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Beef up your credit score with these debt relief strategies

If you are a Washington, D.C., resident who is looking to rebuild your credit, you may have a lot of questions about debt relief. Rebuilding your credit is not as difficult as you might think, though it requires some patience and strategic planning. A strong credit score can, in fact, be in your future if you follow these recommendations made by qualified bankruptcy attorneys.

One of the easiest methods for improving your credit score is to limit your credit utilization ratio. That means that you should have more credit available than the amount you are using. Staying under 35 percent of your total available credit is ideal, though some experts even advocate keeping your debt under 10 percent. Creditors want to make sure that their borrowers are spending responsibly and not applying for new cards in a last-ditch bid to obtain higher spending power.

Applying for one card at a time is more likely to prove beneficial as you begin to rebuild your credit. Apply, then wait for a response from the company before making another inquiry. Creditors can become wary of borrowers who are suddenly seeking access to multiple lines of credit. In addition, every inquiry into your credit score causes it to drop slightly.

Instead of applying for new cards, why not consider leaving your old ones open? Your credit score is bolstered by the average age of your accounts. Keeping those old accounts open will be more beneficial, even if you have to make trade-offs. In some cases, the annual fees for these cards may be limiting. In that situation, be sure that you are approved for a new card before you swap out accounts.

Debt relief is possible even in today's down economy. Washington, D.C., residents can make some small changes to their everyday practices to ensure a bright financial future. These modifications can provide credit history growth for those who are just emerging from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, as well as those who are seeking simple debt relief.

Source: www.nerdwallet.com, "How to improve your credit score before you apply for a new credit card" Stephen Vanderpool, Oct. 25, 2013

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