Credit Info How to Raise Your Credit Score: 6 Credit Building Tips Read the Article Open Share Drawer Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window) Written by TransUnion Modified May 4, 2022 8 min read Advertising Disclosure The views expressed on this blog are those of the bloggers, and not necessarily those of Intuit. Third-party blogger may have received compensation for their time and services. Click here to read full disclosure on third-party bloggers. This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting or tax advice. The content on this blog is "as is" and carries no warranties. Intuit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content on this blog. After 20 days, comments are closed on posts. Intuit may, but has no obligation to, monitor comments. Comments that include profanity or abusive language will not be posted. Click here to read full Terms of Service. Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further Sign up for Free It’s a question that many people have on their minds as they begin to seriously consider their finances: how do I raise my credit score, or how do I fix my credit? Though credit scores may seem shrouded in mystery – how they’re calculated, which ones are used – consumer credit scores tend to follow a few common principles. In this post, we’re explaining some simple tricks to raise your credit score. Raising your credit score can take time. After all, credit scores are a measure of how trustworthy of a borrower you’ve been over the years. The good news? You can get started on these credit tips today. How to raise your credit score Ask for (and receive) a credit limit increase Pay your bills on time Show you can handle different kinds of debt Open a new account and make on-time payments How to keep your credit score high Close accounts with care and caution Stay on top of your personal finances with Mint Let’s start with the basics of how to improve your credit score. How to raise your credit score Raising your credit score is important, but you might not have a solid idea of what exactly your credit score is. Don’t worry; it’s not as complicated as you might think. Your credit score is basically a measure of how reliably you pay back money that you’ve borrowed. There are two main models that credit reporting bureaus use to measure your credit: FICO VantageScore The three bureaus that do the reporting are: Experian Equifax Transunion Each of these bureaus receives information from various financial institutions you’re involved with, and that information is what determines your credit score. You’ll generally have a better score if you’ve: Consistently paid off loans. Kept your credit usage low. Stayed on top of all your financial responsibilities. Both metrics range from 300 to 850, with most scores above 700 considered good to great. If your score is below that — or significantly below that — it can be difficult obtaining a loan at a good rate, or even obtain a loan at all. Here’s what you can do to boost your score if you do find yourself with a lower rating than you’d like. 1. Ask for (and receive) a credit limit increase If you’ve been regularly making required payments on your credit card, you may want to try asking the credit card company for a credit limit increase. What to consider before moving forward: You wouldn’t necessarily want to do this to finance a purchase you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to make. But if your monthly balance is relatively steady, you could decrease your utilization rate (a good thing) by increasing your credit limit. For those who may not know, the credit utilization rate is the amount of credit available to you that you’re actually using. It’s basically your balance divided by your credit limit. So, if you increase your credit limit and keep the balance the same, the utilization rate will be lower. And that can translate into how to improve your credit score. 2. Pay your bills on time One simple way to get started building solid credit is to start paying bills on time. Among the many different sources of data that major credit reporting bureaus use to assess your creditworthiness, whether you pay for regular expenses on time is pretty important. It’s not hard to see why: if you have a good track record regularly making rent payments, that probably means it’s more likely that you’ll be able to make regular payments on a loan. The trick, however, is that you may need to connect your bank account to one of the credit reporting agencies’ services. If you’re curious, call or visit the website for Experian, Transunion, or Equifax to see whether you can have your regular bill payments factored into each of these bureau’s tabulation of your score. *Pro-tip: if you have a hard time managing your bills: Make a central list where you itemize each bill you have — rent, water, gas, electric, internet — and what day each one is meant to be paid. Or, even easier, just download the Mint app, which can remind you about upcoming bills and keep track of the money you spend on bills each month. 3. Show you can handle different kinds of debt It’s probably not a good idea to run out and take on additional debt for the sake of it, but if you’re in need of a type of loan you haven’t used before (say, an auto loan for a new car, or a personal loan to consolidate credit card debt) consider taking it on and make regular payments on it; you may see a bump in your score. Lenders want to see you can handle different types of debt, so adding another type of loan and paying it down could have a positive effect on your score. Here’s an example. If you’ve been paying down student loans (generally, these fall into the “installment loan” category) but don’t yet have a credit card (generally, these fall into the “revolving credit” category), you could see a score increase just by opening that credit card account and paying off your balance regularly. 