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What’s the Easiest Way to Improve Your Credit Score?

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What's the Easiest Way to Improve Your Credit Score?

Looking for an easy way to boost your credit score? Generally, building good credit takes time and good habits. However, there are some steps you can take that can be very beneficial to your credit score. Let’s take a look at a couple of them:

Pay Off Debt

The amount you owe accounts for 30% of your credit score, and if you have a lot of credit card debt and other accounts with big balances, systematically paying down that debt can improve your credit score in a hurry (depending on how quickly you pay down your debt).

Attacking that costly credit card debt first is the way to go. While paying down credit card debt isn’t fun, there are some tricks to make it fairly painless:

  • Automate your payments.
  • Move your due dates close to paydays so you’ll always have plenty of cash in your account when a payment comes due.
  • Set up text or email alerts so you never forget to make a payment.
  • Avoid taking on new debt as you pay down your credit card balances.

If you do make new charges on a credit card, stick to small purchases that you can pay off that month and don’t let any new purchases get in the way of your debt pay-down plan.

Paying ahead on an installment loan is good for your wallet but it won’t give your credit score a boost. However, paying off a revolving credit card account with a high interest rate will do both and that’s why credit card debt should be the first debt you target when you want to lift your credit score.

Pay Your Bills On Time

The most efficient way to make a credit score lift is by establishing a payment of history of steady, on-time payments. Payment history accounts for 35% of a credit score and making a series of on-time payments will do wonders for your credit score.

So pay your current credit accounts on time each month and never miss a payment.

Handle new accounts with care. Only take out loans with payment amounts that you can pay with ease in your current budget. Keep credit card accounts active with small purchases that you can easily pay off each month.

Whatever new credit account you open, pay it on time.

Keep close tabs on your credit scores using’s free tools.  Thanks to monthly updates, you’ll be able to see how fast your credit score is improving as you pay down debt and build a solid on-time payment history.

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  • Gerri Detweiler
  • jesse james

    If you pay all your bills on time and do not max out every credit card you have your score will be good to excellent. Monthly payments should not exceed 35-40% of gross.

  • H036

    It is not commonly known that credit scores affect not only your credit or the interest you pay on various borrowings, but also your insurance or other expenses. Those with the lowest scores end up paying more of their income in added costs for loan interests, car & home & renter’s insurance, and other daily expenses. And those who “pay cash” for everything, may also find that they pay more simply because they do not have a favorable credit score. Higher home payment, higher car payment, higher insurance payment, etc all adds up quickly for those with the lowest credit scores. Be sure that you do not have an identity thief hurting your score without your knowledge — monitor your credit history free at Do not be fooled by other sites — this is the only one authorized by Federal law and is free once a year for each of the three credit reporting companies.

  • Gerri Detweiler

    It sounds like someone else’s information has been mixed up with yours. You can dispute it. Here’s how: A Step-By-Step Guide to Disputing Credit Report Mistakes

  • trishab95

    That is a great score..typically anything 720 and better is considered excellent credit!

  • olga

    carlos what do I have to my all student loan are 0 balance some are more than 7 years old and still show negative on my three credit report I do have 16 negative accounts all student loan. thank you will way for your answer.

  • peter82457

    So mad that I paid off my $11K auto loan and my score dropped 60 points!! Ugh
    Now what do I do as I need to buy another car in May ?

  • SexyScorpio

    I was able to remove some negative items from my credit report by disputing some and paying off the balances on others. Big mistake! Now I’m told that I have NO credit. What are ways that I can start rebuilding my credit when I’m constantly denied because of this?

  • Gerri Detweiler
  • Paula Saldarriaga

    Hi, I have 2 credit card

  • Paula Saldarriaga

    I have to negatives accounts that are shown charge off on my credit bureaus. I’m trying to fix my credit score in bringing it a little higher so I can buy a decent car. What’s a good recommendation in fixing my credit score for less then 2 months? Are credit repair companies that are local in my town a good source and trust worthy? I really need a good advice.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      It’s hard to say whether you can get your credit to where it needs to be in two months to get a car loan. It really depends on all the factors affecting your scores. And we have no idea whether the credit repair organizations you see locally are trustworthy. Your best bet may be to sit down with someone at a loan community bank or credit union, or a credit counselor, explain what you are trying to do and ask them to go over your credit with you to help you figure out what you need to do in order to qualify.

