credit for less than 6 years and her average is 800+. Paying off the credit cards increased her score by about 100 points.

Hi I have an excellent credit history where I always paid my credit card bills in full every single month without missing a beat for years. I am in my 40’s, I own my home for 12 years which I made my payments on time always. I purchased a brand new car in 2002 and completely paid it off in a very short period and All my utility bills are always paid in full on time. I do not have any outstanding debt and found out my credit score is 757 which was surprising to me because I thought it was at its highest or even at about 800. Do you have a clue as to why my score is not at 800 when my history is so outstanding?

I am 19 years old, Freshman in College, and my Credit report is at 744, I have one credit card, and the limit is at 1,200. I have had this credit card for about two years now. I charge up to a Few hundred dollars and pay off big chunks of it, until its paid off. Hope this Helps.

I have 4 cards. Zero balance. Will it help my credit score to use 1 – get it close to the limit (may take 2 -3 months) and then pay it off 100%. Of course, making a min payment while the balance is building. In other words, is “pushing the needle” to the top of the credit line and then paying it off entirely worth much for credit score point?

How many months are taken into consideration when calculating utilization ratio?

I had a high utilization and my score was 710. I paid down both of my credit cards and my score was 771 within a month.

Is it the combined balance of all my cards that should be kept under 30% or is it each individual card balance? I’ve read differently everywhere I look. I want to pay off one card which would bring me to below the 30% but I’m not sure if I should just pay down all cards to bring each under 30% and continue to pay multiple cards. Trying to buy a house in the fall and am at 698 so this decision could make or break that extra 2+ points.

Even having just one account with a high credit utilization (while the others have 0%) can negatively impact your score. So keep your utilization low on all of your cards.

From all that I have read, and personal experience, it is the TOTAL percentage of debt to credit ratio on your credit cards. If your total credit is 10,000, and your total debt is 2,999, you’ll hit your goal. However, your score would be much higher if the ratio is below 20%. But one thing I didn’t understand until fairly recently is that the credit reporting agencies only look at your balance at the statement date. So even though my husband and I had always paid in full every month, our amount that we owed at the end of the statement period was usually pretty high. I finally found out, and made sure to keep the balance down to little or nothing for at least a couple of days before the end of the billing cycle (just to be sure) Our credit score improved by 20 points right away! Good luck with your house hunting!

Great post and one I’d like to expand on since so many other posts contradict your statement (this is for future readers, I’m sure you know it).

People tend to focus on their due date. The date you need to focus on is your billing cycle close date which is approximately 21-25 days earlier. Most people may not remember how long it took to get their first statement, or “Due date”, so 25 days prior may take a minute to get adjusted, but find out your billing cycle close date and ask them when they send that info to the agencies. I have Capital One and my billing cycle closes the 12th of each month. They report to the agencies 1 day after (but still check for you). The first reporting date normally takes 2 billing cycles before they report because other wise there’s nothing to report. They’re reporting your payment record, so naturally they need to wait until you pass your first due date in order to report.

Credit utilization is not looked at on a daily basis. It’s looked at, at the time of the report. People have this false idea that they need to forever keep their balance down below 30%. Not at all true. The only time that matters is at the end of that billing cycle when the bank reports. Two more very misunderstood things. 1 – Your Credit Utilization changes each month, without anything called “Credit Utilization history”, haha. If the last report from the bank is 50% Credit utilization, then that’s what it is for that month, or until the bank reports new data (which replaces it each month). 2 – Does high Credit utilization drop your score? Yes & NOT at all. Your score does not exist until the very moment someone does an inquiry on you. Sites like creditkarma, myFico, etc, are great for some of the info on the site, but they tell you your score has recently changed which is a lie. You can have a 99% credit utilization every day for 50 years and it will never lower your score, until that one time and only for that one moment someone does and inquiry. Say I always have a 99% CU and a bank checks my credit. They send in an inquiry and at that moment, that credit bureau’s server software (each have their own, even sites like myFico) runs your data against their credit model and there it is. Your score. Since the last report from my CC company showed a high CU then yes, my score would be lower, but if they reported the next day and I had a 0% CR and that same lender queried the same server, then the data would be different and thus a higher score. Credit Utilization means absolutely nothing until that server looks for this months data, period. Once the next report comes in from your CC company the last one is gone. The only thing updated is were you on time? Did you pay past due, and of course 1 more month added to your credit history. Credit history only tracks each month as in things like “OK”, “Delinquent”, “Collection”, etc. A bunch of small boxes with all “OK”‘s if you always pay at least your minimum. Paying it off in full every month saves you money so it’s a great habit to stay into (no interest), but people that say paying in full every month effects your credit learned bad information.

