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7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score this Month

Credit scores continue to astound and confuse consumers more and more, according bankrate.com, as their survey revealed in September 2015, “nearly four in five Americans, 77 percent didn’t with accounts with high outstanding balances hurt their credit scores, even if they pay their bills on time.” While I work directly with my clients in developing a clearer path, understanding, and better habits to forge ahead in their credit goals, I help them find ways to increase their credit scores while in my credit restoration program. In today’s post, I share what you should do when taking a very close look at what your credit scores and what they reveal about you. In my experience over the years of working with clients, credit problems often have an underlying root. Here are 12 Ways to boost Your Credit Scores this Month so you can begin to make a change for the better in your credit situation.

1. Dispute any errors you see on your credit reports. We are in January and every year the credit bureaus provide an annual free credit report to consumers to review their credit status. Go here for request yours, https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

2. Ask for assistance on any accounts that you neglected to pay on time. Scenario: You had a gap in your employment situation and stopped paying a credit card bill on time and it is now in collection. Tip: Generally 90 days of no payment is headed for a charge-off. The next step is a collection reporting on your credit reports and essentially the account is in serious trouble. The creditor could allow you to pay off the balance in remove the bad reporting. You can ask for this, BUT, the key is to get a commitment in writing to get the account removed with the bad history as a result of the paid balance. It can be tricky!

3. Current credit card limits can be deceiving on your credit reports. Pay attention to what are using in any of your credit cards and how the monthly balance is showing up on your credit reports. Balances are a trigger of potential problems to a credit card company when they rise unexpectedly and the limit is exceeded.
Credit card balances can aggravate your credit score boosting efforts if they are high and maxed each month. If your paying on time and not carrying more than 30% of the balance over each month, you could ask for a credit line increase.

4. Acquiring a good interest rate credit card is key to better credit scores. This can be a longer range goal if your just starting out and need to build up your history to gain access to unsecured credit cards. The lower the interest rate, the more buying power you have when using the card. Each time you pay off your balance, the credit card company reports the use to the credit bureaus. The length of time you have used the card, the credit card limit, and how long the credit history is on file is all combined in a strategic mathematical algorithm, the credit bureaus use to rate your relationship with that credit card provider.

5. Minimize credit card use is the true rationale I want to emphasize especially to guard any score increase while getting credit problems related to old accounts and activity. Establishing a true habit of money management is better so that the credit card(s) you may still have can remain in good standing and stay open to help you restore (sustain) your good credit history.

6. Do not close credit card accounts no matter what happens. Old credit history can be helpful in your journey to a strong credit score. You may have a late or two from say maybe a year ago. That late payment loses its power in your credit history with each passing month you got back on track to pay on time. As long as there are no more late payments, that account can be a benefit to get approved for a larger credit line later. If on-time payments for 12 months continue, you are no longer under the same credit risk scrutiny. So that you don’t overspend or max the account, use to pay a automatic bill like cable so that it is used each month and it’s active.

7. Paying bills on time is imperative. A skipped payment may seem like “no big deal” but it will cost you royally. With credit cards the interest accrues daily, so a missed payment is detrimental as the interest could carry you over your limit, along with the fees that a late payment carries. The added killer is the score hit, which a 30 day late penalty could destroy your efforts to boost your credit scores because the late payment reports to the credit bureaus.

5 Ways to Address High Balances in Credit Card Use

Everyone wants low interest rate credit cards. I have conversations with my clients about what makes a credit card of value at any interest rate. Interest rates are often determined by well managed credit card balances and a strong credit score that lenders can see the likelihood of repayment. While that is incredibly key, most people still struggle with on-going high balances with their credit card use. in this article, you will learn 5 key points to use to help you better manage any credit cards you have already.

1. Keep more than one credit card. Credit cards are a tool to help in the event of emergencies like a car repair, medical costs, gas in a pinch, hotel booking, educational expenses, etc. The best way to manage is to simply designate a few cards for different uses. Some cards carry a great APR and it works for travel where you can pay it over time. Another card may carry an annual fee and a higher interest rate in which you may use it for shorter term use and monthly balance payoff.

2. Reduce department store credit card use. Department store credit card use is the most dangerous of all high credit card balance problems because of impulse shopping. With online buying now available with such ease like Amazon, Ebay, Macys and even Old Navy; shopping is a snap and also a trap! These types of cards always have much higher interest rates and annual fees.

