Five Ways to Survive the Credit Meltdown

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According to More Magazine, it used to be a credit score of 720 would have entitled you to borrow money at the best rates; today you need a score of 760 or higher. Improving your credit score means doing the following without fail:

• Pay your bills on time; this is 35% of your score

• Use as little as 10% of the credit available on plastic-ask for increases in credit lines without increasing the debt you carry

• Maintain long credit relationships, keep your old cards; this is 15% of your score

• Don’t get a new credit card unless you have to. Your credit inquiry status represents 10% of your score

• Keep a good mix of creditors. Demonstrate that you can borrow and repay all kinds of companies—car dealerships, mortgage lenders and credit card issuers; however, this is only 10% of your score.

The one DIY strategy that’s working is called piggybacking. A spouse, partner or child with not-so-great credit, can get a credit score boost by being added to your accounts as an authorized user.

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