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18: Credit Reports + Scores: The Sequel.

Updated: Aug 23, 2022

These tips are so powerful because they aren’t just about your credit score and report. They are about your habits and being in control of your bills and finances!

  1. Review your credit report. Look at the 3 reports on Experian, Equifax, and Transunion. Really look at them because it could give you insight into how you pay your bills if there are mistakes and your habits. Are you paying late more often than you like, or do you owe money that you didn’t know about?

    1. Other things to look at: account status and do you recognize all the accounts on there.

    2. Get your free credit report at

  2. How to raise your credit score.

    1. Ask for late payment removal. Challenge one at a time.

    2. Ask for a higher credit limit. But don’t spend more.

    3. Pay your bills EVERY WEEK!

    4. Get added as an authorized user to an old account with perfect payment or a family member’s account that is willing to help you.

  3. Understand Credit Inquiries. These NEGATIVELY affect your credit score. They come in these forms:

    1. Applying for new credit cards

    2. Transferring balances

    3. Looking up your credit score (you and others!)

  4. Credit Utilization. This is the portion of your credit limit that you’re using at any given time. After payment history, it’s the second most important factor in FICO credit score calculations. Example. You have a credit limit of $5,000 but owe $2,500. Your credit utilization is 50% in this case. You want to aim for 30% OR LESS.

  5. Ongoing.

    1. Set due-date alerts, so you know when a bill is coming up

    2. Automate bill payments from your bank account - especially for credit cards. BUT still, look at all your monthly statements on bank and credit cards.

  6. Do debit cards affect my credit? Sadly no. They are not a form of credit, activity does not get reported to the credit bureaus, and it will never show up on your credit report or influence your score in any way.

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