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Tips to Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score has become extremely important these days and seems to follow you everywhere. If you score seems low and you want to work on improving it here are some tips:

  1. Review your credit report for any errors and correct glitches that may not be accurate (but are still hurting your current score).
  2. Manage your bills carefully.
    Monitor your checking account carefully to avoid bouncing a check or worse – having it returned.
  3. Don’t skip payments – if you are juggling or struggling contact your creditors to see if some can be arranged.
  4. Refrain from opening a lot of new accounts over a short period of time, especially if your credit history is on the shorter side to begin with.
  5. Pay your bills on time.
  6. Don’t open any credit lines you probably won’t use. For example, don’t open store credit cards just to get the initial 10 percent discount.
  7. Instead of moving credit card balances to lower rate cards, try to pay them off.
  8. Keep open 1 or 2 credit accounts, use them responsibly, and make your payments on time.
  9. Try to use your credit cards less – even better, pay them off every month. Too much credit is just as bad as not enough.
  10. Contrary to what you may have heard, don’t close old, paid-off accounts. Credit companies used to advise people to close old credit cards they were no longer using. But closing these cards shortens your credit report and makes you seem less credit-worthy.
  11. Avoid bankruptcy. Declaring bankruptcy is one of the worst things you can do for your credit score. It may seem like the easy way out in the short term, but over time it will cost you tons in the way of high interest rates.
  12. Get help from a credit counselor if you need it!

Keep in mind; negative items have a lot more power over your credit score than positive items. A little effort will save you a lot of money in the long run!

Published Apr 17, 2009.