Last thing. Each time you use your card, the merchant is charge a fee from the credit card company. They have been paid folks and paid very well I might add. NEVER does you paying them extra interest make them like you more or give you better credit haha. Hardly. They make 1-2.5% on in store purchases and over 3% from online purchases. Save your money and stop leaving a balance on your card thinking that’s why gives you good credit. If it were anything it would be more on the bad side to have a balance than good, but it’s really neither, just costs you more money.

So be sure to have a low credit utilization on your account prior to going in for that house or car loan (or turning in that new credit card application), and follow Wendy’s advice on paying it a couple days ahead of your billing cycle close date. Capital One can take days before even posting something you charged days earlier and you can’t pay what they’re slow at posting.

My cc was 799 last year. Since then I paid my student loans down from $55,000 to $9800. This is the only debt I am carrying. Nothing else changed on my credit report. Today my cc is only 780. No explanation whatsoever as to why my cc went down when my debt ratio got better and nothing else changed. This thing is crap. Mostly hocus pocus.

Good Evening ChiChi,
I currently have $27,000 in student loan debt and I need to come up with a strategy to pay it off. Any advice? Great job on paying your student loan debt down!! Thanks.

Work out of the US for a year or 2. Tax benefits on EXPAT status is how my wife and i knocked of $30,000+ off student debt in under a year. Southeast asia, or somewhere without western amenities and low cost of living, too. You have no choice on spending too much and it’s a trip.

Debt snowball. Start with highest interest, pay that off then take what you would have been paying each month and apply to next highest bill till it’s payed off. And so on. If you have lower interest rates it might now shave as much time off but it will get them paid quicker.

I’m 23. My credit score is 800. Not bad.

that is good. but you are not helpful. say how. and make a difference. thanks

I had a score of 780…and lost it….
I really could use help getting back there. If you know the way, please explain.

I doubt it karen

Tony, why do you doubt it? It is very possible! Kim has earned the right to brag a bit. It would be helpful to let others know how you did it Karen,
but that’s great all the same!

How did you get there so fast

ok karen how did u do it?

YOU GO LADY !!!!!!!!!!!!

The creditors are greedy, They are irresponsible to America

Yeah, they should loan their money to pay who don’t want to pay them back! What could be more fair than that?

I am 31 and started in 2002 and have a cc score of 772, which i think is great! How ever I “play” cc games. I am constantly given cc with zero apr so I accept and transfer and so fourth. Not sure if this helps me but it sure hasnt hurt me!! I am always on time with payment and never spend out of my means! my goal is 800 but i am content with what I have as well.

There is nothing wrong with doing that and banks can care less. Just be sure when you get all these new cards you don’t go closing old ones. I haven’t had any new credit changes in a decade, other than some old accounts that were in good standing fall off of my credit report. Just that cost me over 100 pts. Next year I am losing yet another one that has been closed 6 years (+1 year = 7, it falls). It’s 9 years of credit history and the only thing on my credit that old. Once that drops I’ll only have a 2 yr history and my score will probably drop another 100 or 200 pts. Live and learn I guess :'(

My credit score from experian is 596. I just recently applied for a secured card and was approved and just put a deposit on the card. I hope that my score will start to go up. I have a few things in collections that we can’t afford to pay such as 2 charged off credit cards and maybe two smaller collections accounts. The total for my 2 credit cards are about $3000 and since I can’t work for a living (yet) I live with my parents who support me financially. I will only use this secured card to buy things which I would have bought with cash, so I know I will be responsible this time. I’m 28 years old now and in college and learning more about financial responsibility. I hope my credit starts improving soon. The credit card collections accounts should drop off of my credit report in about a year or sooner, hopefully. 🙂

i hear charging 50% of your credit limit and then paying it off 100% does wonders for your credit.

