How to improve your score

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Get the facts.

There are lots of commonly held myths about correcting credit reporting errors. Make sure you know the truth.

Debunk the myths

There are several ways to improve your credit score. But it’s much more important to focus on improving what’s in your credit report rather than obsessing over your credit score. Here is some general advice:

  • Pay your bills on time. How promptly you pay your bills has the strongest influence on your VantageScore 3.0 credit score.
  • Apply for credit only when you need it. Do not open too many accounts too frequently. And avoid opening multiple accounts within a short time span.
  • Keep your outstanding balances low. A good rule of thumb? Keep balances below 30 percent of the credit limit on any account.
  • Reduce your total debt. It is not necessarily bad to owe some money. But it is not good to owe too much money. Consider paying down some of your outstanding loans.
  • Build up a credit history. Maintaining a timely payment history for a mix of accounts (e.g., credit cards, auto, mortgage) over a longer period can improve your score.

 

Action How lender views this Impact on your score
Pay bills on time Wisely handling debt Improvement
Not use all available credit Sufficient access to credit, unlikely to need additional funds Improvement
Hold accounts for long periods Experienced credit user Improvement
Use different types of loan products Experience with different types of repayment requirements Improvement
Inquire about new loans Are you just expanding access or taking on too much? Slight drop
Open a new loan Are you just expanding access or taking on too much? Slight drop
Open other new accounts Will you be able to effectively manage more credit? Slight drop
Max out credit cards Potential signal of increasing risk Drop
Pay late for the first time Potential signal of increasing risk Drop
Pay multiple loans late All credit at risk Larger drop
Miss 3 or more payments on a loan All credit at risk Larger drop
Stop paying loan Default Major drop
Foreclosure Default Major drop
Bankruptcy Default Maximum drop over extended time period