Your credit report will show any and every credit card you've ever opened in your entitlement life. It shows your mortgages and car loans. And, it discloses who has been running your social security number recently. Then, it gets into the nitty-gritty – how many times you have been 30, 60 or 90 days late in making payments. It reveals your current balance and credit limits on all of your debts. But wait, it gets worse. If you have any items that have gone to collections, oh, they'll be there. Other financially related public records like foreclosures, short sales, bankruptcy, judgments, repossessions also make an appearance. All that data swirls, slides, twists and turns through the credit bureaus' secret algorithms that extremely spit out your credit scores.
While each of the credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion, has a slightly different range, a credit score runs from 300 up to 850. While doctors use a pain scale to determine your level of pain, 1 being low and 10 which is well … too painful to put into words, the bureaus do the same thing. The lower your score, the higher the risk you are to a lender. So, to be blunt, lenders see your low score and believe that you probably will not pay them back.
Experian, Equifax and Transunion calculate your credit score using five different factors. These factors include your payment history (35%), the amount you owe to financial lenders (30%), the length of your credit history (15%), the number of open / applied new credit accounts (10%) and the types of credit accounts open (10%).
So, let's assume for a minute you have a low score. What do you need to know in order to increase your score? First, let's revisit those five factors.
1. Payment history – do you have a lot of late payments? If so, you can most-likely increase your score with credit repair services.
2. Amount owed – are your cards maxed out? If so, credit repair itself can not fix that unless the debt that is reported does not belong to you or is listed incorrectly. If that's the case, dispute it. However, if that debt is yours and everything that is listed is accurate, paying it down is the bottom line. That will improve your score over time.
3. Length of Credit History – are your credit cards and / or loans new? If so, you may have a lower score. This is simply because you do not have a financial track record yet. Credit repair will not help this, but you can learn some different ways to start using credit (responsibly, of course).
4. Number of Inquiries – if you are constantly applying for credit cards at every store, chances are your score will take a dip. This shows lenders you are shopping for potential debt. Credit repair could help you get some of these inquiries removed. As you know, thieves like to open up fraudulent credit cards in your name. Check your credit report to see if anyone other than yourself is running your credit.
5. Types of credit accounts open – Credit cards are called revolving debt. I suppose it's because of those minimum payments that are due with no real plan for payoff. The debt just keeps revolving month after month. The more revolving debt you have the lower your score will be. However, all of these credit cards may not be reported accurately. Something as simple as an incorrect credit limit could be hurting you. Chances are you can dispute these items while repairing your credit and increase your score. Credit repair can help clean up these errors.
Car loans, student loans and mortgages are called install debt. They are not as troublesome as credit cards, but again, some could have been reported incorrectly, and you'll want to fix that with credit repair.
If you're still reading at this point, I hope you have a better understanding of your to read your credit report and understand how your credit score is calculated. In fact, if you have not seen your credit report this year, run one of your free annual credit reports today at annualcreditreport.com. Your credit score will not be affected if you run your report from this site.