Credit Card Center Advertiser Disclosure

Senior Contributor
Posts: 4,635
Registered: ‎03-11-2007
0 Kudos

Seven Simple Steps to Raising Credit Scores

Another "non-traditional news source" on Google News, who does sell stuff, but a very well written and informative article.

RISMEDIA, July 19, 2007—In the wake of the subprime market fallout, lenders are making it tougher for consumers to get a loan. As a result, borrowers are wise to try to raise their credit scores to qualify for loans, secure better loan terms and receive lower interest rates.

According to Edward Jamison, a Los Angeles-based credit attorney who has appeared as a credit expert several times on the NBC Emmy Award-winning show, Starting Over, borrowers can follow seven simple steps to raise their credit scores. “The steps required to raise credit scores may appear counterintuitive,” explains Jamison. “In fact, individuals should be warned that without knowledge of how credit scores are derived, individuals can be damaging their credit scores rather than raising them when taking such actions as closing credit cards.”

Jamison, whose legal practice is focused on consumer credit repair and restoration, recommends that borrowers wishing to raise their credit scores first check their credit limits and evenly distribute the balances they’re carrying to help increase their credit scores, or that they pay them off in full to get the highest score increase.

“Make sure your maximum limit is reported,” says Jamison. “When no limit is reported, credit scoring software presumes the account is ‘maxed out’.” The credit scoring software scores more favorably the closer a balance is to zero. Balances over 70% damage credit the most, followed by the next tier of 50% and again by the tier of 30% of the maximum credit limit.

“Rather than carrying a large balance in an unfavorable tier, redistribute outstanding
balances over several credit cards,” says Jamison.

Jamison also advises keeping credit cards open.

“Closing credit card accounts can hurt your score unless the accounts were opened less than two years ago, and you have over six credit cards,” states Jamison, adding that consumers should make sure to keep their old credit cards open as well. “Fair Isaac’s credit scoring software assumes that people who have had credit for a longer time are at less risk of defaulting on payments.”

Borrowers also need to get rid of late payments listed on the credit report. “Contact the creditors that report late payments and request a good faith adjustment that removes the late payments reported on your account,” instructs Jamison. Since you are a customer in good standing, the creditor may work with you. This may require more than one phone call. “If you’re frustrated, rude or unclear with your request, you’re making it very difficult for the creditor’s representative to help you,” adds Jamison.

A very important step is for consumers to rid themselves of any collection accounts by paying them off provided the collection agency agrees to delete them in return. Paying it off can otherwise actually lead to a decreased credit score due to the date of last activity getting updated to the current date when you pay.

“The consumer should contact the collector and request a letter explicitly stating their agreement to delete the account upon receipt or clearance of the payment,” he states. “Although not all collection agencies will delete reporting, it’s certainly worth the effort.”

Next, consumers should pay off past due amounts on delinquent accounts that are not in charge-off status. After that, Jamison advises getting rid of charge-offs and liens that are less than two years old.

“Charge-offs and liens that are older than 24 months do not affect your credit score nearly as much as ones under 24 months,” says Jamison. “But if they’re newer than 24 months, they can seriously damage your credit.” If you have both charge-offs and collection accounts, but have limited funds, he advises paying off the past due balances first, then paying collection accounts that agree to remove all references to credit bureaus.

“Individuals can positively affect their credit scores in as little as three weeks,” explains Jamison. “It’s just a matter of getting educated and focused on the best, fastest and most reliable course of action to raise one’s credit score.”

For more information, please visit or call (877) 256-8162.

RISMedia welcomes your questions and comments. Send your e-mail to:
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 16,382
Registered: ‎03-12-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Seven Simple Steps to Raising Credit Scores

This is a pretty good article, one of the few I have read that explains GW and PFD letters. There is a quote in the reading that I disagree with though. Here's the quote (verbatim):

“Closing credit card accounts can hurt your score unless the accounts were opened less than two years ago, and you have over six credit cards,” states Jamison, adding that consumers should make sure to keep their old credit cards open as well. “Fair Isaac’s credit scoring software assumes that people who have had credit for a longer time are at less risk of defaulting on payments.”

The reality is opened and closed CC TLs are weighted equally by FI scoring. As long as the said closed CC reports positive and has a $0 balance and there is no change in util%, scores should not decrease. Moreover, closed CC TLs are included in credit history length as well as average account age. So I really question Jamison's notion on closing CCs that have a history of less than 2 years. In the long term though, a closed TL falls off your CRs after 10 years and this can lower scores. But again that is long term. Jamison is suggesting closed TLs do not count for much, not true at all.


Forums posts are not provided or commissioned by FICO. Forums posts have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by FICO. It is not FICO's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

† Advertiser Disclosure: The listings that appear on myFICO are from companies from which myFICO receives compensation, which may impact how and where products appear on myFICO (including, for example, the order in which they appear). myFICO does not review or include all companies or all available products.
‡ Credit cards for FICO Score ranges: The score ranges are guidelines based on internal myFICO analysis of actual applicant approvals, and having a FICO Score in a particular range does not guarantee you will be approved for credit cards recommended in that range. These ranges were not provided by any card issuer.

* For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer’s website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer’s website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. While myFICO always strives to present the most accurate information, we show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms - and before applying you should understand the full terms of products as stated by the issuer itself.

Copyright ©2001-2015 Fair Isaac Corporation. All rights reserved.   | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Sitemap

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: All FICO® Score products made available on include a FICO® Score 8, along with additional FICO® Score versions. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than the versions you receive from myFICO, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more

FICO, myFICO, Score Watch, The score lenders use, and The Score That Matters are trademarks or registered trademarks of Fair Isaac Corporation. Equifax Credit Report is a trademark of Equifax, Inc. and its affiliated companies. Many factors affect your FICO Score and the interest rates you may receive. Fair Isaac is not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. Fair Isaac does not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit record, credit history or credit rating. FTC's website on credit.