Kirk Mulhearn Real Estate Broker/Owner Long Beach, CA 562(989) 460-8110 Contact Profile
One of the Fastest Ways to Increase Your
FICO® Credit Scores
Long Beach, CA. Please take the time to read the following article on how to improve your credit score. My friend and Credit Clean-up Professional: Steve Manos, is one of the most talented fellows that I have ever met in this field. Home buyers and refinanciers alike need to know how to make their credit look golden, especially when applying for a mortgage. I can't tell you how important it is for everyone to be aware of their current credit score and to know what little things to do to quickly improve these same scores:
Wouldn't it be great if you could just pick up the phone, make a toll-free call and, like magic, your FICO credit scores would go up?
Well, you can.
And the call isn't to the three major credit bureaus asking them to remove inaccurate information from your credit reports.
or to lenders who have put negative information on your credit reports.
This credit scoring technique is often overlooked.
I've used this strategy to increase my FICO credit scores on many occasions-and it's easy.
All you need to do is pick up the telephone and dial a few toll-free numbers. Within a few minutes you'll have started a chain of events that may quickly increase your scores.
The technique is to simply increase your credit limits on your credit cards.
Credit Mistake #8
Not Increasing Your Credit Limits
Increasing your credit limits is one of the fastest and easiest ways to increase your credit scores.
When you increase your credit limits and your spending patterns remain the same you end up using a smaller percentage of your combined credit limits. This increases your scores.
Make it a practice to ask for higher credit limits on a regular basis, usually every 6 to 12 months. When you ask lenders for a credit limit increase, the credit inquiry will lower your scores, but a credit inquiry is usually less damaging than a maxed out credit limit.
Lenders periodically review your account to determine whether or not to increase your credit limit. This type of credit inquiry will not lower your scores.
Here's How Increasing Your Credit
Limits Increases Your Credit Scores
"One of the quickest ways to increase your credit scores is to increase your credit card limits."
Pretty simple, huh?
Now let me explain why something so easy can have such a great impact.
Let's imagine you have 10 credit cards each with a $1,000 limit. So you have a total (or aggregate) credit card limit of $10,000.
Now let's assume that five of these credit cards are maxed out. In this case, you have a total (or aggregate) credit card balance of $5,000.
Your balance-to-limit ratio is now 50%. You've used $5,000 of your $10,000 total credit limit. This is called your "revolving utilization.." It's the total amount of your credit limits that you are currently using.
Being 50% utilized is considered high by most lenders' standards. and more importantly. by the creators of the FICO credit score.
But now watch what happens.
You pick up the telephone and ask for a credit limit increase on each of the five credit cards you haven't maxed out.
Let's suppose each of the five lenders doubles your credit limit. So now you have 5 credit cards
with a $2,000 limit and a $0 balance. But you also have 5 credit cards with a $1,000 limit with no available credit.
By increasing your credit limits you've just reduced your balance-to-limit ratio from 50% to 33%.
And if you doubled the credit limit on the other 5 cards in this example, your balance-to-limit ratio would be 25%.
That's a significant decrease in your ratio!
Bravo! You've just increased your credit scores by making a few free telephone calls.
However, there are some potential pitfalls with this strategy.
When you ask for a credit limit increase it will cause a credit inquiry. the type that lowers your credit scores.
So, to be safe, apply for all credit limit increases within a 14-day period. Here's why.
Great Credit Scoring Tip
When calling to increase the credit limit of credit cards issued by banks and credit unions there's a good chance multiple inquiries will be counted as only one, minimizing the impact several inquiries could have on your credit scores.
In the past, you may have seen me write about how, when you apply for a mortgage or comparison shop to buy a car, you should always do it within a 14-day period since mortgage and auto inquiries made within this time-frame count as only one inquiry.
Well, the same can be true when you ask your bank or credit union to increase your credit limits.
The reason this works is because the FICO credit scoring models can't usually distinguish why a bank or credit union is inquiring about your credit. In other words, there's no way to tell if the bank is inquiring about your credit in order to approve you for a mortgage or because they want to increase your credit limit. So it errs on the side of the consumer because you COULD be applying for a mortgage or auto loan from a bank or credit union. In this case it groups all inquiries within 14 days and counts them as only 1. This is very much in your favor.
But even if you do get stung by a few credit inquiries, generally your reduced utilization percentage will outweigh any negative effect of the inquiries-as long as you don't go on a shopping spree after wards! That brings me to the second pitfall.
Increasing Your Credit Limits Is a "Score Increase"
Strategy, not a "Spend More Money" Strategy
If you go out and use up the newly available credit you'll be back in the same situation with your scores (and you will owe even more money). So don't make that mistake.
Think of your increased limit as overdraft protection on a checking account. You're not supposed to ever use it. but it's nice to have just in case.
You Can Use This Technique to Increase Your
Credit Scores Every Six Months
From personal experience, I've found that you can request that your credit limits be increased about once every six months-as long as you put yourself in a position to deserve an increase.
In order for the credit card companies to increase your credit limits, you obviously need a good payment history with them. If you continually make late payments or have a large balance, odds are they won't increase your limit, so keep this in mind when you ask for limit increases.
At minimum you should: pay your bills early or on time, pay more than the minimum amount due, and/or pay off your balance each month.