Tis’ the season for gift giving, however, instead of spending all that time, energy and money on stacking gifts under the tree this year, why not try giving yourself the gift that keeps on giving. The 700+ credit score. Your credit history holds a very significant key to your new home. It determines your borrowing power, loan options and the interest you will pay. The higher the score the lower the interest rate which in turn saves you money in monthly payments. Here are some tips on how to increase your credit score.

The Jumpstart
Order your credit report with FICO scores from all three major agencies Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. The FICO score is usually not included with the report and this is the score that lenders will see. You can also order a 3-in-one credit report online from one of the agencies.

*Dispute: any incorrect entries, adverse information that's more than seven years old, including lawsuits, judgments, paid tax liens, accounts sent to collection, late payments and overdue child support. Request the removal of bankruptcies reported more than ten years after the date of the last activity, and credit inquiries that are more than two years old. Creditors by law have 30 days to respond to any disputes you’ve made, if they do not respond, the negative items will be changed or removed from your report.

Once the 30-day investigation period is over, the credit reporting agencies will send the results to you by snail mail or email. If some of the items you disputed were not removed, consider disputing them again in a few months. Be prepared with any documentation you may have to support your dispute. The removal of adverse items from your credit report will raise your credit score!

How To Manage Your Credit

Improve payment history
Always pay your bills on time. Late payments play a major role in driving down your score. If you have past-due bills now, bring them current and keep them that way. Contact your creditors as soon as you know you will have a problem paying bills on time. Try to work out a payment arrangement and negotiate with them to keep at least a portion of the late notations off of your credit reports.

Maintain low balances
Keep your credit card balances low. Use only 10% - 20% of the available limit. Pay your debt off. Start by paying off the smaller balances then work on aggressively paying down larger accounts. Don't close unused accounts, a zero balance might help your score.

Length of Your Credit History
Don't open several new accounts in a short period, especially if your credit history is less than three years. Adding accounts too rapidly sends up a red flag that you are not handling your credit responsibly.

Limit the Number of Inquiries
Several credit inquiries during a short period means you are attempting to open multiple new accounts, and that lowers your credit score. If multiple inquiries are necessary, have them pulled as closely together as possible. Checking your own credit report does not affect your score.

The Types of Credit You Use
A mixture of credit cards and installment loans, loans with fixed payments, can help raise your score if you manage the credit responsibly.

Build up your credit score today to secure that dream home for tomorrow! For more information visit www.myfirstmichiganhome.com.

Author's Bio: 

Christopher Shaw is a seasoned Real Estate Investor, with over 12 years of experience and has a passion for working with First Time Home Buyers, Mr Shaw has an ambitious goal of helping 1000 new First Time Buyers become home owners of the next 36 months. In addition to the 1000 new home owners he expects to create over the next 36 months wants to leverage each transaction to adopt up to 1000 families through Volunteers of America's Adopt a family Program.