Credit Use and Your Credit Score

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Credit Use and Your Credit Score

by William DiPaolo

The other morning I read a story in the Wall Street Journal that reveals just how unsure people are about the relationship between their credit use and their credit score. Since WSJ was kind enough to post it on their free site, here’s a link to the story.

The problem I have with the article is that the casual reader is left feeling helpless, almost at the mercy of a random credit score attached to hit or miss credit card use. The fact is, many mortgage brokers use advanced credit proofreading software that can identify exactly where you may be going sideways with your credit use.

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know how your use (or non use) of credit cards is helping (or hurting) your credit score. How could you know? And for that matter, those that say they know are only guessing. Credit use is always considered in context of ones complete credit profile. This means that opening up a brand new credit card may help your score – or hurt it. It all depends on how many cards you currently have, how often you use them and to what extent.

The bottom line is that the impact of your present credit use on your credit scoring is complicated. But it doesn’t need to be confusing. I’m suggesting that the best time to select and visit with a mortgage professional is before you are ready to buy or refinance your home. Pick up the phone and talk with a few of them – find out what they know about credit scoring – and ask them about their technical ability to scan your credit files for errors. Can they detect the issues in the way you use credit that are hurting your scores? Can they offer suggestions to improve your credit use in order to strengthen your scores? And can they scan your credit file for data errors that may be unknowingly harming your credit score?

These mortgage professionals exist. I know, because more than 20,000 of them use our software nationwide to perform these services every day. A one hour visit with anyone of them may result not only I a stronger credit profile, but also in the best credit education you’ve ever had.

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