7 Tips to Improve Your Credit Score


Would you like to improve your credit score but don’t know where to begin? We’ve got seven tips to get you started. 

Know Your Score 

The first step to improving your credit score is to know your credit score. Did you know that you can get a free copy of your credit report every year? Just go to Annual Credit Report and request your report. Once you have your report, read it carefully and make sure everything is correct. 

Rent and Build Credit 

VantageScore’s scoring model now weighs rent and utility payment records when calculating credit scores. 

Keep Balances Low On Credit Cards 

Try to limit your charges to 30% or less of your card’s limit to improve your score. 

Set Up Automatic Bill Pay

It’s a fact: If you consistently pay your bills on time, the better your score. Why? Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO credit score and 32% of your VantageScore score. Take the guesswork out of paying bills on time and set up automatic bill pay.

Keep Old Accounts Open

Strange as it may seem, closing old accounts doesn’t help your credit score. In fact, it can damage it. So go ahead and pay everything off but keep the accounts open. 

Open New Credit Accounts Sparingly 

You’re at the checkout counter, and a retailer says you can save 25% on your purchase if you open a credit card with them. Sounds like a great deal, right? Sometimes it is, but most times it isn’t. When opening a new credit account, you should compare rates and fees from various lenders. Get the best deal possible — not the one presented to you at checkout. 

Talk to a Credit Counselor

If your credit score is lower than you would like or if you need helpful advice, a nonprofit credit counseling service can be beneficial. These services can teach you to manage your debt and plan for your future — and getting help won’t hurt your credit score. Contact the National Foundation for Consumer Creditfor more information on debt management and improving your credit score. 

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