2 tips to fix your credit score, from an expert who raised hers 300 points — and earned $100,000 teaching others to do the same

Jasmine McCall raised her credit score 300 points by disputing negative items on her credit report.

To raise her credit score by 300 points, Jasmine McCall kept disputing negative marks on her credit report.
She also calls her credit card companies every six months to ask for credit limit increases to improve her credit utilization ratio.
Now, she teaches other people how to improve their own credit.
Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.

The first time Jasmine McCall ever saw her credit report is when a bank told her that her credit score of 495 was too low to open a bank account. “I was embarrassed because my friend was with me,” the 30-year-old tells Insider, “but that was the first time someone pulled up my credit report and showed it to me.”

Most of the derogatory marks on her credit report came from medical debt, which she tried to pay off at first. McCall quickly realized that as delinquent debts, payments didn’t benefit her credit score. Paying medical debt positively impacts your credit, but once any kind of debt is charged off or sold to a third-party collection agency, which is what happened to McCall’s debt, repayment efforts do not improve your credit score.

Additionally, she learned that collectors were charging illegal fees “up to 33%, on top of the original debt that I owed,” she explains. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the highest collection fee debt collectors are allowed to add to medical debt is 20% in Georgia. The limit for medical debt collection fees vary by state.

Once she got a clear understanding of her credit history, she spent weeks researching the best ways to get her financial health back on track. McCall disputed the medical bills on her credit report — and succeeded. Her medical debt was forgiven, and her credit score jumped by 100 points.

Since then, she’s earned $100,000 in passive income by coaching her friends and community on how to repair their own credit. Her own credit score is over 800 points.

Here are two methods McCall used to raise her credit score over 300 points.


1. Disputing negative marks on her credit report via mail

The big three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, each have online tools that help you dispute negative marks or inaccuracies on your credit report. Usually, you can send a pdf or Word document of a dispute letter, with supporting documents attached on these platforms.

However, McCall says her success came mostly from disputing negative marks on her credit report in the mail. “A surefire way to dispute it is in a way that’s going to require a human to do work,” she explains in her viral credit boost explainer video on YouTube. She says workers are so overwhelmed with requests that they’re more likely to approve paper credit report disputes than ones filed through online systems.

2. Asking for a credit limit increase every six months

“I make it a point to call my credit card companies every six months and ask for a credit increase,” says McCall.

Your credit utilization ratio is how much credit you actually use compared to the total amount of credit you have available. It’s recommended that you keep your utilization rate under 30%, but people with the highest credit scores tend to keep it even lower — 10% or less.

A simple way to lower your credit utilization ratio is to ask your credit card company for a higher credit limit. 

Even though McCall’s gamble on starting a digital business paid off and her credit score has dramatically improved, she says, “I still love to save, and I’m very careful with my money.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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