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How do you improve your credit score?

Sep 2, 2023

The specific steps that can improve your credit score will vary based on your unique credit situation. But here are some things to consider that can help almost anyone boost their credit score:

  • Review your credit reports
    When looking to improve your credit score, a good first step is to review your credit reports from all three of the nationwide consumer reporting agencies. After making sure there are no inaccuracies or signs of identity theft and fraud, check to see if you have any unpaid balances or accounts that have gone into collections. It’s a good idea to tackle this negative information first by paying off as many old debts as you can.
  • Pay on time
    One of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your debts on time and in full whenever possible. Payment history makes up a significant chunk of your credit score, so it’s important to avoid late payments. If you struggle with on-time payments, consider using automatic payments for your accounts or setting up alerts so you are reminded to pay.
  • Keep your credit utilization rate low
    As mentioned above, it’s typically best to keep your credit utilization rate at or below 30%. Outside of reducing your spending, you can lower your utilization rate by asking your credit card company for a credit limit increase.
  • Limit applying for new accounts
    Applying for new lines of credit will usually lead to a hard inquiry, which can negatively affect your credit score. So, if you’re hoping to improve your score, try to limit how often you apply for new accounts. Opening a new line of credit can also decrease the average age, or length, of your credit history, which is another factor used in calculating your credit score.
  • Keep old accounts open
    When trying to increase your score, avoid closing any old accounts that have been paid off, even if you no longer use them. Keeping the accounts open will help maintain the length of your credit history.

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