More For Your Money - University of Illinois Extension

How Can You Improve Your Credit Score?

Follow these hints to improve your credit score.  A higher score can save you money.

  • Pay bills on time.  Paying late will affect your score.
  • Keep balances low on credit cards.  High debt levels can hurt your score.
  • Check your credit report annually to make sure there are no mistakes.  If you plan to make a major purchase, get a copy of your report at least six months before the purchase to make sure it’s accurate.
  • Pay off debt rather than moving it between credit cards.  The most effective way to improve your score is to pay down your revolving credit.
  • Don’t have too many credit accounts.  The more accounts you have, the lower your score may be.
  • Apply for and open new credit accounts only when you need them.  The key word is need.  Too much credit debt affects your credit score and your peace of mind!
  • If you’ve missed payments, get current and stay current.  The longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score.