As a commercial real estate and corporate underwriter, I have a very different view of credit scores than most. A simple score that gives no credence to an individuals income, liquidity or net worth has NO credibility in my opinion.
Regardless of my individual thoughts, the bottom-line is that if you have a low credit score you are going to have a tougher time getting a loan. Additionally, you will probably pay a premium interest rate if your credit score is too low.
4 Ways to Build Your Credit Score
- Don’t shop around for consumer credit. The more people that pull your credit, the lower the score This doesn’t apply for a mortgage or new car loan, but I wouldn’t chance it. Try and get a preliminary rate quote before you give the lender permission to pull your credit.
- Don’t close that line of credit or any credit cards. A big percentage of the score is revolving balance to revolving limits. A high ratio points indicates a borrowers stress to pay.
- Don’t pay charge-offs. Charge-offs drop after seven years. If you pay them you are keeping them open, which is hurting your score
- Don’t open new accounts. Over the long-term a lot of revolving accounts helps you. However, in the short-term opening a bunch of revolving accounts will drop your score significantly.
Above are 4 tactics you can use to improve your credit score without spending any extra time. However, I want to leave you with a bonus tactic that can improve your credit score by over 100 points in 1 month.
My friend recently got turned down for a mortgage because his credit-score was too-low. (see above comments on my personal thoughts on credit scores! My friend makes six-figures, no debt and has $50K ready to put down on a $150K house purchase)
Anyway, my friend has a line of credit for his business but he personally guaranteed it, so it was reporting on his personal credit report. He quickly paid that off.
The next thing he did which caused a huge spike in his credit score was that he used his credit card like a debit card. He put everything he could on his credit card and then every three to five days he would make a bank transfer and pay-off the balance.
Thirty-days later, his credit score improved by over 100 points.
One final credit boosting tip for today: A recent study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 79 percent of credit reports contained some kind of error. Sometimes improving one’s credit is simply a matter of getting rid of the errors!
What’s the craziest credit score story you have or have heard about? Or do you have any tips that you know can help improve someone’s credit? Tell me about it in the comments!
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.