How to Get Your Credit Score Back in Shape


If your credit history is not making you proud, maybe it's time it did. Improving your credit scores isn't something you can overnight, but the earlier you start, the faster you'll see results.


Here are concrete steps you can take to make your credit scores go north:


Pay on time.


You need to pay all of your bills on time, and we're not just talking credit card bills here at Loans, rent, utilities - everything must be paid when you are expected to. Also make sure to pay the originally agreed amount every time, or your credit score still suffers. If you're behind on your payments, update them as soon as possible. Late or missed payments affect your credit report negatively for seven years, but luckily, its impact on your credit score will fade over time.


Keep your balances low.


Another crucial number involved in credit score calculations is the credit utilization ratio. This is the number you get when you add all your credit card balances and divide that sum by your total credit limit. So let's say you usually charge around $3000 monthly and your total credit limit on all your cards is $10,000. That means your utilization ratio is 30%. Most lenders like to see ratios of 30% or lower. This tells them you haven't maxed out your cards and that you manage your credit pretty well.


Keep those unused credit cards going.


You should keep your unused credit cards at open if only because closing it can drive up your credit utilization ratio. Having the same balance with less open accounts can also decrease your credit score. As long as those cards don't cost you in annual fees, keeping them can be a good strategy.


Don't apply for too much credit.


Every time you open a new credit card you increase your total credit limit, but this also creates a hard inquiry on your credit report. Too many hard inquiries, which stay on your credit report for two years, can pull down your credit score. To read more about the benefits of credit cards, visit


Check your credit reports and dispute inaccuracies if any.


Finally, be sure to check your credit reports at all the credit bureaus. Any incorrect information could pull your scores down. Check that the accounts listed on your reports are accurate, and if you see any errors, dispute the wrong information and have them corrected the soonest.

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