I’m 27, and just started working on my credit about 2 years ago. I was afraid of credit cards because my parents always had problems paying them and talked about being ‘cheated’.

The only credit card I have is secured, with a $300 limit. I keep the balance low- 30%, though I’ve gone over that once or twice in an emergency, but paid it down as soon as possible. This time last year, my score was around 560, and I’ve been looking into getting a car loan and I am pleased to see that it's around 720 now! I envy those of you who started so young (late teens!), but I'm glad I waited until I was responsible enough. My sister got her first credit card as a teen, and her story is very different!

I think it’s terrific so many young people are taking an interest in their credit score and watching/learning how their credit scores can affect their lives and livelihood.

I’m 52 and had perfect credit for years, I had bought and sold five homes. I never had trouble buying a car. I had credit cards that had available credit of $35,000, but the balance never went near that (that is insane!) I took care of all the bills, the buying of the houses, cars etc.

Then divorce came and the perfect storm aligned. I used proceeds from the sale of our home to purchase a new home for myself and my child. Life was dandy, child support came in on time, and I had a decent job. Then child support stopped and my home, once worth nearly 200 grand, was suddenly worth 90 grand. The renter skipped town after I had to move and I lost everything.
Today I was asked to go on a website by a person who said I had a applied for a job with them. They wanted my credit score, which is not that bad 696, but the top of my report(s) says bankruptcy.

Once a year I apply for a credit card so I can get turned down and get my free credit reports and score. I am working like hell to get my score up. But the law states I must wear my scarlet letter “B” for 8 years. I have become a piriah to bankers. I wonder if I do hit 720 or so, if I will still be turned down because of the Big B?

I got a pathetic used car and had to pay 24 percent interest. I paid it on time each month and paid off the loan before it was due. The emotional toil it takes on a person is awful. I still get sick to my stomach thinking about what has happened. Having to rebuild my life at this date – more than half way through my life – is not fun. These scores and credit checks are just another way the banks control our lives, manipulating and setting high interest rates, fees, fees, fees, cheating people out of their life’s savings…Thank goodness I have a good job again, what if a credit score stopped me from working as had happened to some?

A lesson from life: Remember bad things can happen to you that are not in your control – stock market ate a lot of my 401K and IRA – the housing bust busted me. Keep track of your money and when these bad things occur make sure you are prepared for the worst. Be prepared, save for your future!

At which point is the 7 years calculated at? Last active or date reported and must I request them to be removed at the bureau level or do they come off automatically?

Did you get the answer to this question? I would like to know too!

It’s been over a year since this was posted, but I figured I’ll reply just in case someone else is browsing and would like to know.

The 7 years is calculated from the time the account first became delinquent, it’s called original delinquency date. Original delinquency is the date when you first missed the payment and then never made another payment. They have up to 180 days of that date to start counting. So it’s 7 years, and they have up to 6 months to take it off (because of that 180 days, it just depends when they start counting it).

You do NOT have to contact them to have the accounts removed, and I have yet to hear of anyone who did not have the accounts taken off after the 7.5 years. But of course it doesn’t hurt to watch your credit and make sure.

Remember that the 7 years applies to basic debt, like credit cards or car loans, but bankruptcy, some utilities, tax linens, might stay on your credit longer, student loans never come off unless paid.

