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Discussion Starter #1
Mine sucks. Period. My score was great up until about 5 years ago when it plunged. I have found the credit system loves low scores because they are much more valuable to banks, lenders and quite frankly needed by credit repair companies. Its really easy to drop 30 points but extremely hard just to pick up 30. Ive also discovered it isnt just the big 3 at play anymore....there are dozens of unknown tracking and rating systems all over that are unproven but any lender can use to give you the big ole "denied" letter. From my perspective, the entire system is by design there to keep you "down" because when you are down you are just alot more valuable to the players.

I recently paid into Lexington law after months of seeing items disappear then magically reappear a few months later with new dates. My file has mistakes, duplicates and all kinds of trash...including items I own up to. I know the ultimate cure is pay everything off and pay on time. I get it. Having said that, Ive also learned some of the best REAL tricks and tips to raising a score comes from guys that arent financially incentivised to sell me something. Do any of you have any advice? Any company you have worked with that made a difference? Anything you have done to increase your score? Banks or lenders that are lenient to get loans and positive trade lines????? anything at all???
 

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The King of Common Sense
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I challenge your opinion in regards to the credit bureau who want your score to be low so they can lend you money at a higher interest rate. It is in the lenders best interest to lend you money with the assurance that you will pay them back. The reason your score is low is either you have limited credit, or you have unfavorable credit. Sure, there could be errors, or a credit bureau carry a negative for too long. The lenders are not loan sharks who wants to lend you money at a higher interest rate. They believe the security that their loan will be paid. Not only that, your credit score affect purchased insurances too. Now, most credit cards will provide free credit score on a regular basis. And, they will let you know the areas that affect your score that you are failing, good, or excellent. My score gets updated weekly, and it tells you where you can do better.

There are certain things that give you a negative. One is securing a new credit card, which to lenders get nervous that you may be be in more debt. Or, someone places a hard check on your credit score. These two make your rating go down by at least 20 points. I have never dealt with a company who can increase your credit score. They may help by finding errors, which you can do yourself directly through the credit bureau.

My suggestion. Use one credit card with the highest credit line you can get. Have one backup credit card. Pay your bills and loans on time.
 

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........ Do any of you have any advice? Any company you have worked with that made a difference? Anything you have done to increase your score? Banks or lenders that are lenient to get loans and positive trade lines????? anything at all???
Your whole discussion boils down to the question above. A "company" cannot help you. As said above minimize your credit accounts and pay stuff on time.
 

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Please don't join any of the credit unions that I belong to.

The only real credit scores are FICO's, and there are several versions. Car loan writers usually use FICO 8. A lot of financial institutions give you your FICO 9 score for free.

If you are even thinking about your credit score, that's a pretty good sign you're already in trouble, or heading in that direction fast. A real good philosophy to have is "FICO, schmeiko!"

If you consistently spend less money than you earn, you will have enough money to pay your bills and your credit score will magically take care of itself.

I didn't know or care what my FICO score was for decades. My first knowledge of it was when we bought our first house. It was 836 (out of 850). One of my credit unions gives members their FICO 9's for free every two months. Check this puppy out... Financing Frau Putzer's new X3 has sent my FICO down about 10 to 15 points. But I really don't care, because...

FICO, schmeiko!

The big three credit reporting companies, Experian, Trans Union, Equifax, are required by law to send you a free copy of your credit report annually if you ask for it.

https://www.annualcreditreport.com/index.action

But, it's better to get just one from alternating companies every four months. That will let you see any shenanigans that has recently shown up.
 

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The King of Common Sense
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[QUOTE Financing Frau Putzer's new X3 has sent my FICO down about 10 to 15 points. But I really don't care, because... FICO, schmeiko! [/QUOTE]

Should have paid cash. :rofl: I gained 20 points because the penalty for closing out a CC ended.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Good advice. Thanks for suggestions. Dont worry AP, I wont be joining your credit union any time soon, Im stuck using BOA and cash for everything for now. By the way before too many condescending comments hit me upside the head, I lost someone very important to me to ovarian cancer and even with the tremendous help, I spent out of pocket northwards of $200,000 before she left me. Needless to say, alot of debts worked with me for awhile and were really helpful ....and alot of it has vanished from my reports but the "echo" as I call is still there making it very hard to get my score back up where it needs to be. Bankruptcy in hind sight would probably have been best but stupid pride stopped that. Just to be clear...I dont have bad credit because I didnt want to take care of my obligations and promises. I was just looking for ideas because I seem to be running across the same things over and over....never hurts to see what others have done or experienced that isnt on the Experian webpage or Fico boards.
 

