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If you have a recent bankruptcy on file, repossession, foreclosure, missed or late payments… it will take time to bring your credit score back up after such a blow. If you are in this position, in the mean time just be sure to borrow “within your means” (although you may have trouble getting approved for any new credit) and don’t overextend yourself. Keep paying your bills on time, and you will be back on the road to raising your credit score. If you pay your bills on time, don’t have a recent bankruptcy on your record, and don’t have any missed payments or collections on file, look at your credit card balances. Normally you will want to keep your debt-to-credit limit ratio, on your credit card accounts, below 25%. If you owe more than 25% of your total credit limit on your credit cards, consider paying them down.
Example: if you have a credit card with total credit line of $10,000, and you have a balance of $2,500 on the card, you would owe 25% of your total credit line on that card. Also keep in mind that even if you pay your credit card balance off each month, it still may be reported to the credit bureaus that you are carrying a balance on that card. It depends on what time of the month your credit card issuer reports to the credit bureaus, they will list whatever your balance is on the day they report it. However, most (if not all) lending institutions are aware of this, so this is generally not something to worry about.
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