It starts with the last communication either through court or your last payment to the creditor. If you answer a summons it starts over, if they file a garnishment renewal it starts over, if you make a payment straight to the creditor it starts over. Usually the only way to wait the seven years is to skip town or live a lonely existence because they will garnish you. It’s almost always easier to just settle with the creditor. The longer you wait the more negotiable they could be. But my husband lost a truck due to recession in 2008. He avoided the ordeal for 3 years because his ex was the main person on the note. But she stopped working so he started noticing his checks were short. He was working out of town and they had summoned him but he never got it because he was out of town so they filed a default judgement. So they took 5,000 out of the 14k they wanted and they went after her for the rest. She ended up hocking all kinds of stuff to pay up lol. Anyway. That was in 2011. So the 7 year clock started over for the last time the day that the judgement was satisfied per court record. It’s now 2014 and his score had bounced back to the high 700’s because other than losing that truck, he has only messed up once when he opened a card to get 10% off some earrings for me lol. Other than that he does direct debit to pay bills and needless to say I am the mail reader in the family so I am kind of making sure he doesn’t flub up again. He works a lot. Things happen. You just have to bounce back.

I recently bought a new vehicle, and because I was financing, they had to pull my credit score. 813 was my score, and needless to say, I was pleased. One thing that has not held true for me is the idea that you must pay your credit card bill… in full…. every month. What I have found is that if you keep the amount owed less than 25% of your total credit line, your credit rating will grow.

So, a credit line of 20k kept under 5k in balance owed should be okay. Of course, you will be charged interest or finance charges, so ultimately, if your not prepared for that…pay away. O

Obviously, my credit card is not the only way I’ve built credit over the years. Like most with good credit, I have a mortgage that’s paid on time, same with bills etc. . I have a few store credit cards that are hardly ever used, but I keep them anyway. Remember, don’t close out cards if you can help it…..keep them….just having them helps more than you think. Good luck on the CREDIT JOURNEY!

The way he is explaining is not true, when you dispute you do it directly with the bureaus only. They try to verify with the creditor, if the creditor does not verify the debt or the account it needs to come off. That is the law. Once it is removed they can not report it back. Collections are 7 years from the date of last activity, so when you pay it off to 0 that’s when the 7 years starts. It reports paid collection on your credit which is still not good.

ALWAYS DISPUTE ANY NEGATIVE ON YOUR CREDIT REPORT—If you dispute with the bureaus play the game — send in your dispute after the 15th of the month–reason is it gives the bureaus limited time to verify with the creditor(s. The creditor has 30 days to verify(NOTE: they do not have to have the documentation to verify with the bureaus). The first of the month for most creditors is a busy time and yours might be overlooked. If your dispute is reported by a collection agency (they recieve only the overall subject details–never the original documentation)
ALWAYS ASK FOR ORIGINAL VERIFICATION OF DOCUMENT(S) BE SENT TO YOU WITHIN 2 WEEKS MAX. If they do not send the original document(s) within the time period you requested You then send them an non-compliance letter. NOTE: ALWAYS send by US Postal Service certified mail return receipt. When they have not verified the account with proof (only original documentation to be accepted ,never a copy) send both your original letter,the non-compliance letter with a copy of the return receipt to the credit bureaus, again with a return receipt requested. MAKE 6 originals example: ORIGNIAL 1&2 OF 6 YOU KEEP) ORIGINAL 3 OF 6 (SEND TO COLLECTION AGENCY) ORIGINALs 3,4,5 OF 6 SEND ONE TO EACH CREDIT BUREAU They will have the documentation for their files and will remove the negative from you file. The reason for marking all letters as original is that a court may or may not accept copies.
If any person wants a copy of the form letterS I have used to great sucess in the past respond to this with an address or email address.

Keep an updating you credit bureau file — the collection agencys pass/sell their lists of uncollected debts to other agencys and the same debt may show up as a new debt by another collection agency — which will lower your score again and again– one debt showed up 4 different times on my file within several months. good luck in protecting your scores.