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Good advice. Thanks for suggestions. Dont worry AP, I wont be joining your credit union any time soon, Im stuck using BOA and cash for everything for now. By the way before too many condescending comments hit me upside the head, I lost someone very important to me to ovarian cancer and even with the tremendous help, I spent out of pocket northwards of $200,000 before she left me. Needless to say, alot of debts worked with me for awhile and were really helpful ....and alot of it has vanished from my reports but the "echo" as I call is still there making it very hard to get my score back up where it needs to be. Bankruptcy in hind sight would probably have been best but stupid pride stopped that. Just to be clear...I dont have bad credit because I didnt want to take care of my obligations and promises. I was just looking for ideas because I seem to be running across the same things over and over....never hurts to see what others have done or experienced that isnt on the Experian webpage or Fico boards.
I'm sorry for your loss. One of my attorneys has had his practice evolve into mostly consumer bankruptcy and Social Security disability appeals. He said that about one third of consumer bankruptcies are due to illness, stacks of medical bills combined with the inability to work and pay them. Another third are caused by a soon-to-be-ex-spouse racking up debt before a divorce. The last third is people just being irresponsible.

A lot of those credit fixing companies are just vultures picking the bones of people in trouble.
 

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Should have paid cash. :rofl: I gained 20 points because the penalty for closing out a CC ended.
The car financing deal was too good: 1.9% for 60 months, plus a $1500 loyalty credit and another $500 credit on my BMW FS Visa card. I brought a cashier's check when we went to pick up the car, made payable to "Acme BMW of Bubbaville, or A. Putzer." I ended up depositing it and buying a five year CD. I financed $50k and put the remaining $5k or so on my BMW FS Visa card, earning another 4%.

Frau Putzer brought her 22 year old, hottie friend along when we picked up the car. The 22 year old was impressed with us "signing and driving" away in a new BMW without paying anything. That will probably be the last time in my life that I impress a 22 year old hottie.

This whole monthly car payment thing is kind of fun. It's sort of like being one of the little people. :bigpimp:

I had to game the system to get the perfect 850. One of the things I saw on my free annual credit reports is that credit card companies report your balance, credit limit, and payment activities as of the end of the month. So, a way to tweak your FICO score is pay off the credit cards before the end of the month, so that a lower balance is reported to FICO.

We get our pension checks on the first of the month. Because of that and wanting to get another month's interest before transferring money from our money market account to the credit card payments, I normally pay them on the 1st of the month. But, to game the system, I paid them off before the end of the month for while.
 

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The King of Common Sense
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The car financing deal was too good: 1.9% for 60 months, plus a $1500 loyalty credit and another $500 credit on my BMW FS Visa card. I brought a cashier's check when we went to pick up the car, made payable to "Acme BMW of Bubbaville, or A. Putzer." I ended up depositing it and buying a five year CD. I financed $50k and put the remaining $5k or so on my BMW FS Visa card, earning another 4%.

Frau Putzer brought her 22 year old, hottie friend along when we picked up the car. The 22 year old was impressed with us "signing and driving" away in a new BMW without paying anything. That will probably be the last time in my life that I impress a 22 year old hottie.

This whole monthly car payment thing is kind of fun. It's sort of like being one of the little people. :bigpimp:

I had to game the system to get the perfect 850. One of the things I saw on my free annual credit reports is that credit card companies report your balance, credit limit, and payment activities as of the end of the month. So, a way to tweak your FICO score is pay off the credit cards before the end of the month, so that a lower balance is reported to FICO.

