Eight Ways to Improve Your Credit Score
1. Spend wisely! Use your credit responsibly by not making impulsive or unnecessary purchases and by not building up high balances on your credit cards.
2. Avoid late payments. The best contributor to a healthy credit score is paying your bills promptly, which builds a solid history of on-time payments. If you have a hard time keeping track of your payment schedule, set up reminders in your calendar to ensure you avoid late payments.
3. Old debt is not bad debt. Keeping solidly paid accounts on your credit history is a good way to show financial responsibility. Do not have old debts removed from your report just because they are paid off.
4. Instead of moving debt around, pay it off if you can. The balance will remain the same on your credit report, no matter where it is. In the same way, do not close unused credit cards as a way to improve your credit. The balance will remain the same but owing the same amount on fewer accounts could result in an even lower score.
5. Do not needlessly open new accounts. Having more open credit card accounts on your line of credit will not improve your score and will only result in additional credit inquiries on your report.
6. Keep your debt-to-credit ratio low. Debt can affect your credit score even if you pay your balance in full every month. Paying down high levels of debt is the best way to keep this ratio at a minimum (aim for lower than 30% but 10% is ideal).
7. Eliminate small balances. If you have low balances on a number of different accounts, gathering them up and paying them all off will help improve your score.
8. Be patient. If you are able to pay off outstanding bills and pay down your debt, it is just a matter of time until you rebuild your credit history and your score increases.
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