Improving Your Credit Score

14 Jun

Metro®Boston, Publication Date: June 13, 2012
By Attorney George Warshaw

If managing your finances in today’s economy isn’t hard enough, add the need to manage your credit score.

That thing called a “FICO Score” can cost or save you money. When mortgage lenders quote rates they generally presume a certain numerical level of a credit score. Drop below that level and the interest rate offered goes up. Drop too much below and you may not get a loan at any price.

To get a good score first make sure you pay your bills on time. I’ve recommended in past articles the virtue of putting all credit cards on an automatic monthly minimum payment taken directly from your bank account. You won’t miss a payment that way and you can always pay more.

Less well known is the balance you run on each credit card.

Let’s say you have two credit cards each with a $10,000 credit limit.  You owe nothing on one and $6,000 on the other. Your credit score might be better if each card had a $3,000 balance.

Scoring formulas look at how much of each card and all cards that you use.

Try to keep the amount owed well below 40% of the allowable credit on each card and below 40% of the total owed on all cards.

George Warshaw is a real estate and estate planning attorney in Massachusetts. He represents buyers and sellers of homes and condos in Massachusetts, and prepares wills, trusts for individuals and families. George welcomes new clients and questions at metro@warshawlaw.com.

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Legal Advice: Laws, and court decisions interpreting them, change frequently and this article is not updated as laws change. The content and information contained in this article is neither intended as legal advice nor shall establish an attorney-client relationship.

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