We get our pension checks on the first of the month. Because of that and wanting to get another month's interest before transferring money from our money market account to the credit card payments, I normally pay them on the 1st of the month. But, to game the system, I paid them off before the end of the month for while.
I have to hand it to you. You turned anything that has to do with money into a game. :rofl: :thumbup: I'm pissed because uncle sam gets dibs on my withdrawal before I get a chance to spend it.
 

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I have to hand it to you. You turned anything that has to do with money into a game. :rofl: :thumbup: I'm pissed because uncle sam gets dibs on my withdrawal before I get a chance to spend it.
It's not always about the money. But, it's always about the game. Most of my little "process optimization" (PO) games end up saving a little bit of money, though.

Recycling is one of my PO games that has no financial benefit. Our weekly trash is down to two kitchen bags, and a lot of that is cat poo and cat piss encrusted cat litter. The recycling process itself gets optimized by me smashing all the cans flat, crushing all the plastic containers, and flattening all the cardboard. I've started cutting the cardboard and stacking it to maximize its density in the little blue bin. A laundry basket of plastic gets compacted down to fit into one kitty litter bucket. Our tap water tastes like crap. So, we do generate a lot of waste plastic with bottled water. The half-liter bottles of spring water are cheaper there than the one-gallon jugs.

One of the few tangible benefits of recycling was that the recycling station was full of yoga pants wearing hotties on Saturday mornings. I quickly learned that they were much more friendly if I was driving the 535i instead of my Chevy Cobalt.

Our county gave up on recycling after the hurricane. The company that took the stuff had their building destroyed. So, I have to stage my recyclables until I go over to the next county for something else. So, even compacting minimizes the number of trips I have to make and saves me some time and money.

I lived near an Army post in the early 1990's, and I was a reservist. The post had a recycling "demonstration project" where they recycled everything, maybe all six or seven types of plastic, magazines, etc. I'd hit the recycling place on my way to the PX and commissary. I was single then, and would get my weekly trash down to one or two Walmart (then "Wal-Mart") bags. Much of my trash was junk mail and peanut butter jars (too much work to clean out). That was pre-Frau Putzer and pre-stepcats, though.

Tweaking my FICO 9 to 850 actually cost me some money, because of making those credit card payments in the end of the month instead of at the beginning of the next month.

I used to tweak the monthly interest on my checking account, but tweaking it downward. I'm mail checks so that they'd arrive on the same day that we'd get our paycheck direct deposits. Once I achieved $0.00 interest for a month, I'd won the game and lost interest... literally. I pay almost all my bills electronically now, so there's no challenge anymore.

Between business trips and visiting my mother often when she was alive, I was quite the road warrior. I made a trip log in Excel. The raw data are waypoints, mileage, times. It calculates total mileage, total time driving, total time and mileage for stops, and average speed. I'd record the raw data on a digital voice recorder and then transcribe it to the spreadsheet. The "windshield time" going between our house and Mom's was initially over twelve hours. But, with process optimization, a Valentine One, and an M3, I eventually got that down to less than 11 hours, 20 minutes once.

By resetting the on-board MPG and trip odometer when I fill the cars up with gas I can accurately estimate how much gas I've burned by the next fill up. This allows me to run the gas level closer to empty before refueling, without worrying about running out of gas. I can quantify this PO game with the average mileage on a tank of fuel. My average mileage on a tank of fuel in my 535i is now 403 miles. It was a big accomplishment to get it over 400. My record for a single tank of gas in the 535i is 520 miles. The game will have to end when we move from flat-as-a-pancake Floriduh to hilly Tennessee, though. Going up and down those hills with just a gallon or so in the tank would cause fuel starvation.

