0 Replies Latest reply on Feb 21, 2011 12:32 PM by jkom51

    Rebuilding Credit

    jkom51

      I thought this article might be of use to some folks. You might have to register for the full article, but the NYTimes does not spam and is free. I've been a subscriber for years.

      February 18, 2011 NYTimes

      Healing a Wounded Credit Score

      Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/your-money/19money.html?emc=eta1&pagewanted=print

      (Excerpt only) Millions of consumers have fallen out of favor with the credit scoring gods. Some lost their jobs or were just overwhelmed by mounting debt. Others got caught up in the real estate bubble or had major medical bills.

      Whatever the reason, the rising number of foreclosures, short sales, late credit card payments and the ultimate credit sin — bankruptcies — have left black marks on credit reports most everywhere.

      So what can these people do to repair their credit?

      The simple answer is to focus on the information that is used to generate the all-powerful FICO score — the measure used most frequently by traditional lenders to determine creditworthiness. Its scale runs from 300 points to 850 points; the higher the score, the better your credit standing. “FICO is still the 500-pound gorilla,” said John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education at SmartCredit.com. “In 2011, the best way to get credit from the mainstream lenders is to have a good FICO score.”

      Consumers can hope that the banks will eventually consider alternatives to the traditional FICO score, which was developed by Fair Isaac Corporation and has been in wide use for about two decades. After all, as banks regain their appetite for lending, they will be looking for ways to differentiate between borrowers with the same scores, some of whom are temporarily struggling and others who chronically have trouble with money.

      For now, though, the FICO score reigns. The best antidote to a poor score is time. Still, there are a half dozen ways to speed the process, or, at the least, avoid even more credit trouble.