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Advise on how to improve my credit?

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  • Advise on how to improve my credit?

    I am seeking to start applying for employment with several of the local police departments in the Phoenix Metropolitian area. But before I proceed in seeking employment, I need to improve my credit that I had ruined when I was younger.

    My credit is the only thing I am worried about when it comes to applying for a Law Enforcement job. I know having good credit shows that you are a responsible person and shows that you will not be so easily bribed for money if you don't have money troubles.

    I am planning to register myself in a local community college and take a money mangement course so I can get my credit and finances in order.

    Besides taking this money mangement course in getting my finances in order, is there anything else I can do to improve my credit and improve my chances in getting a job with a police force?

  • #2
    Your credit or FICO score has nothing do with what classes you have taken. Taken a good personal finance course is something you should do to benefit yourself, it will not change your credit score. Best way to make your credit score look better is to pay all your debts so they are current. Incidentally I hate that PDs look at credit scores, your credit score is nothing more than an I love debt score. If an applicant has never borrowed money in his life, i.e. been responsible paid cash for everything, he would have a 0 or "bad" credit score. Versus the applicant who finances everything he buys, he would have a "better" credit score. Also, with FICO scores anything negative once the debt has been paid will drop off of your credit record in 7 years.

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    • #3
      I can understand why LE agencies look at credit scores. It is one part of the equation that tells them a little bit about how responsible an applicant is in their financial life. Sure, paying cash for everything is great, but leveraging credit responsibly will help you live a life within your means and not have devalued goods based on inflation. Paying cash may be ideal, but this is the 21st century and we (for better or worse) finance everything.

      How to improve your credit score? Don't be afraid of credit cards, just pay them off every month. If you have a $2000 limit, don't max it out every month--this looks very bad for your score. Also, don't have several different outstanding liabilities at once. Be diligent at paying all your bills (utilities, mortgage, etc. ON TIME EVERY TIME). Finance things you NEED, save for things you WANT--this is very important. Growing up is all about delayed gratification.

      The wife and I just finished paying off all our vehicles and student loans, and because we have guarded our spending carefully, our credit scores now average 771 We don't have a big house, but we have learned to be content
      He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
      -- Nietzsche

      Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
      -- Hemingway

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rugermk2 View Post
        Paying cash may be ideal, but this is the 21st century and we (for better or worse) finance everything.
        Not so. living without a credit card is becoming increasingly more difficult. we took a trip to florida in january with the right amount of money to pay for what we needed and estimated for food and luxuries. when we went to rent a car they denied me because my credit was lower than 600... and they ran it because I only had a debit card instead of a credit card. then on top of it.. they ran my G/F and she was fine... but they wanted to take out another 300.00 from our account on a convienence fee for the debit card. ok.. we figured we would be alright with the hotel and would explain to run 1 night and 2 days later we were getting paid. well it took an act of god to get that to happen.. they wanted to run the full amount on our card.. almost 1k, plus half for a convienence fee. its becoming difficult to even live without a card anymore due to the exorbinant fees and hoops you have to jump through. after we got back we got a credit card just to avoid this. had we not pulled on the heart strings of the manager at the hotel we would have been sleepign in our 550.00 rental car instead.

        back on topic... the only way to improve your score is to have things paid off or they drop off after the statute of limitations.. usually 7 years. only then after time will it start improving. it takes forever to bring your score up but only 1 day late on a payment to drop it.
        Last edited by Mystikal; 06-03-2007, 11:25 PM.

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        • #5
          What I did:

          First, I had really SH...Y credit, but wanted to apply with an agency that required good scores. (Pick up a copy of "Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramsey and read it to death) ....so I pulled a 3 agency report for $25 at freecreditreport.com (name's an oxymoron I guess) I found out my score, and what I had that was showing negative on my files.

          I was then able to see that I had charges I was unaware of, that had been there for 5+years! So i was able to dispute these and had some removed. Others, were my fault so I took necessary action to take care of the problems.

          After that I spoke with my mother who is an office manager/accountant for a large oil and gas company, she passed me on to one of the big wig accountants who informed me that in order to improve my credit, I had to open lines of credit (duh) but he suggested a capital 1 card-they have options for ppl. trying to improve their credit and I got a card activiated with a $300 limit, which only gets used in emergencies.

          After that, I make my car, card, etc. payments on time, usually early and I also like to throw extra $ in towards the principal balance, which also looks good.

          Opening lines of credit goes against the book I just suggested, but some agencies require it. In order for me to get out of the jail and onto the streets I have to assume responsibility for my spending immaturity.

          Hope this helps.
          "The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of the good men that do nothing."
          -A. Einstein

          “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
          -(Proverbs 23:7)

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by cpratt1999 View Post
            he suggested a capital 1 card-they have options for ppl. trying to improve their credit and I got a card activiated with a $300 limit, which only gets used in emergencies.
            Capitol 1 isn't a great choice for building credit because they don't list the account limit on your credit report. This is important as it's part of the scoring equation and the more open credit you have the higher the score.

            If you just want a credit report, go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com as it is actually free. If you want to pay for a score go to http://www.myfico.com as they are the only service with a real score.

            To learn more for free go to http://www.creditboards.com. I've raised my score from 100 points in the past year by listening to them.

            Comment


            • #7
              Like I said, the agency I applied with required my score, I neglected to mention they wanted reports from 3 agencies. Thus the $25 fee.

              www.freecreditreport.com does just the experian report for free. My oxymoron comment was in light of the situation.

              I'm sure there is better cards to go with, but I liked the APR I was given, and I don't use it anyway.
              "The world is a dangerous place; not because of those who do evil, but because of the good men that do nothing."
              -A. Einstein

              “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”
              -(Proverbs 23:7)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Mystikal View Post
                Not so. living without a credit card is becoming increasingly more difficult.
                Sorry for the misunderstanding. I meant that paying cash for everything would in some ways be much easier and less of a headache, however, credit and debit cards are necessary to building credit and making certain rents/purchases.
                He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.
                -- Nietzsche

                Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter.
                -- Hemingway

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rugermk2 View Post
                  Sorry for the misunderstanding. I meant that paying cash for everything would in some ways be much easier and less of a headache, however, credit and debit cards are necessary to building credit and making certain rents/purchases.
                  Debit cards don't build credit. Debit cards take money out of accounts that have money. There is no "responsibility" of paying a bill.

                  Comment

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