One of the things that makes a lot of my PO games possible is Excel. I clicked on the "green X" icon for the first time in 1997. Back in 1993, our golf foursome included a guy at work who was considered the village idiot. He was a decent guy, worked hard, but simply had no natural talent. His dad being an admiral got him into the Naval Academy; but it took him five years to get through the Naval Academy. He never made Lieutenant (O-3), never got his SWO pin, and got kicked out when his five year commitment was up. His dad pulled some more strings and got him a job at the Navy lab I worked at. Back in 1993, we were just transitioning from DEC Rainbow computers to PC's where we worked. We were walking along on the golf course when he said "I found this program on my new computer. It's going to change our lives." Because he was the village idiot, I really didn't believe what he was saying. But, he was right.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
AP...very cool. Hyper mile-ing and constantly challenging yourself. You are definitely a competitive person competing with yourself to be "better" in any way you can. I understand this. I bet you look deep enough into most people here you will find some of the same traits which is why alot of people reading my original post will cringe but then even if subconsciously like what they read because it confirms their behavior as being "better" or superior over mine. Theres nothing wrong with that. We are competitive beings. We all judge ourselves to our peers if we like it or not.....and isnt that what a FICO score is all about? FICO is just a designed set of analytics to apparently quantify "risk". To me, who made the metrics behind the score? Is there a metric built in that gives me points because no matter where I am, if I have a balled up piece of paper in my hand, I will "shoot it" towards a waste basket trying to make it even if nobody is around....and feel good if I make it....and if I miss, go pick it up walk 5 feet further and try it again to prove to myself I can do it. FICO doesnt give points for anything thats not a number and numbers are not human. There is nowhere on my score that gives me "points" for enduring death so close to me. How about I get 50 points for being able to manage 2 years of my life ....never having the lights shut off....always having bread for the kids...keeping my driveway clean so my neighbors dont have to look at a mess when they drive down the street during the absolute chaos, dissaray and sometimes violently ill environment I endured. My desire and ability to do the most simple thing as pay back a debt is calculated completely on historical numbers and I for one think its absolute bs. And I still think its by design there to keep certain people down with hyper vigilant lenders and predatory behaviors. Say I make $180k per year and have $1000 each month owed to nobody at all and I can do as I wish with it. Yet, I couldnt get a loan for $500 without an interest rate that would result in me having to pay $2000 to pay it off over time....due to a "credit score" based on total bs without any consideration. That by my definition is a system designed to keep someone at the bottom.

Lastly, by the "numbers" 10% interest in no possible way or in any sense of any definition is less than 2% to a lender. No matter how its spun. My $100,000 loan at 10% makes a lender more money than someone elses loan at 2%. Period. Im not talking about defaulting or any other completely ASSUMED result of a loan. Im talking pure rate. 10% is more than 2% and that is that. If my score happens to be 700 and with that I get X% rate....the lender knows that at 699 they get another X%+.5.... considering that 1 single point on FICO...does that change my risk at all? 1 point could be from a $58 imaging fee from 2013 I paid late on. Does that justify what could be thousands of dollars over a term? The whole thing boggles my brain that its just accepted so casually by everyone. It benefits lenders how they feel "fit" to benefit themselves. Is it by design to keep the rich peoples "club" closed to others? In a comment above there was someone who said "please dont become a member of my credit union".....hmmmmm,,, interesting... your club wouldnt let me in nor give me a loan for $5 without making an entire series of commercials about it proclaiming their compassion and heart for their own good.

Anyway, there are some great comments and write ups above. Excellent reads. Interesting as heck.
 

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FICO is a sucker metric as far as consumers go. Everybody I've ever met who thinks about their FICO score are in financial trouble, or one paycheck away from it.

Non-sucker financial metrics are: income/outgo ratio (more than 1.0 is necessary, I required 1.25 when Frau Putzer and I were still working), and net worth (assets less debts). If you income/outgo ratio is greater than 1.0, your net worth will go up. If it's below 1.0, your net worth will go down. If your net worth is negative (debt more than assets), you must have an income/outgo ratio above 1.0 to head back toward zero net worth and then into positive net worth.

I had a girlfriend up north who measured her financial well-being by how much more credit card debt she could pile up before hitting her limits. WTF? She had an associate's degree in business. Double-WTF? One day, she asked "Where is this relationship going?" My answer what that my half of it is going to Florida. We worked for the same government agency, and with the advent of agency wide intranet she found me. I'd hear from her when her and her second husband's debt would hit another $10k increment. She's ask me what she could do. My answer was always the same: earn more, spend less, or a combination of the two. Her response to that was also always the same: "Yeah, yeah... other than that, what can I do?" Triple-WTF?

