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SCORING TIPS



Published: Sat, August 13, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



SCORING TIPS

Credit reports

Sign up for automatic bill payment. Being late on bills by 30 days or more can make credit scores drop by as much as 100 points.

Watch the timing of your spending. For consumers who plan on applying for a loan it's best to keep spending down and reduce debt. The lower the balance, the better the ranking.

Limit credit-card applications. Each time a lender inquires to view a credit report it gets noted and can reduce the score.

Think twice before canceling credit cards. Consumers gain points if they are tapping only a small percentage of the total credit available to them. Eliminating accounts can reduce the ratio.

Make sure credit limits are posted. When creditors don't report available credit, the Fair Isaac's system might assume that those cards are maxed out, which can slash scores by as many as 50 points.

Source: Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.com




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