The Quick Report

15 Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Your credit score is important. It’s the factor that lenders use to decide how much they’ll let you borrow and what interest rates you’ll be paying back. Here are a few ways to improve your credit score if you’re not happy with where it’s at!

Credit Cards

person using laptop computer holding card
Photo by rupixen via Unsplash

It might sound weird, but you need to get credit to build credit. What that means is that you need to borrow some money first for the major credit bureaus to know whether or not you’re good at paying it back. The first step many take is getting a starter credit card with which to pay small bills.


fan of 100 U.S. dollar banknotes
Photo by Alexander Mils via Unsplash

If you’re not a fan of credit cards, you could also take out a small credit-building loan with a low interest rate. Even something as small as $100 can help show credit bureaus that you’re trustworthy and can build a good foundation for your credit.

Bills That Report

person holding wallet and US dollar bills
Photo by Artem Beliaikin via Unsplash

Some recurring bills can report to the major credit bureaus. Things like paying the power, water, or internet bill might be growing your credit! This is very helpful for people who are just starting out and don’t want to mess with things like borrowing money or paying interest yet.

Pay on Time

Image via Openverse

Perhaps the biggest factor in keeping your credit score from dropping is making timely payments. It’s vital that you don’t let more than 30 days pass from when a bill was due. If you do, it can dramatically drop your credit score and it can take years to repair the damage.


Payment Terminal in Hands
Photo by Obsahovka Obsahovka via Pexels

If you’re forgetful or worried about missing deadlines for your bills, try setting up autopay. This makes it much easier to pay on time without things lapsing over 30 days. Some recurring bills even give you a discount for enabling autopay!

Authorized User

blue and white visa card on silver laptop computer
Photo by via Unsplash

Another way to help build your credit up when you’re starting from nothing is to have a family member add you as an authorized user on their credit card. This will allow you to receive some of the reporting benefits that they’re getting from their line of credit!

Account Balances

white printer paper on red textile
Photo by Dylan Gillis via Unsplash

Try to keep your account balances on things like loans and credit cards low. If you owe a lot of money, it can hurt your credit score, even if you’re making timely payments on everything. There are a few ways you can keep these balances low without breaking the bank.

Debt Consolidation

Image via Openverse

One option for keeping your outstanding accounts low is to get a debt consolidation loan. You can use this loan to pay off several bills at once, potentially lowering the interest rate on what you owe and making your credit score look much better.

Keeping the Oldest Account Open

visa card on brown wooden table
Photo by via Unsplash

Don’t just close out a credit card or other line of credit because you’ve paid it off and don’t need it anymore. The oldest accounts on your credit report are worth a sizable chunk of your credit score. Closing them can actually damage your credit score.

Changing the Oldest Account to Fit Your Needs

person holding brown leather card wallet
Photo by Emil Kalibradov via Unsplash

Rather than closing older credit cards that don’t work for you anymore, you can talk to the card issuer and have the account changed to something that better fits your needs. Keeping your oldest account open is worth the hassle, trust us.

New Credit Applications

man writing on paper
Photo by Scott Graham via Unsplash

Be careful about how often you’re applying for new lines of credit. Multiple inquiries in a short span of time can compound and cause serious problems for your credit score. Basically, it makes you look like you’re desperate for loans.

Hard vs Soft Credit Checks

person writing on white notebook
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM via Unsplash

The trick to keeping new credit applications from tanking your credit score is getting soft credit checks instead of hard credit checks. If you’re just shopping around for loans or other forms of credit, make sure the issuers are doing soft credit checks until you’re fairly certain you want to proceed with them.

Types of Credit

white and red wooden house miniature on brown table
Photo by Tierra Mallorca via Unsplash

There are different types of credit, and your score is partly based on how many different types of credit you have! For example, if you have a mortgage, a car loan, and a credit card (all in good standing), you’ll have a better credit score than if you didn’t have that credit card.

Mixing it Up

Crop businessman giving contract to woman to sign
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

If you’re looking to mix up your types of credit to give your score a boost, consider getting a starter credit card or a credit-builder loan. These will both help diversify your report and will make you look better to lenders on paper!

Read More: How Prepaid Credit Cards Protect Your Identity

Dispute False Information

Image via Openverse

Make sure you dispute any false information on your credit report. If you’ve been the victim of identity theft and the criminal ran up bills in your name, it’s your right to dispute these inaccuracies with the major credit bureaus.

Read More: 5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Credit Score