It still is possible to get to 800 with credit cards and a short credit age like a few other people have commented on doing so. I have had over 50 credit cards since I was 19, I am 27 now and my score is just shy of 800. I built my credit score on credit cards and have been approved for home loans in doing so. I do pay my balance in full every month and tend to only have a card for 6 months at a time and tend to get 6 cards a year. The biggest thing is paying your balance in full every month, if you don’t have the money don’t use the card.

Right now I have a score of 653.

When I was 18 I started everything off right, got a credit card, gas card, ect. Paid them off every month.

By the time I was 20 I was a tad shy of 800. Had an incredibly high limit amex, brand new car loan, ect.

Then of course 2 months before my 21st birthday disaster struck. I woke up one morning not knowing my name, what year it was, and everything else you should know…

Ended up in the hospital with what they called West Nile on steroids. Was in a coma for over a month. They didn’t think I would make it and said if I did there was no way I would ever walk again.

So here I am 6 years later, with awful credit history from basically the whole year I was on disability.

Went from making well over a grand a week to 400 every other week. And my score dropped to about 400 :/

Is there a way to get rid of all the awful history?

I know time heals all wounds… But…..

They helped me out tremendously! It took about a year. Make sure you do not have any outstanding debts unpaid and if you do, keep track of it because they will vanish from your credit report and sneak up on you somewhere else in life..

Yes, there is. When you start making enough to make any payments, contact your creditors, tell them your story. A lot of them will consider taking things off your credit for any contribution towards the debt – you’d be surprised. Your story is quite unusual, I think if anyone deserves a break, it is you. If you’re dealing with collections agencies, do the same thing. Look up online how the letters should be worded (Google “sample pay for delete letter”) – it’s best done by traditional mail so you have it black on white.

I took things off of my credit by simply sending a letter to a collections agency, offering to pay an X amount if they take it off my credit report. I did not have any kind of a compelling story, I just told them that the original creditor and I disagreed on what owed, but I made really no excuses. I just said I’m not in a position to really pay because of work situation, but since my credit score has suffered and that might get in a way of me getting a job, I’d like to make a payment in exchange for the account being taken off my credit report. That let them know that if they turn me down, I’m not gonna make good on the account at all.

A lot of times they will take it – they work on commission, they want to make money. They will take a little over nothing – especially smaller collection agencies that bought the debt. If you’re not in a position to make any sort of a payment, wait a little, what’s done is done, and with time the old accounts stop hurting you so much, as long as you have new ones that you make good payments on. When you take off old accounts, good or bad, your credit drops a bit because the credit history is now shorter.

Things are gonna look up, you will get a better job, and you can clean it up by talking to creditors. 99% of people will sympathize with you, especially since you were very responsible with your credit before the tragic events in your life.

It’s amazing how people could improve their credit if they just communicated with the creditors (that’s what these credit-fixing companies do, they just charge you for the work you can do yourself). It’s always best to write letters, and point out in the letter you do not wish to be called. That way they won’t be bothering you constantly with new offers to pay it off.

I’m a 19 year old with a 700 credit score I have three credit cards, but my oldest one is about a year old I don’t know how I can get my credit score to go up. I have a credit card from citi one from capital one and my last one from discover. Citi has lowered my APR and capital one has increased my credit line which is good. But I don’t know what else to do for my credit to go up. I looked at my credit reports and it say that I need some retail credit cards, but I don’t know which is a good option for me.

The main thing is look at your credit report and see if you find any late payments, or collection agencies.. Also do not have high balance on your credit cards. Don’t use more than 30% of your credit limit. (This can bring up your score)

Good luck!

I worked in loans for years, and if you have had a credit card, or any kind of line of credit for under 5 years you are considered “soft credit” and even if on paper it shows “700” or whatever the lenders will automatically mark you to 620 for soft credit >5 years.

Great advice but last paragraph is not all true. i opened a college student credit card account when i was 18 by the time i was 19, i made my first purchase a Polaris rzrl 18k loan. had a 731 credit score. i am now almost 21, just financed a new Camaro as i have almost paid off my first big purchase and my score is a 758. hasn’t gone up a lot but im right on track to an 800+ in my early 20’s.


