5 smart tips to help get your credit score in shape

Back to Financial Education

Just how strong is your credit score? Most consumers strive to improve it or to maintain a positive one. That’s because financing for cars, homes, business loans, and credit cards all depend on this three-digit reflection of creditworthiness. The goal is to aim high. The stronger the number, the better the score. And that can translate to lower interest rates for you.

The good news is that, even if your credit score could use some conditioning, there are simple, smart steps you can take to get it in better shape—and keep it fit.
 

1. Longevity is key. Keep your oldest credit line open the longest. Open lines of credit that are responsibly managed can actually help establish a strong credit profile over time. Keep that old credit card account open—and regularly paid off—for as long as possible, because a long credit history will help maintain a high credit score.
 

2. Cut the bulk of any credit cards you aren’t using. On the flip side, too many open lines of credit can lead to overspending, fees, and a greater chance for identity theft. Try to limit yourself to no more than four credit cards open at a time, and close any unnecessary cards you haven’t used in at least a year.
 

3. Commit to a routine—pay off at least one credit card in full each month. The best way to avoid paying interest is to stay on top of your credit card payments. A great way to keep your credit score high is by paying off the monthly balance of your cards with the highest interest rates first. Plus, you still get any loyalty rewards or perks associated with the card without paying the interest that comes with carrying a balance. 
 

4. When you’re ready, request a credit limit increase. After your debts are trimmed down and your credit’s in good standing, consider asking your credit card provider for a credit limit increase. Your credit utilization ratio is the total amount of credit available to you across all lines of credit versus the total amount you’re using, and it’s an important factor in determining your credit score. Keep it at 30 percent or less and your score will see serious gains.
 

5. Monitor your credit report for discrepancies and fix them fast. Before you apply for bigger loans, like auto financing or a mortgage, check to make sure your credit history is accurate. If you see anything erroneous, you have the right to dispute that information by contacting the credit bureau.

 

Looking for more tips for better credit and money management? Check out more of Comenity’s financial resources

This page and the information contained herein is for educational purposes only. The information is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice or to indicate the availability or suitability of any product, service or strategy to your unique circumstances. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional. Any links to other websites are included for your convenience only. Comenity does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of the information, made available through such sites.