Monday, April 9, 2007

Credit reports. What's on yours?

Oh Cash has a good post about what's included in your credit report and how you can improve your score.

There's a lot of great information in this post I just have a couple of comment.

  1. It's usually not a great idea to close old credit cards. This is bad for a couple reasons. 1 - it removes that account from your average age calculation which will lower your score. 2 - it removes that credit limit from your utilization which can hurt your score. Instead, you should try to keep your oldest card open as long as possible. If you must close credit card accounts it's best to close the newest accounts with the lowest limits.
  2. Another way to increase your score is to have someone with good credit add you as an Authorized User to their account. With most companies this effectively gives you the history associated with that card which can give you a quick and easy boost. This is a better option than getting a co-signer since with an AU you are not financially tied to anyone.
The biggest thing to remember is that it's important to check your credit on a regular basis. You can get 1 report free from each of the big three credit agencies by going to www.annualcreditreport.com. I usually suggest spreading them out and getting one every 4 months. This gives you ongoing access to your report throughout the year.

2 comments:

Saving Simply said...

Unfortunately, i didn't know that i shouldn't cancel my old credit card. I figured that I didn't ever use it anymore, so what was the point of having it. (I only have one now) Thinking back, i probably should have just cut it up and left the account open. Luckily my wife has a credit history!

PF101 said...

One thing to keep in mind with just putting you card in a drawer and not using it is that eventually they'll close your account. You should try to use it once or twice a year just to keep the card active.