How to improve your score
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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|
|Bankruptcy||Default||Maximum drop over extended time period|