Credit Scores

Everyone has a right to check their own credit report annually. For a free copy of your credit report, simply go to This is a wise thing to do as often as possible. That’s the only way you will be able to identify any errors that may be on your credit report.

Whether it’s a misspelled name or wrong information all together, you have the right to dispute what’s been reported. Monitoring your credit report will not only point out errors in your report, but it will also help you to manage it better. You’ll be able to see firsthand how certain behaviors either affect your credit positively or negatively.

While you’re on the mission of improving your credit score, there may be instances where you aren’t seeing a huge impact. Maybe you’re making payments on time and keeping balances low, but for some reason your credit score stays stagnate. When this happens, look at other factors that could be dragging it down.

Other things that could keep your credit low is the length of your credit history and the type of accounts you have.

Type of Accounts – Having a healthy variety of accounts on your credit plays a huge role in your credit score. To show that you’re responsible for managing various kinds of credit, you want to have active installment and revolving accounts. Don’t open up any new accounts, however, if you can’t handle it.

Length of Credit History – When it comes to credit history, the longer you’ve had it usually means the better your score. Since you can’t do anything about the amount of time you’ve had credit, you’ll just have to be patient as you build responsibly.

If you’ve been trying to get your credit affairs together, yet having no luck there’s probably a good explanation for it. Many times people pay their debts on time and keep their balances low, yet for some reason never see a real increase in their credit score. It’s important to note there are other factors that can impact your credit score besides on time payments. One of them is your past credit record.

Is there something in your past hugely negative such as foreclosure or bankruptcy? Your credit score can take a huge hit when something like that happens. Not to mention, negative information can stay on your credit report up to 7 years. The good news is over time the impact will lessen especially as you handle new credit responsibility. That means making payments on time and keeping credit balances low.

If you’ve been making payments on time, yet your credit score is stagnate, there may be other factors to consider. Making payments on time is the biggest factor affecting your credit score, but it isn’t the only factor that affects it. If you make a late payment, it could affect your score by at least 100 points. The other factor that affects your credit score is the amount of debt you’re carrying all together.

It’s important that you keep your revolving credit balances as low as possible. Revolving credit balances would be something like a credit card. On your credit report this equals utilization. Credits cards have limits. If you’re close to reaching your limit that means your utilization is high. This will impact your credit score big time by dragging it down. Until balances are paid down, your credit score will remain stagnant or low.

In Part 1 of What Can You Legally Dispute On Your Credit Report, we covered errors that you should dispute including wrong identity information and other account mistakes. In part 2, we share other things you can dispute:

Anything Past 7 Years: Derogatory information can only stand on your credit report for a certain amount of years. Time frames vary, but in most cases it’s 7 years from the date the account first became delinquent.

Derogatory Marks: When you pay a past-due bill it usually won’t come off your credit report automatically. You have a right to challenge it, especially if it’s damaging your credit.

Keep in mind that when you set out to dispute an item on your credit report, the fix won’t happen overnight. It takes time to improve your credit score. For a detailed look at your credit report, go to

If you’re wondering what you can dispute on your credit report, the answer is pretty much anything.

The most common disputes you can make include:

  • Wrong Identity Information: If you see anywhere on your credit report that shows a wrong name, address, or employment information, that’s grounds for dispute. This could very well mean that your information has been mixed up with someone else, or worse, identity theft.
  • Account Mistakes: If you see any discrepancies on your credit report from the actual statement that you get, you can challenge that. For example, if you’ve always paid your car note on time, but your credit report lists the account as 15 days past due, you should dispute it.

Grab your free credit report and and start looking for discrepancies that may be affecting your score.

Check out Part 2 of What Can You Legally Dispute On Your Credit Report.

Every now and then, you may run across a mistake on your credit report. If you’re suspicious of an error on your credit report, it’s important to take action. The first step is to pull your credit report. You can easily get one for free at Next, go through everything to see what’s accurate and what’s not.

Take a look at things that are in collections or anything else that’s negatively affecting your score. Once you’ve spotted any items that you disagree with, it’s time to file a dispute. To file an official dispute, you should contact all three major credit reporting agencies since they are the ones who will expose your history to potential creditors.

How much do you know about what’s in your credit report? Many people may be aware of their score, but their are components that affect your score. When you decide to take a look at your credit report summary, here are 5 things you can expect:

  • Your payment history: This shows you any positive or negative information showing up in your credit file. It shows any late payments or actions from collection agencies.
  • Available credit: This shows you what percentage of available credit you’re using and if you’re using too much or too little.
  • Credit age: Your credit age is how old your credit history is.
  • Range of credit: This part will show exactly what is on your report including mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and student loans.
  • Number of inquiries: Every time you apply for credit, it shows up on your account as a hit.

It’s important to be informed on the items in your credit report so you’ll know what other others are looking at too when they view your report. Read More

Believe it or not, credit history has a huge impact on your overall credit score. It comes in third place right after payment history and amount owed. As you can see, if you want to keep your credit score, you can’t ignore this important factor. Here’s how you can score high in this very important area:

  • Keep old accounts open: It may be tempting to close an old account, but don’t. The older your accounts are the better it looks towards your overall score.
  • The earlier the better: The earlier you start using credit, the better it looks for your credit history. The key is to be responsible with what you borrow.  
  • Take caution when opening new accounts: When opening new accounts, you’re actually lowering your points in this category.

If you keep your old accounts open and remain responsible with payments, you have a great chance of keeping points in this category high.

The amount of time you’ve had credit makes a difference in your credit score. In fact, after payment history and amounts owed, length of credit history is the most influential part of your FICO score.

Length of credit history means…

  • Age of your oldest credit account
  • Age of your newest credit account
  • Average age of all your accounts
  • How long various credit accounts have been opened, such as mortgages, credit cards and auto loans.
  • Length of time since different types of credit accounts have been used.

Keep the length of your credit history in mind the next time you check your credit score. The longer you can prove your history, the better the it looks towards your credit score.