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Released: February 29, 2012
Help Desk FAQ
How can I improve my credit score?Here are some tips for improving your credit:
- Pay your bills on time. Paying an account late is better than never paying it at all. A payment that is 60 days late is worse than a payment that is 30 days late, but not as bad as a payment that is 90 days late.
- Pay off credit card and other unsecured debt. 30% of your score comes from how much available credit you are currently using, so when you lower your debt, you automatically raise your score.
- When possible, keep balances at 20% or less of available credit on revolving credit accounts (such as credit cards).
- Beware of closing unused revolving credit accounts, particularly those that have a high credit limit or are among your oldest accounts.
- If you have mishandled credit accounts in the past, you need to demonstrate that you can manage debt responsibly. Re-establish credit by charging an amount you can pay in full each month. This will help you build positive credit accounts that, over time, will offset the negative ones.
- Apply for and open new revolving credit accounts only as needed, particularly if you are about to apply for a loan. (New accounts can temporarily cause your score to drop until you have used them long enough to demonstrate that you can manage them well.)
- Dispute inaccurate items and negative items over seven years old that should have fallen off your report by now.
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