Boost Your Credit in 2012

by Gerri Willis

In a segment late last week, John Ulzheimer, President of Consumer Education for SmartCredit.com, gave the following tips to boost your credit in 2012. Check out the sites he recommends, below!

If you never ask for a free credit report, you'll never get one. www.annualcreditreport.com is the only website for claiming your free credit reports per Federal law, says John.

Opting out of new credit card offers: Some companies charge you for doing this, but it's free at www.optoutprescreen.com. This will have your name removed from any "pre-approved" mailing list the credit bureaus sell to credit card issuers. This will significantly reduce the amount of credit card offers you get. You can always opt back in if you like.

You may not know it but your credit cards might now have variable interest rates instead of fixed rates. This means any increase in the prime rate will likely result in an increase in your credit card interest rate. Why is this a big deal? Because this style of rate increase does NOT require any sort of notice to the cardholder.

There are a few sites that will give away a free credit score, that doesn't require you to sign up for a trial membership to a credit monitoring subscription. And while none of these are true FICO scores, they are a great approximation for where your credit rating likely stands. The sites are www.creditsesame.com and www.creditkarma.com. (John says the score given out at CreditSesame a better replica of your FICO score.