Stop Borrowing TROUBLE- 10 Steps to Healthy Credit

Mortgage lenders are in the process of raising credit score requirements from 620 to 640. Raising your credit score is more important now than ever! Further, it is estimated that the lifetime cost of poor credit is in excess of $200k.

Please review the following steps to ensure you are doing what you should be to stop borrowing trouble:

1.)   Obtain a FREE credit report at: FREE CREDIT REPORT

2.)   Dispute all inaccurate information to the reporting credit bureau(s). The goal is to make sure all information on your report is correct.

3.)   Dispute collections accounts with the credit bureaus as “not mine” or “unjust charge”. (eg: an unfair cell phone bill that went unpaid) The older and smaller a debt that has been sent to collections, the more likely the collection agency will not investigate your dispute.

4.)   Once you are financially able, start settling old debt. Contact the creditor and negotiate what you can afford. Once you reach an agreement, request that the creditor report the debt as, "Settled in Full" or "Paid in Full." Make sure you receive a copy of the settlement agreement.

5.)   Pay your bills on time.

6.)   Limit the number of inquiries on your credit.

7.)   Keep your credit card balances below 30% of their limit.

8.)   Use your oldest credit card. The older your credit history, the better!

9.)   If you’ve been a good customer, a creditor may agree to remove a late payment from your credit report. Make the request in writing. It never hurts to ask.

10.) Stay away from those companies that promise to "fix your credit".

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