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My Debts Are Paid But My FICO Score is Still Low

I paid all of my credit card debt and pulled my credit report. I am surprised it didn't go up. What's wrong?

I recently paid off all of my credit card debt. This was a task that took several years of sacrifice and discipline. During this time, I never missed a payment and always maintained a good credit score, but my high cc debt seemed to prevent my score from being even higher. I recently pulled by free credit report/scores and was surprised to not see it even higher. I received conflicting info on my report regarding factors that were hurting my score: "Not enough premium bankcard accounts on my report" and \"There are too many personal finance accounts on your credit report." I am uncertain how to assess these. I always thought that having a lot of available credit to a low debt was seen as a good ratio and thus a positive factor on my credit score. Please help, as I don't know if I should close out some of my credit card accounts. Thanks for your time.

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Bill's Answer
(5 Votes) | Find Learn Save

Congratulations! Paying off debt is a tremendously liberating feeling. There are many people I correspond with daily who would love to be in your position. After all that work and sacrifice I can understand why you want to see your work rewarded when you see your credit score.

I have good news for you. Your hard work is over, and boosting your credit score will be relatively easy from this point forward. Your credit score is called the FICO score by people in the business, and its formula is partially public information.

Because all of the heavy lifting is behind you, take these three steps, in no particular order:

1) Close the newest revolving credit accounts. Keep the two oldest accounts, as these provide the basis of your credit history. Longevity has meaning. Keep these two accounts current, and do not go above 25% of the credit limit.

2) Open a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card. Apply for one -- not all of them. If you do not qualify for a regular credit card, then open a secured card. Stay on top of the payments, and do not go above 25% of the credit limit. (The analysis you quoted tells me you don't have one of these cards. Or, if you do, your many store cards are overwhelming your credit report.)

3) Pull your credit report and contest any inaccurate information so that it can be corrected by the credit bureaus.

Remember that credit reports are updated every 60 days, and it usually takes 30 days for the updates to be available. As a result, it can take 90 days before you see any change in your credit score.

To learn more about credit reports and credit scoring, I encourage you to visit the Credit Solutions and Resources page.

I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.



(5 Votes)

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