No announcement yet.

Tips to improve credit score

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Tips to improve credit score

    I'm planning to refinance my loans next year when I graduate fellowship and hope to improve my credit score over the next year to ensure I get a good rate. Credit score is currently 775, I have two very old cards I never use, and recently got the Jetblue card since I use this airline several times a year. Would asking for an increase in a credit limit on the older cards improve my score? Also for those looking to refinance with SOFI, if you are a jetblue customer they will give you 50,000 pts when you refinance, just need to figure out away to use the WCI and get the points.

  • #2
    775 is probably good enough to qualify for the best rates in most scenarios.

    Higher limits, lower utilization, passage of time, should all help out.



    • #3
      Nothing to do. Having >800 likely won't change anything.


      • #4
        Can you increase your limits to demonstrate a lower utilization percentage?

        Don't cancel your oldest card.

        I think the way scores are done now are rather silly, rewarding having a higher available credit limit which you don't need.

        ...I agree with the above comments of it probably not making a big difference. If you play on, its top echelon starts at >740.


        • #5
          775 will qualify you for top mortgage rates.  Going higher than that won't help. I know because I went through a refinance less than 2 years ago and my score was like 780-790 at the time. The mortgage brokers I talked to said that as long as you're above 740 you'll get the best rates.  I'd imagine that qualifying for the best student loan refinance rates would be the same.  I think you're fine.


          • #6
            Having a higher credit limit will improve your utilization rate, but asking for a higher limit may trigger a hard inquiry, which will hurt.   As others noted, a 775 is already worthy of the best rates.

            For the 2 months prior to applying, you could pay off your balance  several times during the month, so as to keep your utilization as low as possible.  Then when they check, your utilization will be very low.  That would achieve the same reduction in utilization as a higher credit limit.  You need to do this for a couple of months because there's a lag in the reporting.


            • #7
              Each lender is different, and there's a possibility that you could find a lender that has a preferred rate for a 770 or 800, etc.  But most lenders lend to the proletariat and don't see big scores grace their presence that often.  There was a WSJ article about a year ago that discussed this.

              Don't be afraid of one or two hard inquiries either, particularly if you haven't had one in awhile.  Each inquiry generally only shows up with one of the big three agencies, so that helps too.

              Also I'd probably use those old cards every once in awhile just to keep them alive.  If you leave a card dormant too long, most companies will eventually close your account.  Like DFMA said, don't cancel your oldest card, since the age of your oldest credit is a factor in the fico formula.

              Having more accounts, a variety of accounts, and successfully paid off loans will generally improve your score too, but over just the year there's probably not a whole lot you can do.

              The biggest factor on the student loan refinance is going to be your job situation and your debt-to-income ratio.  If the student loans are your only debt, and you're a PGY-5 or 6, you could possibly have the wherewithal to refinance now instead of waiting until graduation (and then refinance again when your income improves).


              • #8
                I agree. There are some things you can do to raise your score, but getting it higher than 775 isn't going to help you any.
                Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011


                • #9
                  I used to have a credit score of 820. But when I am one of the guarantors for large bank loans for commercial real estate and we apply to quite a few banks to try and snag one of them to lend to us, all the banks made hard enquirers. So the six hard inquiries within the last 6 months dropped my score to 723. Luckily I never need personal credit and the low score does not bother me.


                  • #10

                    [obv spam/phishing request deleted asking to contact a hacker to delete your debts and credit report delinquencies...I mean, come on, seriously?!?]
                    Click to expand...

                    I think I'll give him a try, what can go wrong??? 


                    • #11
                      last time i had my credit score checked i was kind of surprised that it wasn't as high as possible. we are very high earners who are never late on anything and who have paid off >$200k in non mortgage debt in the last 2 years.

                      as others have said once you're above 740 I don't think it matters and i'm not convinced you can even alter it that much.


                      • #12
                        i'm always surprised our scores are not higher than they are.

                        we are also in the upper 700s.  hard for us to imagine who can be better than us.

                        i suspect occasionally my wife pays a bill late or something.  she likes occasionally to open credit cards at stores for deals even though i can't stand doing that.  i'm sure we have a few secret accounts that i don't know about at ladies clothing stores.

                        if you are a doctor and your score is 775, it's hard to imagine that you can't get best rates somewhere.



                        • #13
                          You may be able to eek out a few more points on your credit score by paying off your credit card bill a couple days before the balance is due, rather than on the due date. This will give you a lower credits utilization rate, and perhaps a few points higher score.


                          • #14
                            I assume you have no 30 day lates? Outside of paying everything on time, diversifying the types of credit you have and not opening any new accounts in, say, 6 months, the best thing you can do is to optimize your percent utilization, which is about 30% of your credit score. Two to three months before you need your score optimized, cut back on all credit card usage. Pay off 95-99% of the balance before they cut the bill. Doing so will lower your utilization, which you want under 8-10% of your total credit limit. Registering just a little utilization is actually a little better than none.


                            • #15
                              Related, yet unrelated. Has anyone tried to get off the credit grid and pay everything cash?