3. Consider Balance transfer cards. You may right now need to re-structure some existing credit card debt. The fastest way is with a balance transfer credit card that will allow for the higher balance credit card limits that you cannot get a handle on. These types of cards can be a true life saver when you are only able to make the minimum payments and the interest you are carrying on each monthly balance is not getting smaller fast enough.

4. Pay monthly family expenses by debit card. We all get in the habit of paying everything with a credit card. We even buy groceries with a credit card and honestly, we shouldn’t. A debit card forces you to spend what you can account for in cash. It requires an eye on what is truly available to spend on anything and will get your attention to what is going on with your money. debit cards are free of the escalating fees of credit cards and are safer because the fees that due exist are firm fee costs.

5. Bi-monthly credit card payments can eliminate high balances.
Most people never think about what they can do to reduce their debt with a few extra dollars applied to their high interest credit card balance. This is not going to be as effective if you pay after the due date of the credit card bill. This is a winner if you do it before the credit card payment date and then pay one more time in the same month. Here is an example: Your ViSA credit card has a minimum payment due for $25.00 on the 15th of the month. You pay the $25.00 on the 13th and then pay another $25.00 on 29th of the month. This could reduce the interest accruing on your card considerably and be viewed by the bank as favorable account management. As you go along you are setting yourself up for a balance increase later on and a great argument for a reduction in the interest rate you are already paying on the credit card.

Dealing with overwhelm while in the home buying process

Buying a home can be incredibly stressful as there are many aspects to the process from getting prepared mentally to the money side of the preparedness. Here are some ways to ease your mind and keep you working towards that great goal. Here are 9 tips to keep you level-headed and able to keep up the demands of preparing for home ownership.

1. Stop, Breathe and Reset is necessary to grab your sanity in moments when everything seems like it is coming at you all at once.
Example: Take a quick walk. While taking in the sites and fresh air outdoors, you can capture some perspective and decompress.

2. Recognize that the “feeling” isn’t a real true emotion. It is a mind-trick and requires some mastery. It’s a form of fear and also known as False Evidence Appearing Real. Once you capture that and acknowledge it, it can be dealt with more effectively.

3. Meditate daily because life is crazy! Technology has changed the way we live, work and communicate. Buying a home has become very technologically advantaged with online home search sites and video. Knowing your triggers and the true nature that catching up is hard to do while the more you do is essential to your growth and priorities.

4. Mind map things out in your head. Strategize your steps, the details and the outcome. Communicate with your partners in your mind and those thoughts can help you ease any concerns.

5. Document what you want to see happen. Seeing yourself in a certain type of house, a desired neighborhood and even the color scheme of the interiors. Visualize it all. Ex. “I want a front yard with a porch in North Natomas that expands to accommodate for two lounge chairs and a cocktail table”

6. Remember that the situation to get through your financing is a timeframe and although it seems like forever, it is not. Underwriting can get sticky, funky and demanding of every intimate financial detail. It is the nature of the process. Just take it one step at a time. Ask lots of questions.

7. Focus on your own personal needs for your family situation. Buying a home most of time is a matter for those that care for others and/or plan to at some point. Family is one motivation to take on managing a home and building it financially. When you keep your family the focus, everything is worthwhile and restores any imbalance.

couple in front of one-family house in modern residential area

8. Understand the process and the expectation of closing your mortgage loan. There are many details to get prepared for a mortgage. The advertisements online, television and the junk mail you get at home, can overwhelm you. Speaking with a competent mortgage advisor makes all the difference.

9. Stick to your financial plan. Buying a home is a huge commitment and putting the money side of your goal system in place takes some serious review. While your saving for the down payment and closing costs, keep saving as much as possible. Don’t allow yourself to get off before the deal is done, documents are signed and you have the keys to your new home.

In conclusion, your success in working through the rigorous process of getting prepared for a mortgage to buy a home can be quite taxing and very stressful. Get GR8T Credit VIP has a program that has been extremely successful in helping clients get through the process from the credit to the loan. We walk your though it and have established real estate partnerships we work closely with that commit to your success. By a home with HBA and take the uncertainty out of achieving homeownership.

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