Interest rates are tied to risk. If somebody defaults on a 2% loan, that completely wipes out the lender's income from 50 other such loans of the same amount. If the lender has risky clients, he has to pay for those loan default losses by jacking up the interest rates on... all his customers who actually pay back their loans.

One of the "rich people's clubs" I belong to is Pentagon FCU. They have exceptionally strict lending criteria. But, when the big real estate meltdown happened in 2008, they had one of the lowest mortgage loss rates in the country. Because of their strict lending criteria, my mortgage rate was low, and my CD rates are high.

Almost everybody has bad luck, admittedly some more than others. But, a big factor associated with the outcome is how well the individual planned for future bad luck, and the decisions they made once the bad luck happened.

My father died of cancer when I was a teenager. It was a financial set-back for the family. But, because of medical insurance, survivor's pensions, life insurance, and my parents maintaining an income/outgo ratio well above 1.0 before my dad couldn't work anymore, the setback was not catastrophic.

The government agency I worked for had partial-furloughs a few years before I retired. We had to take every other Friday off without pay for a few months. I worked in a building where everybody there made above $95k/year. Having that three day weekend every other week was great. But, the HIGHEST PAID PERSON in the building ($106k/year) was in financial trouble before the partial-furlough, and was bitching and moaning when it happened. The partial-furlough didn't cause his problems. The reason the rest of us weren't bitching and moaning was that we'd maintained an income/outgo ratio well above 1.0. Mine was 1.25, down from 2.0 when I was single. So, when we got hit with a 10% pay cut for a few months, it wasn't a big deal.

A rule I learned as a child was that you should only borrow money three times in life:

1. To pay for an economically relevant education.
2. To pay for a first safe, reliable affordable car.
3. A mortgage on an affordable house.

When we were shopping for our first house after marriage, we pre-qualified for a "maximum conforming" mortgage of $417k. The real estate agent pukes were dumbfounded that we were looking at $200k to $250k houses.
 

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Mine's over 900 and while it makes me happy, i don't leverage it often to secure loans. I save money each month and buy as much as I can by paying in full. My banker joking referred to my low debt to income ration as "un-American." Suits me just fine.

Keeping a good score takes some work but if you think about the purpose that it ultimately serves, it is not all that important to me.
 

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A friend of mine's grandfather or uncle (I forget which one) created the bio-hazard symbol used as 44cent's avatar. Frau Putzer put one of those decals (that she borrowed from the hospital) on my laundry basket. :dunno:
 

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The King of Common Sense
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A friend of mine's grandfather or uncle (I forget which one) created the bio-hazard symbol used as 44cent's avatar. Frau Putzer put one of those decals (that she borrowed from the hospital) on my laundry basket. :dunno:
It must have been the new X3 that she hasn't left you. :rofl:
 

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It must have been the new X3 that she hasn't left you. :rofl:
We're both pretty much stuck with each other.

A friend of hers is going through a nasty divorce that is getting nastier by the day. Every time she gives me the latest installment, I say "Not everybody is as lucky as you, baby."

Her response is "Meow!" Meow is like "aloha;" it has multiple meanings.

Although, a slightly-past-her-best-by-date hottie giving out wine samples at the grocery store today was giving me goo goo eyes. I was glad that I shaved and took a shower this morning. This store is near a really affluent area in the next county. I had to drive five miles to get there, combining the trip with my monthly recycling at a bin just over the county line.

Our county gave up on recycling after the hurricane. Our county's land fill volume has probably gone up 100,000% since the hurricane. The worst damage was in the next few towns to the east. Four months later, there is still a steady stream of debris trucks rolling through our town on the way to the county landfill. Our town came through pretty much unscathed, except for roofs and fences.
 

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We're both pretty much stuck with each other.

A friend of hers is going through a nasty divorce that is getting nastier by the day. Every time she gives me the latest installment, I say "Not everybody is as lucky as you, baby."

