Five Savvy Moves to Improve Your Credit Score

September 15th, 2011

If you are planning on applying for a loan or a mortgage in the near future, you’ll want to make sure that your credit score is in tiptop shape. Here are five things you can do to improve your credit
score immediately. 

Pay Your Bills On Time, Every Time
More than one-third of your credit score is based on your payment history, so make sure your payments are made and received on time each month. To avoid late or lost payments, consider setting up automatic payments which will be drafted from your bank account.

Reduce the Balances of Your Existing Debt
The amount you owe to lenders counts for 30% of your credit score, and experts suggest using no more than 10% of your credit limit because the more credit you utilize, the more your credit score drops. If you are currently using more than 20% of your credit limit on some of your credit cards, make plans to throw larger payments at those debts until the balance is much lower. 

Build Up Your Credit Mix
If the only credit you currently have is in the form of car loans, you might consider getting a credit card to diversify the types of credit available to you. You don’t need to stay in debt. Just use it a few times a month, pay the balance, off and your credit score should improve. 

Keep Old Accounts Open
While you don’t want to have too many credit card accounts or open lines of credit, you do want to keep the oldest ones open as they reflect the length of your credit history and, even if you aren’t using them, they will help build your credit score.

Avoid New Accounts
While your credit score is partially calculated on how many sources of credit you have, you don’t want to have too many new accounts since 10% of your score is based on new credit. If you already have three or four credit cards, don’t open any more.

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