Hi Brandon just having a college student card and a loan isn’t enough to get to 800. Plus quality trumps quantity (by that I mean the quality of how you manage your accounts).

Good tips CreditCardGuru, following these guidelines does help to increase your credit score.

OK, trying to avoid sounding like the stereotype in that last paragraph, but I’m 20 and just hit a 750 (752, exactly) score (opened a CC the day I turned 18, but never paid an interest). What’s the best way to get to the 800+ club? The main thing holding me back now is the age of my accounts (I have three CC’s with limits of $3-5k each, but avg age is only 18 months). Also, I don’t have any installment loans, which I know will ding my score when I get a car loan here in a year or so. Best way to mitigate?

Thanks for the info! I had a few late payments on my mortgage (last late was May 2007). Can you tell me how long that will stay on my file? I have a score of 706 and just need to move it up to 720 to refinance

Credit analyst

Any delinquency present on any credit file will clear out after 7 years, hard pull inquires take two years.

Late payments will stay on your report for 7 years.

Is it true that multiple credit inquiries (say, if you’re shopping for a car and get to that stage w/ a few different dealerships) made within 30 days will be treated as one inquiry as far as credit scores are concerned?

It is really important to pay your credit balances on time to have a good credit score. Sometimes we tend to skip paying it and just pay for the minimum due amount which will result to a bigger debt.

435 Score to 760

Two and half years ago had unfortunately fallen on hard times. Had OK credit score/than unable to pay bills credit cards home, car, and everything up to 90 days late on some things.

Since than have all credit cards payed as agreed. Have total of five credit cards with two for 19 years. Pay all balance on credit each month keep at zero. WoW Wow I was at the bottom of credit just few years ago on my way to 800. Now that’s a story. Good luck. Score is everything.

(435 Score to 760) – Thanks for the encouragement. Same things happened to us and we hit bottom at 498 and are up to 634 now after 1.25 yrs, climbing slowly. But we still have a LOT of cc debt to pay off, still at 30% interest. VERY hard to get ahead with such high interest on high balances. We’re hoping for a lowering of the 30% soon. CANNOT BE EVEN 1 DAY LATE.

I used to have credit score of 690 three years ago. I just checked it today and it is 810. Don’t worry you will be there soon. Charge your oldest CC every month and pay it off. Don’t pay any interest, you don’t need to, soon you will be in 700 range.

A score of 695 is not bad at all. You can get great credit cards with a score of 700 and up. This is just a suggestion, I suggest you do your own research, but if you are not going for a home mortgage/car loan in the near future I suggest you apply for a few credit cards.

It’s preferable to apply on the same day so they won’t see each other’s inquiries (but be careful, only apply for 1 bank at a time, like one from Citi, one from Chase etc..) In the short term your score will go down. But in the long run, as long as you use them every month (a little bit) and pay off the ENTIRE balance every month, you will start to see your score climb. This will happen slowly so be patient. And don’t be so hard on yourself, we all make stupid mistakes.

My score is 745 even though I had made some stupid mistakes, I used this method and it worked for me.

I’m 30 and unfortunately I was irresponsible in my early twenties and now I’m paying for it. I currently have a 695 score and I’m desperate to break into the 700’s. I guess I’m just going to have to wait a few more years until my bad credit history goes away. Its sad to think that being late by one day can prevent someone from buying a home or evening getting a job under some circumstances!

If it can prevent us from getting a job, there is something we can do about it. 25,000 petitions or more, and the White House WILL address the issue. We tell the Government what to do, not the other way around. Our lives should not be ruled by a 3 digit number.

I personally think Credit is a scam, and a lie. If you do not have money to pay for something now, than how do we expect to pay for it later.

It’s actually quite simple…if we don’t have the money to buy something, we do not buy it. We live within our means.
Americans need to get over the acquisitiveness and entitlement.