Your credit score can be leveraged to your advantage. A maximized credit score (ideally 780 or higher) is the key to restructuring loans to free up cash flow, getting lower interest rates, paying less on insurance, and more.
1. Fix errors on your credit reports. According to a congressionally mandated study by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, one out of every five consumers has an error on at least one of their three (inquire about program 7) credit reports.
2. Manage credit cards wisely. It's best to have three to five credit cards with the maximum limit that you can qualify fore. Don't get as many as you can. The ideal amount of inquiries in a period of two years is two.
3. Have an installment loan within the last two years of your credit history. This is a loan for a fixed period of time with a fixed minimum payment, such as a car loan or lease, a jewelry loan, or a signature loan.
To develop a credit scoring system or model, a creditor or insurance company selects a random sample of customers and analyzes it statistically to identify characteristics that relate to risk. Each of the characteristics then is assigned a weight based on how strong a predictor it is of who would be a good risk. Each company may use its own scoring model, different scoring models for different types of credit or insurance, or a generic model developed by a scoring company.
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), a creditor's scoring system may not use certain characteristics - for example, race, sex, marital status, national origin, or religion - as factors. The law allows creditors to use age, but any credit scoring system that includes age must give equal treatment to applicants who are elderly.