In today’s current economy, its much harder to qualify for a loan. Now you need a very good credit score to qualify for most types of credit. So what’s a good credit score rating?

850 is perfect credit and the highest credit score rating possible, though I’ve never personally seen anyone with an 850. A good credit score starts in the 670 range. Scores lower than 670 are not considered good credit.

How to Get a Good Credit Score:

There are 5 criteria that your credit is scored upon, and they’re rather simple to follow.

1. Payment History accounts for 35% of your credit score.

Do you pay your bills on time? If you do nothing else but make timely payments, you will have a good credit score in two years. Obviously, avoiding new collections, court actions, and most easily late pays will help your credit.

Past delinquency plays the largest role in hurting your credit score. One recent 30 day late payment will lower your credit score, most likely by 20 points! A couple of late payments, and your score will drop very far, very fast. 60 day lates hurt your score even more and 90 day lates are a real issue. It is important to know that the more recent the delinquency, the more negative the effect on your score. One 30 day late last month will hurt more than even a 90 day late 4-5 years ago (5-10 points).

Make sure to stay on top of your debt. Take live skorĀ caution to make timely payments and take care of accounts before they are late or go to collection. Do not overextend yourself in such a way that it hurts your chances of making timely payments. If you have old late pays that cannot be disputed off your credit report, know that time does heal old wounds and your score will increase given that no new delinquencies are reporting.

Pay before the Grace Period on your Credit Cards. Creditors charge additional fees for late payments. This is a very large profit center for a bank. Now, not only is there a due date, but there is also a due time. A bank may charge a $30-$35 fee for being 2 hours late on your payments! (make sure to look at the fine print of all agreements) Also, many banks have implemented under 20 day grace periods, shortened from 30 days, to increase overdue charges. Don’t wait for the due date! Get your payments in fast or sign up for automatic debit payments online.

2. Amount Owed accounts for 30% of your credit score.

The credit scoring model calculates credit balance against your high credit limit. This is calculated in percentages. It’s important to keep your balances as low as possible. If you have a card with a $5,000 credit limit, keeping your balance below $500 puts you in the 10% range of available credit. There are thresholds in debt ratio that will make your credit score jump higher. These thresholds are 70%, 50%, 30% and 10%. If you can’t pay off your credit cards all the way, pay them down BELOW the next possible threshold. Calculate your credit limits in this way.

If you have a card with a $5,000 limit, multiply 5000 x.10 (or.30,.50,.70) You will want to pay your balance below these amounts. In this case – less than $500 (or $1500, $2500 or $3500).

Remember, the first thing to do is to check your credit report for credit limits. If your high limit is not reporting, the scoring model will use your balance as your credit limit. This means you’re using 100% of your availability. Call your creditor and make sure they correct it. Distribution of debt is an easy way to make sure you maintain a strong score. Try to have a good spread of debt with lower balance to limit ratio. For example, its better to have $2,000 on five cards than it is to have $10,000 on one card with four others paid off.

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