If you have missed payments, get current and stay current: the longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your FICO Scores should increase. Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won’t haunt you forever. The impact of past credit problems on your FICO Scores fades as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. And good FICO Scores weigh any credit problems against the positive information that says you’re managing your credit well.
Your credit score is a numerical reflection of all of the financial information contained in your credit report. Credit reports come from one of three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion. Creditors and other companies send in financial information related to you and other consumers to help build an accurate representation of your creditworthiness.
New credit tips: Note that it’s OK to request and check your own credit report: this won’t affect a score, as long as you order your credit report directly from the credit reporting agency or through an organization authorized to provide credit reports to consumers.
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Collections are complicated because paying them off may actually end up hurting your credit score by resetting the start date from when it was reported. Before taking action on collections, read on to find out how to navigate these murky waters. Like charge-offs, collection accounts may be reported for up to seven years from the date you first fell behind with the original creditor.
Set Up Payment Reminders – Write down payment deadlines for each bill in a planner or calendar and set up reminders online. Consistently paying your bills on time can raise your score within a few months. Pay More Than Once in a Billing Cycle – If you can afford it, pay down your bills every two weeks rather than once a month. This lowers your credit utilization and definitely improves your score.