Money Monday: Raise Your Credit Score

BET.com offers five ways to manage your finances.

Posted: 03/19/2012 09:00 PM EDT

Whether you want to buy a house or a new car, you need credit. Studies show, however, you may also need good credit to simply get a job.

 

According to the Society for Human Resources Management's 2010 Background Checking Survey, 60 percent of employers perform credit background checks. If the results are positive, your employer is most likely to associate a good credit rating with good character and trustworthiness. If the results are not in your favor, you could be left without a job.

 

To make sure you know what goes into the making of what could be a life-determining number, experts from Bankrate.com offer tips on how to raise your credit score, and BET.com breaks down 5 uncommon ways to get back in the green.

 

1. Pay Your Bills BEFORE Your Statement Is Due

 

It’s always a good feeling to be able to pay your bills on time, but you could help to raise your credit score by paying your bills before they are due. By paying most of the bill before the statement due date, you can lower your utilization rate, which ultimately can affect your credit score, according to myFICO.com, the consumer division of FICO, the company that created the FICO score.

 

Because some lenders don’t report to the bureaus on the date your statement is due, this may not work with every card. To make sure, call your lender to ask when the balance gets reported.

 

2. Two Is Better than One

 

Another good way to raise your credit score is to make multiple payments at once. If you pay off your card every Friday for your weekday expenses, you will cut the amount of credit you use at any one time. This will also ultimately lower the balance on your statement.

 

3. Get Bad Marks Removed

 

If you have only one or two bad marks on your credit score, by asking for a “goodwill deletion,” you could get them removed. If you paid late once but you otherwise always pay on time, your lender could agree to expunge the bad mark(s).

 

Start by asking customer service, and be sure to make the request as soon after the error as possible.

 

4.  Negotiate With Collectors

 

Although they may seem like the big bad wolf at times, collectors will agree to remove the debt from your credit report if you agree to pay it off. Before you agree to pay anything, however, make sure the agreement is in writing. Have the collector write on company letterhead that they will remove the debt from all three major credit-reporting agencies.

 

5. Be Cautious in Short Sales

 

After obligations have been finalized and no money is owed in a short sale, the mortgage lender could still report to credit bureaus that the home loan was settled for less than the full amount, making it seem as if you owe money.

 

To make sure this doesn’t happen, arrange with the lender to not report a balance is owed...because it’s not. Manage your credit; don’t let your credit dictate your life.

 

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