Her response is "Meow!" Meow is like "aloha;" it has multiple meanings.

Although, a slightly-past-her-best-by-date hottie giving out wine samples at the grocery store today was giving me goo goo eyes. I was glad that I shaved and took a shower this morning. This store is near a really affluent area in the next county. I had to drive five miles to get there, combining the trip with my monthly recycling at a bin just over the county line.

Our county gave up on recycling after the hurricane. Our county's land fill volume has probably gone up 100,000% since the hurricane. The worst damage was in the next few towns to the east. Four months later, there is still a steady stream of debris trucks rolling through our town on the way to the county landfill. Our town came through pretty much unscathed, except for roofs and fences.
I am old schooled. I drink tap water. I have never gone out and bought a case of plastic bottled water.
 

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I am old schooled. I drink tap water. I have never gone out and bought a case of plastic bottled water.
Our tap water tastes like crap. We drink about 60 liters of spring water each week. I can tell the difference between different brands of spring water, and between spring water and purified water. I used to work in Texas a lot. I'd take a case of Florida spring water with me.

The cheapest spring water at Sam's Club is, oddly, in the 1/2 liter bottles. The one-gallon jugs are slightly more expensive.

I do the right thing and recycle all those bottles, though. I also compact them to minimize the handling and transportation costs incurred by the county. It also minimizes the number of trips I have to make to the recycling station.

Frau Putzer and the cats hate the sound of me cutting those half-liter bottles in half, telescoping the two halves together, and the crushing them. So, that's a bonus! :thumbup:

Six cases (120 liter) fit perfectly in the X3, even with the raised floor that comes with the optional spare tire.

The closest Sam's Club is "in town," 14 miles away. Every time I'm over there for something, I stop by and grab four to six cases, depending on which vehicle I have. We sort of maintain a one to two week "input buffer" of water, currently in the dining room.

The new house will have a pantry, including open, reinforced floor space for heavy bulky stuff from Sam's Club (water, soda, etc.), and large shelving for lighter bulky stuff (paper towels, toilet paper, coffee in Keurig cups, Dorito's, etc.).

The pantry's outside door will be right next to the driveway's parking space, and have pass-through shelving to the kitchen for non-refrigerated food, facilitating "first in-first out." I wish they made residential refrigerators with front and back doors.

I told the architect(s) that I wanted an efficient flow of food into the pantry and kitchen from the cars, and that the house will be sort of an efficient "turd and piss factory," with raw materials coming in the southeast corner and the finish product going out the northwest corner (where the sewer hook up is). …. LEAN Six Sigma... continuous process improvement.

"Architect(s)" as in plural. I had to fire the first one, Frank Lloyd Douchebag ***hole.

Our county stopped collecting recyclables. The county landfill charges about $55/ton tipping fee. It costed our county $100/ton to recycle (fee charged by the recycling company they took the stuff to). So, recycling a ton cost the county about $155 (costs plus lost tipping fees) plus their collection and transportation costs. Here in the boonies, recycling really doesn't make economic sense. We have about 100 miles of unarable land between here and Alabama, virtually inexhaustible landfill capacity. What makes sense in NYC, LA, SF, etc. doesn't necessarily make sense in Bubblaville, Floriduh.
 

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Mine's over 900 and while it makes me happy, i don't leverage it often to secure loans. I save money each month and buy as much as I can by paying in full. My banker joking referred to my low debt to income ration as "un-American." Suits me just fine.

Keeping a good score takes some work but if you think about the purpose that it ultimately serves, it is not all that important to me.
over 900?

whatever
 

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You don't need anyone... no letters, no companies (they are scams), no BS.

You only need something that is free (and you can't get away from): time.

Start paying your bills on time.. never be late. Pay off credit cards each month.

It is that simple. Once you get into all of that, wait.... your credit will clear itself up. All alone...

An emergency fund will help you clear up your credit. (If you don't know, emergency fund = months you want to save (multiplied by) your monthly expenses.)

Money game is easy to win... you only defeat yourself... unless you are unlucky and get something you are not fully covered by medical insurance. That hurts.
 
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