10 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

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10 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Ah, finances!

You know, that topic everyone worries and fights about?  And since money makes the world go around, when the money doesn’t stretch far enough, next comes a plummeting credit score.  How is it that one little number can dictate your life?

If your credit score has got you down, here’s a couple of sure-fire ways to get it back up and get you back on track:

  1. Patience.  Remember that only time is going to heal a credit wound, so be patience and mentally prepare for the long haul.
  2. Check your credit report regularly.  Make sure that everything is accurate and check to make sure you are up to date on all of your payments.  Get current on all of your accounts. I have used Credit Sesame in the past. It’s free, and easy to use.
  3. Keep up with monthly payments.  Even if you have what seems like an insurmountable pile of debt, keeping up with monthly payments goes a long way with the health of your credit score.  Decide which debt you are going to tackle first.  I like the Dave Ramsey method of tackling the smallest debt first, because it gets you out of a payment faster, but you can research whatever approach is best for you.  Once you have allotted which account will get more than the minimum monthly payment, set up auto pay for minimum monthly payments on the rest of your debt.
  4. If you find that #3 is impossible, and you can’t make ends meet to make the minimum monthly payments, contact your creditors to make an arrangement.  Creditors want to get paid, they are typically willing to work with you {this is not always the case, though}.  If you don’t want to contact the creditors, contact a legitimate debt credit counselor who will on your behalf.  Contacting and dealing with a debt counselor will not hurt your credit score in any way.
  5. If you don’t have debt, but want to raise your credit score, there are a couple of tips to make sure you don’t inadvertently lower your score.  One, make sure you don’t open too many new accounts all at once.  This is considered a credit risk and negatively affects your score.
  6. Closing your account after you have paid it off may negatively affect your credit score because, in part, your score is determined by the amount of debt to available debt ratio.  You will have to weigh the option on a personal level as to whether that dip in your score is worth it to you not to have a revolving line of open credit.
  7. Use open credit cards lightly.  It is best for your score to never maintain a balance of more than 10%-30% of your total limit at any one time.
  8. Miss one little payment?  Nip it quick.  If you have been a good customer, some companies might be willing to overlook a missed payment if you ask.
  9. Only apply for new credit when absolutely necessary.
  10. A mix of credit seems to improve your score, i.e car loans, mortgage, credit cards.  While all credit cards equals sad times.

Have you been in the credit slumps before? How did you get out?

Good luck,


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  1. I like that you mentioned Dave Ramsey .. although I don’t think he’d tell you to be worried about your credit score .. since he advocates not using credit .. even to buy a home. We followed his plan for several years and did the rice and beans, beans and rice, paying smallest to largest debt, etc. and worked our way out of debt .. including the mortgage .. on one middle class income .. I rarely think about my credit score any longer. I will never buy a car on credit .. instead, I’d buy a used car for cash. Just my two cents ;)

  2. That should be ‘not using a credit score to buy a home. He has a formula .. something like waiting at least a year after marriage, save up 20% down payment. Mortgage payment should be no more than 25% of your income .. and only take out a 15 year loan. Student debt is a killer and cannot be ‘forgiven’ .. even in bankruptcy. He calls a credit score the ‘I Love Debt Score’ …

  3. Do you have some sort of psychic connection going?? I was just thinking about this. I ran across an article that describing getting your finances in order to buy a house. And one of the items was… improve your credit score. Wasn’t sure of good steps to take. Thanks for the timely post!

  4. Oh Mavis – a subject near and dear to my heart.. My family was hit hard by the ‘pre-recession (company takeover) and we were down to one income for over 3 yrs. We also have a chronically ill child with (she’s stable now) that contributed to a huge amount of medical bills. we were using the ccards to live/survive. Once we went back to a 2 income family we decided to atke the ‘bull by the horns’ and get out of debt as quick as we could. Unfortunately, the credit card companies wouldn’t reduce our payments to really make a difference in our monthly bottom line, so we went to http://www.incharge.org to help us get as much debt as we could down into one monthly payment. Not gonna lie, it’s been a very long 4 years (well 4 in November)!!No vacations, no eating out, gardening like crazy have helped us reach out goal. Being in this type of money situation can be so overwhelming and depressing that you feel like a failure and you’re the only person in the world with these type problems. As for us, over the last 46 mths we’ve paid off over 30,000.00 in revolving and medical debt WAHOO!! Who knows if we’ll ever use credit cards again but your first bullet point is so true.. be patient!!! We know we have a ways to go to improve our credit scores, but we’ve come so farr..

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