Last year the TrueCredit division of TransUnion offered five ways in which consumers could improve their credit scores that are still applicable this year.

From us to you

Yesterday, Auto Credit Express passed along some advice from the Illinois CPA Society in an article about managing money better in 2010. Today, we are going back into our archives to reiterate the advice given by TransUnion's TrueCredit division that is just as timely this year as it was 365 days ago.

These tips are especially applicable to consumers with bad credit and buyers hoping to finance their next vehicle with a bad credit car loan, since they are geared toward improving your credit score and monitoring the information in your credit report – two things that are vital if you are concerned about reestablishing your credit.

Here are excerpts from the news release:

A fresh start

"Consumers should approach the New Year as a time to start fresh and begin managing their credit more closely," said Lucy Duni, vice president of consumer education at by TransUnion. "While it can be overwhelming, now more than ever, consumers need to play a more active role in their financial management to ensure they are in the best possible position with lenders."

Credit tips

1. Always pay your bills on time.

While it may sound like a no-brainer, making payments on time is essential whether consumers are trying to boost or maintain their credit score. Yet, TrueCredit's 2007 survey revealed that one in four (25 percent) respondents had missed making one or more on-time bill payments.

2. Don't overspend: keep debt below 35 percent of your limits.

Although it can be tempting and easy to overspend, it's important for consumers to keep their credit card balances low and not to max them out. Part of a lender's evaluation includes reviewing a consumer's available credit. If consumers are nearing or have over-extended their credit, it may impact their ability to be approved for a loan at a competitive rate.

3. Keep tabs on your credit report.

In order to maintain a "healthy" credit score and to position yourself best with creditors, it's important for consumers to monitor their report regularly to provide an up-to-date view on credit card activity and debt. It also enables consumers to identity possible signs of fraudulent activity, as the potential for identity theft remains significant.

4. Monitor leases and loans closely where you are the co-signer.

When consumers open a joint account or co-sign a loan, they are taking on legal responsibility for the account. Any activity on these shared accounts, good or bad, will be reflected in both credit reports.

5. Long-standing credit card accounts can help your credit score.

Consumers should be cautious when thinking about closing credit card accounts where they have been making punctual payments over a long period of time. In addition to lowering your available credit, canceling old credit accounts can also ultimately lower your credit score by making your credit history appear shorter.

As we see it

The tips from TransUnion have everything to do with the impact your credit decisions will have on your credit report and your FICO score. This is something that's very important to consumers with bad credit, especially considering the current financial climate. And with the New Year fresh in your mind, now is a good time to step back and assess your financial situation for the coming year and resolve to make it as good as you possibly can.

For nearly 20 years, Auto Credit Express has been helping people with credit problems get approved for new and used car loans. Our dealer affiliates work with a broad spectrum of bad credit auto loan lenders to get you approved. Since our inception, we have processed over 1,000,000 online bad credit auto loans and closed over 1 Billion dollars in auto loans.

For more information, please visit to see what we can do for you.