4. Open a new account and make on-time payments If you need additional credit, opening a new account and handling it responsibly (making on-time payments on it, not borrowing more than you can afford) can have the effect of increasing your score. Remember, though, that opening a new account you can’t handle (where you miss payments and/or take on more debt than you can afford) will likely have the opposite effect: a score decrease. So, it’s a good idea to proceed responsibly. For more information, be sure to check out our blog on, “does refinancing hurt your credit?” How to keep your credit score high Once you’ve got your credit score near where you want it, it’s important to do your best to keep it in good standing. By keeping up the habits listed above, you can ensure that your credit stays relatively stable. However, it’s good to note that, in some cases, credit can fluctuate. Don’t be surprised if you see your credit score dip, then raise up again from time to time. For example, maybe one month, you use a higher amount of your credit utilization due to a few unforeseen expenses. This isn’t the end of the world, and with continued responsible debt management and credit usage, your score should recover. In general, however, here’s what you can do to maintain a high credit score once you’ve got it. 1. Close accounts with care and caution “I have too many credit cards” is something you may have heard someone say or even thought to yourself. And for many, that may be the truth. But having several credit cards, in and of itself, won’t necessarily lower your score. Though closing credit card accounts or doing a balance transfer may seem like it would boost your credit score because it’s simplifying your life or making things more organized, it can sometimes have the opposite effect. That’s because when you close an account, two things happen: You lose the entire line of credit you had, which may decrease your utilization rate (see the 1st tip above). You’ll stop having that account continue factoring into the average age of your accounts. Typically, scores want to see you’ve held several accounts open and in good standing for a long period of time. Here’s a big caveat, though: there are still plenty of good reasons to close accounts, credit cards or otherwise: Maybe you can’t afford the annual fee or the rewards just don’t make it worth it anymore. Or maybe you’re struggling with credit card debt and want to consolidate it into a personal loan. The important thing to remember is this: if there’s no good reason to close an account, it’s sometimes wiser to keep it open. If you do want to close an account, however, don’t worry; the ding to your credit will likely be minor, and it’s likely to recover with time after continued responsible use of the other lines of credit you do still have open. If you’re considering moving your balance, shop balance transfer credit card deals and personal loan offers from our partners. 2. Stay on top of your personal finances with Mint Your credit score is just one metric that helps you measure your personal finances. You should also keep tabs on other important aspects of your financial well-being, including: Healthy credit Well-kept budget. Solid debt-to-income ratio Steadily growing savings Mint allows you to do that. By aggregating your financial information — including everything from investments to upcoming bills — into one convenient dashboard, you can have a bird’s-eye view of your financial health. Knowing when rent, bill payments, credit card payments, and loan payments are due each month can help you raise your credit score and stay on top of it while also knowing how much you have leftover to budget for other areas. Remember, there’s no one magic bullet to build your credit score fast. The above credit tips are just some of the ways you might raise your credit score over time and keep it high. However, lasting, meaningful score increases come from showing consistently strong credit habits. In other words, don’t forget the fundamentals: pay your bills on time, don’t take on more debt than you can afford and be careful about applying for too many accounts over a short period of time. Save more, spend smarter, and make your money go further Sign up for Free Previous Post The September Refresh: New Numbers, New You Next Post The Hidden Cost of Convenience Written by TransUnion At TransUnion, we believe in Information for Good. Whether it’s creating web-based financial products or sharing expert tips, insights and news on our blog, our mission remains the same: putting powerful tools and resources in your hands to help you know your credit, protect your identity and more effectively manage your financial picture. More from TransUnion Visit the website of TransUnion. Follow TransUnion on Facebook. Follow TransUnion on Twitter. Browse Related Articles Credit Scores 101 Chapter 08: How to Increase Your Credit Score Credit Info How to Raise Credit Score Numbers for a Healthy Score Credit Scores 101 Chapter 05 : What Credit Score Do You Start With? Credit Info Chapter 04: What Credit Score Is Needed to Buy a House? 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