  • Paula Saldarriaga

    The accounts are very old. They were open in 2002 and one account is in recovery dept. while the second account is in a collection agency. They charged off one account in 3/2009 and the other account was charged off in May 2007. What are the state statutes in Florida in trying to delete these old accounts? Last activity one account was in 1/2011 and the second account was in 2010. What recommendations I can get to fix my credit or boost my credit score? Thank you in advance.

    • Gerri Detweiler

      We have written about statutes of limitations vs. credit reporting periods here: Does Your Old Debt Have an Expiration Date?

      • Paula Saldarriaga

        Hi Geri, my loans has passed the state statute of limitations. Can they be removed from my Credit Bureaus. I also read the link that you send to me and I couldn’t find an accurate answer to my question there. Thank you.

        • Gerri Detweiler

          Paula – What I tried to explain in the other article is that the state statute of limitations and the time period that debts can be reported are two different things. A charge off in 3/2009 can be reported for seven years, so until 3/2016. If there is a collection account reported for that same debt it should come off your reports at roughly the same time. I am not sure what you mean by last activity but that shouldn’t matter. anyway. Collection accounts may be reported for seven years plus 180 days from the date you first fell behind on the original account leading up to when it was placed for collection…

  • John Steiner

    I have an excellent credit score but some of my older accounts that help provide the credit history are beginning to roll off my history. Other than mortgage and a 0.9% car loan we don’t have any loans, or credit cards that are not paid in full monthly.

    We are about to buy some furniture and this may be an opportunity to get a fresh account onto the credit history. One of the options is a 12 month same as cash offering and we can easily pay the entire purchase in full over that time.

    So the question is will this type of account help the credit history in the long term or am I better off letting accounts fall off my history without replacing them.

    My grades, from left to right, are A+, A+, A, A+ and A+.

    • Credit Experts

      As long as you have installment loans (mortgage, car loan) and revolving credit (credit cards), you should be fine. Closing old accounts can ding your score, because of account age, but there is no need to take a loan you don’t need. If you do what you have been doing, your score should remain high.

  • Meghan

    I have worked for years now to better my credit to be able to apply for a mortgage. About 5 years ago I paid off everything that was outstanding and had a balance marking my credit. I knew that time would help with clearing this up. 9 months ago I went to switch my cell phone provided and was denied. I went home to check my reports and had almost 20 errors removed at this point. Also in the last 9 months I payed off my auto loan (originally $25,000) 3 years early. This creditor reported every month my on time payments. I just applied for and got a credit card with a $300 limit and have not even got this in the mail yet, but my score has dropped 17 points in 6 months! I don’t understand why I need to be in debt and spending money (instead of saving or investing) to have a good score. Please help.

    • Credit Experts

      Meghan —
      First, scores fluctuate, and a 17-point drop is significant only if you are just between categories (excellent/good/fair/poor). Otherwise, it won’t affect what you pay in interest, etc. But applying for credit itself causes a small, temporary drop in your credit. Using it lightly (paying on time, keeping balances low) can help. Paying a loan off early does not help your credit, though it may well be a smart move. Here’s how to monitor your credit score for free.

  • Guy Collins

    I currently have 6 credit cards and have paid all of them off every month.My credit score is low 700`s. I recently read an article that suggested to open another credit card account to improve my score. I was declined and the reason they gave me was too many credit card accounts opened in the last two years.There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice out there and was wondering what I can do to improve my score. Should I get a short term personal loan ?……Thanks !

    • Gerri Detweiler

      Six is enough to build good credit. What reasons are given for your score? If your payment history is good, then the mix of credit, age of credit and inquiries are the only other factors to improve. Age takes time. Mix of credit could be an issue if you have no installment loans but you don’t want to pay a ton of interest either. If you get your free credit score from you’ll get an action plan for your credit. Let us know if you have questions about that.

  • Jjthejjj

    this is bs-
    I did pay all my cards down (to less than 30%)
    I did pay off a personal loan (12k)
    I do pay all my bills at least 1 week ahead of schedule
    my DTi is almost nil (with a mortgage, at 26%)
    Now, 3 months later, My Mid lvl credit score is 711 (down from 715 prior to all of this)

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