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How To Raise Credit Score

New Visitor

How To Raise Credit Score

I have very limited credit history, one year actually. I have a few hospital bills delinquent. Unfortunately, I now have a judgment from last month on my credit, which has now been paid in full. I have one revolving account that is in good standing, never paid late. My score is 557 (Experian). What can I do to raise my credit score other than pay everything on time, which I am now doing?

Thanks in advance!
Message 1 of 11
10 REPLIES
Senior Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

Has the hospital(s) reported the account(s) to the CRAs or are they just sending threatening notices?
 
Judgement vary wildly from state to state, but generally they remain for 7 years, or more, the date they were paid.
 
Keep the revolving account current. What's the util?
 
Establishing additional credit will help, but it might be tough at first. Is your CC a secure card?
Message 2 of 11
New Visitor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score



Noah_Bodie wrote:
Has the hospital(s) reported the account(s) to the CRAs or are they just sending threatening notices?
Judgement vary wildly from state to state, but generally they remain for 7 years, or more, the date they were paid.
Keep the revolving account current. What's the util?
Establishing additional credit will help, but it might be tough at first. Is your CC a secure card?





The hospital bills (from 2001) are in collections (just checking...there are four of them).

I am new at this, you said keep the revolving acc. current, what is the util.? What is "util"? The revolving account is a personal loan with a balance of $1203.00, never paid late. It was opened in Nov. 2006. I do not have any ccards, or any other credit.

I did go ahead and check my other two credit scores, and they are 648 (TU) and 574 (EX). TU is not showing my judgement, but Experian and Equifax are.

I would like a way to build my credit a little. I have been told to try to get a retail or gas cc, or a pre-payed cc. I would love to have advice, if anyone has any for me!

Thanks!
Message 3 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

Util is shorthand for utilization, but that's really only relevant for credit cards. It's the percent of available credit in use. For example, assuming a $450 balance on a card with a $1,000 limit, then the util would be 45%. Keeping all your cards under 50% is good, under 30% is better, under 10% is best.

 

Since this is an installment loan, util isn't an issue for that account.

 

Are you getting calls or letters from the hospital? I ask because if they went into collections in 2001, then they'll drop from your reports in 2008. Unless you're trying to buy a car or home before then, you might wanna just let them lie for now.

 

Either a pre-paid or secure card is a good way to start. There are also subprime cards out there, and you could probably get one of them. Capital One, Orchard, First Premier, HSBC, Centennial and some others. Read carefully because these subprime cards can carry a hefty initial fee to signup. Upwards of $200.

 

Target and Walmart are two that a lotta folks land.

Message 4 of 11
New Visitor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

No, I haven't received anything from the hospital in a very long time. I am not planning on buying anything for a long time, at least until I fix my credit! Thanks for the information on the cards. I might try a secure card to start. I appreciate your help!
Message 5 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

I believe the secure cards from Orchard and Cap 1 can be converted into an unsecured card in time if you maintain the payments. HSBC I'm given to understand will NOT convert to an unsecured card.
Message 6 of 11
Senior Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

Yea I agree. Tough situation. You just need to add lots of good stuff to build up credit. Cards will help.

Message Edited by ilovepizza on 05-18-2007 12:30 AM
If we never set higher goals we would never get as far.
sol, credit 101, acr, abbreviations, calc
Message 7 of 11
New Visitor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

I know what worked for me. I got myself into trouble with cc's a number of years ago. My credit was ruined for a while as a result of this. I got rid of all of them and just looked at my situation as starting over. I found information here interesting (http://www.nationalpayday.com) and used them to help me rebuild my credit score. I just took small ones over a number of months and paid them back immediately. It helped me out in the long run.
Message 8 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

STAY AWAY FROM PAYDAY LOANS AT ALL COST. THEY ARE THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE AND WILL RUIN ANY PROGRESS THAT CAN BE MADE. I HAVE FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE. I once borrowed $255 for an out of pocket emergeny. When payday came around I owed $300. But, now I had to take out another loan after paying that back because I had other bills due that week. It is a cycle that is difficult to break. Interst rates are 350%. Highway Robbery.

Try taking out a small secured personal loan from your bank or credit union. Credit Unions are the best and usually help there customers. I am a member of a credit union and they offer secured loans and credit cards without a credit check and they report to all three major credit bureaus.

This may be a good avenue to get you an installment account which will help your FICOs. Try a small amount like $500 and make the payments on time. Then when that is done, take out another small installment loan (secured) for $500 - $1000 and pay on time. Then you will have a few more positive TL.

Try to get your credit card utilization down to %35. 1% - 9% is much better and FICO will reward handsomely.

This is a process. But, YOU CAN DEFINITELY DO IT. Keep the faith.

Message Edited by cfstr1 on 08-24-2007 09:24 AM

Message Edited by cfstr1 on 08-24-2007 09:28 AM
Message 9 of 11
Frequent Contributor

Re: How To Raise Credit Score

I am glad this worked for you. But, for many Americans this is a death trap with interest rates of 350%. From my understanding they don't report to the major credit bureaus. This is a terrible industry that destroys many peoples financial lives everyday.

You will be better to put that interest you pay on a $255 loan into a savings account of your own and have that for emergencies. I know, because I have been there.



Emsworth wrote:
I know what worked for me. I got myself into trouble with cc's a number of years ago. My credit was ruined for a while as a result of this. I got rid of all of them and just looked at my situation as starting over. I found information here interesting (http://www.nationalpayday.com) and used them to help me rebuild my credit score. I just took small ones over a number of months and paid them back immediately. It helped me out in the long run.


Message 10 of 11