Credit Report ? How to Improve Your Credit Score

One of the great mysteries of life is how the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union) score credit. They all have secret statistical formulas for determining your credit score, but they are unwilling to divulge exactly what, exactly, constitutes your score. This can make it difficult for people with problem credit to try to improve their score in hopes of obtaining a home or car loan later.

While the exact formula is a secret, there are a few things you can do that will undoubtedly improve your score:

Pay off a home equity line of credit. These loans, which allow you to borrow more than once against your home's equity, are considered revolving credit, much like a credit card. Pay it down or pay it off; either should help your score.

Check your credit report regularly; you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report once a year. By looking over your credit report, you can make sure that debts you have paid on time are shown on the report, such as student loans, or auto loans that have been paid in full. You can also make sure that your credit limits on your credit cards are reported correctly. Lenders look at the ratio of debt to available credit, and if your reported credit limit is low, it could make it appear as though you are nearly at your credit limit.

Check for duplicate information on your credit report. If your mortgage has been sold to another firm, make sure that your report doesn't show your mortgage twice.

Keep balances on credit cards and other revolving accounts low. You do not want to be seen owing too much money to too many different lenders.

Don't have too many open credit accounts. Ten Visa cards will not help your credit rating. Try to keep a maximum of three revolving credit accounts.

By checking your credit report regularly, and by eliminating unusual entries, you should be able to increase your credit score. And with credit, every little bit helps.

?Copyright 2005 by Retro Marketing. Charles Essmeier is the owner of Retro Marketing, a firm devoted to informational Websites, including and