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My credit score has been stuck at 695 for about four months.

That's a vast improvement from the 500 or so it was four years ago, so I've come a long way.

I have two credit cards with balances on them, very low and an Amex I pay in full every month. I have utilities (gas, electric, etc...) in my name.

I have a student loan account.

I don't have have any property or automobile payments.

I haven't been late on anything in years, and paid down my debt. My score is stuck at 695 though.

Any ideas on how to get it going again?

  • I don't feel comfortable providing any suggestions, but I do want to say that being "stuck" at nearly 700 for 4 months isn't necessarily bad. The higher it goes, the harder it is to improve it. – George Marian Aug 9 '10 at 17:17
  • Thanks George. I could see if I was at like 750 or something, but 695 isn't great. It's average. – Jack Aug 9 '10 at 17:21
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    Sometimes it just takes time. The score is, after all, meant to be reflective of a history. If you are young, do the right things... and wait. – Chris W. Rea Aug 9 '10 at 21:13
  • the thing I would suggest is to acquire more credit line overtime. I check my credit score in 2004 and I was at 730-740, and now I'm at 790, the only difference I can think of is that I have much more credit line. I know some people are reluctant to take this route, but this is the only way I see that can make a difference, besides the things you are already doing. – grokus Aug 9 '10 at 21:44
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You sound like you have done all the right things. I think closing old accounts is bad, all the gurus say that. See about.com and this article. It's true that the credit score formula is secret, but anyone who has worked for the credit bureaus would tell you exactly the same things.

Please also see my answer in this thread. I basically have followed all these guidelines and managed both my wife's and my own credit accounts and both of our scores are in the 780-800 range. (both the old FICO score and the new Fair Isaac Redeveloped FICO 2 score).

The only thing I would suggest is that if you don't need to apply for a mortgage in the near future, feel free to apply for good 0 interest credit cards and pay down balance on your higher interest accounts.

Edit: I just looked at my recent credit report and I see the factors that are not in favor of a high credit score. E.g.

  • too many inquires last 12 months
  • too many accounts with balance
  • length of time accounts have been established
  • too many accounts recently opened
  • lack of recent installment loan information

So my advice is that before you are about to need a high credit score, avoid these things.

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    You also get a small credit bump by de-listing your self for new credit offers on optoutprescreen.com or calling 1888-5-OPTOUT (18885678688). This cuts down on junk mail to shred too! – SpecKK Aug 9 '10 at 22:58
  • Personal story: When I recently closed an old credit card (opened in 1997) that did not have a balance my score actually went up. I'm not sure how the credit card companies determine how much history is beneficial, though they publish information saying that history is important. – Alex B Aug 10 '10 at 17:29
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If you pay your credit cards off in full, you'll have a lower utilization of your available credit. This should improve your score some.

I think you'll have trouble getting much specific advice as the details of the "formula" for credit score are secret. I've heard people say don't close old credit cards, but I've closed credit cards and seen my score go up.

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The way to generate a higher credit score is to generate a higher "payment" record. That is, put more purchases on your credit card, then pay it off at the end of every month, as you've been doing, to save on interest charges. That should goose up your score a little, if you don't overdo it and put too much credit on at one time. And don't get more credit cards to do this.

One reason for your relatively "low" score is that you are a student, with little or no income. While 695 isn't a high score for an "established" person, it is for a student. If you were an employed 40-year old with your credit profile, your score would be closer to 795.

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Well, if you want to close any old credit card, payoff in full and wait for couple of statements which shows as 0 balance and then close it. Credit card companies will never report your credit usage once you close the credit card, for suppose if you have $1000 balance and you paid and closed the card banks will stop reporting that you paid of that amount.

If you have enough credit limit, better to close the cards which has high interest rate, again in above said method. that will bump up your credit history.

  • Closing cards is not going to raise your credit score. Lowering one's overall limit will raise the utilization ratio, which will lower the score. – MrChrister Nov 26 '12 at 0:33

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