Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! My Credit Score Went up 65 Points

I knew this was coming, but I wasn’t expecting such a jump in my credit score. My credit score went up 65 points since last month, I couldn’t believe it.

My previous credit score was 697, now it’s 762. Woooo hoooo! In case you didn’t already know, I went bankrupt 10 years ago. It was a stupid thing to do and I’ve been carrying this burden around ever since then.

I was young, uninformed and trying to find a quick solution to what I thought was a huge problem. Never again. The one thing I learned from going bankrupt was that it isn’t an easy way out. It might get the phone to stop ringing, but it follows you around and haunts you. My credit haunt is finally over, and now I can see all the hard work over the last few years really pay off.

My credit score might not be in the 800’s, but it’s still pretty good. With more time and hard work, it’ll get even better. :-) I figured it might be a good idea to share some of the things I’ve been doing that have contributed to my credit score, because a few years ago, I was hoping to get to the 600’s.

  • I’ve been paying at least the minimum payment due on all of my payments, every time. Usually, I try to pay more than the minimum—even if it’s only a few extra bucks.
  • Making on time payments every month. I make sure to pay them early as well, that way there will never be a late payment. I actually have 100% of on-time payments. This actually makes up the largest percentage of determining your credit score; 35% of your score is based on your payment history.
  • Using as little credit as possible. Sure we might have X amount of credit available to us, but not using it really helps your credit score. Keeping a low percentage of the amount of credit you are using compared to the amount of credit you have available is the second largest factor in determining your credit score (30%). Right now, I’m currently using 9% of my available credit; I actually think it’s a bit lower than that since I just made another payment on the credit card. People range from saying to keep your credit utilization between 10-40%. Honestly, I figure the lower you keep it…the better your credit score will be.
  • Not applying for more new credit cards or loans. I have plenty of credit cards and no matter what they say about it not having an impact on your credit score, I’d prefer to not find out. I’m really tempted now, since my credit score shot up, to get a better credit card with some great rewards—especially since my Best Buy MasterCard is out to get me. I’m not really concerned with getting lower interest rates since I’m into paying it off right away. If I don’t carry a balance, then the interest rate doesn’t really matter to me.

If you’re curious about your credit score, you can always go to Credit Sesame and get it for free.

Have you checked your credit score lately?

About Jen Perkins

Likes: saving money, being debt free (aside from our house), zombies, travel, getting money, blogging and dogs. Dislikes: debt, being broke, bunnies, wasting money, not having enough money to travel the world and paying interest. Facebook  ♥  Twitter  ♥  Google+  ♥  RSS


Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy! My Credit Score Went up 65 Points — 26 Comments

    • Yep, Credit Karma is completely and utterly FREE. I was skeptical about them at first, but it’s been near a year, and I’m still loving them. :-)

    • Thanks Pam. :-) Credit Karma is definitely awesome, the fact that they’re free makes them even better in my book.

  1. I have never checked my credit score, not even once, haha. However, I do look at my free reports (spacing them out over 4 months)… you know, just in case something is mislabeled.

    So yeah, I have no idea what sort of score I have.

    • At least you’re keeping up with your credit reports, it’s crazy how often they contain errors. It might be fun to check your credit score, you never know. :-)

  2. That’s an impressive jump!

    It takes a long time to build your credit back to that after a BK. Mine is still in the mid-600’s. :( It takes forever for those late-pays to fall off. That was like 5 years ago…can’t they give me a break? lol

    • Thanks WorkSaveLive. It really does take forever, if I would have really understanded what I was doing, I’d never had done it. At least you’re in the 600’s, if you really try, I’m sure you’ll keep rising. :-)

  3. Good job on the credit score jump! We are only a little over a year since our BK was finalized so we have a ways to go. I have been monitoring our scores each month on Credit Karma and we are at 672 right now, so not as bad as I thought it would be. I only have one credit card (dept store) left open so I’ve been trying to use it a little.

    How long did it take you to get accepted for new credit cards after your BK? I don’t really want more cards, but would like one with a small balance for emergencies at some point.

    • Thanks OneFamily. 672 a year after going bankrupt—that’s really good. Good idea keeping the store credit card open, but I don’t think you don’t really have to use it very often to build up your credit. I was able to get new credit cards right away, but the interest was awful. I never dealt with my bad financial habits, so I ended up paying tons of interest on the cards.

      I tried the ’emergency credit card’ thing out, I didn’t do very good with it. Hopefully you’ll do better than I did back then. :-) I do think that getting one more credit card might be good for your credit though.

  4. Great job climbing out of that debt hole. Many people underestimate the increased costs to having a low credit score due to the terrible interest rates they have to borrow at on any new debt. I’ve been fortunate where I have only taken on “good debt” for most of my life and have never had to default on a payment. Maybe you should give Greece and the EU a few lessons!

    • Thanks My University Money. :-) Yeah, I really didn’t understand what it actually meant when my lawyer told me it would be on my credit for 10 years. It seemed like it wouldn’t affect me.

  5. Nice work Jen! I checked mine the other day and I’ve dropped since leasing my car. I put into the tracker that if I paid off my credit cards, it would jump into the mid-700’s. That’s my goal, one payment at a time. Woo hoo for you!

    • Thanks Rachel. Good for you, one payment at a time is a good way to look at it, it all adds up. :-) Best of luck on your goal.

  6. That’s a GREAT score!!! I started monitoring mine on Credit Karma and I’ve gone up 10 points..not quite as much as you, but I was happy about it! Are you planning on applying for a mortgage with it??

    • Thanks American Debt Project. 10 points is awesome, you should be proud of it. :-) Mine only went up so much because my bankruptcy finally fell off.

      We’re still trying to figure out if we’re wanting to buy a house in the US or not. I’d really love to move to another country, but I gotta figure out what I want to do with my life first.

  7. that big jump must’ve been a welcome surprise. I haven’t heard of Credit Kharma either. I’ll check them out.you know, just in case something is mislabeled.