- To boost her credit rating, Jasmine McCall continued to challenge the negative ratings on her credit report.
- She also called every six months to request credit limit increases to improve her utilization rate.
- Now she teaches others how to improve their credit.
- Read more stories from Personal Finance Insider.
The first time Jasmine McCall saw her credit report was 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 told Insider, “but that was the first time someone pulled out my credit report and showed it to me.”
Most of the disparaging notes on her report came from a medical debt, which she first tried to pay off. McCall quickly realized that as overdue debts, the payments were not benefiting his credit rating. Paying off medical debt positively affects your credit, but once one type of debt is written off or sold to a third-party collection agency, which happened to McCall’s, repayment efforts don’t improve your credit score. .
Additionally, she learned that collectors were charging illegal fees “up to 33%, on top of the original debt I owed,” she explained. 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 medical debt collection fee limit varies by state.
Once she fully understood her credit history, she spent weeks researching the best ways to get her financial health back on track. McCall disputed the medical bills on his credit report – and was successful. His medical debt was forgiven and his credit rating jumped 100 points.
Since then, she has earned $100,000 in passive income by guiding her friends and community on how to fix their own credit. His credit score is now over 800 points.
Here are two methods McCall used to boost his credit score by over 300 points.
1. Dispute negative ratings on credit reports by 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.
But McCall said his success came mainly from disputing negative ratings on his credit report by mail. “A surefire way to challenge it is in a way that will require a Human to work,” she explained in her viral YouTube credit explainer video. She said workers are so overwhelmed with applications that they are more likely to approve paper credit report disputes than those filed through online systems.
2. Ask 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,” McCall said.
Your credit utilization ratio is the amount of credit you actually use compared to the total amount of credit you have. It’s recommended to keep your utilization rate below 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 rating improved dramatically, she said, “I still like to save and I’m very careful with my money.”