20 Simple Ways to Improve Your Credit Score

Having a low credit score leads to paying more for everything. The apartment complex may deny your application to rent with a low credit score. You don’t want to go through that rejection. Here are 20 ways to improve your credit score today.

1. Review Your Credit Reports

The first step to improving your credit score is to get a copy of your credit report. Pull all three credit bureaus and view them for errors and dispute any you find.

2. Get All Bill Payments Under Control

These five factors determine credit scores: – Payment history (35%) – Amounts owed (30%) – Length of credit history (15%) – Credit mix (10%) – New credit (10%)

3. Keep Credit Utilization 30% or Lower

Credit utilization is the second most crucial factor in your credit score. If you have a credit card with a $1000 balance, be sure only to charge $300 and not a dollar more.

4. Minimize Requests for New Credit as Well as “Hard” Inquiries

Your credit score takes a temporary dip when you apply for any new credit (personal loan, mortgage, or card). A hard inquiry will stay on your report for up to two years.

5. Optimize a Thin Credit File

If you are young and have a thin credit file, it can be tough to improve your score when creditors have limited information; they usually err on the side of rejection.

6. Keep Old Accounts Open and Sort Out Any Delinquencies

Creditors like to see long credit histories, so it's best not to close any accounts. One exception is if there are annual fees involved. You may want to close the account and apply for a new card with no fee instead.

7. Consider Debt Consolidation If you have several high-interest credit cards, you may consider a consolidation loan. You will save on interest and only have one payment each month. A consolidation loan is also known as a personal loan.

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