Did you know that you are legally entitled to one free copy of your credit report, from each of the three credit bureaus, every 12 months. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228. If your credit report is accurate and, perhaps, not as high as you had hoped, check out these 10 simple tips to raise your credit score. 10thingsthatupyourcredit-01

  1. Make Your Payments on Time: This is one of the most important things you can do to positively influence your credit score.
  2. Get Current on All of Your Accounts: Get current and stay current. Payment history accounts for 35% of your score and has the greatest impact on it.
  3. Improve Your Debt-to-Credit Ratio: Pay down your account balances and keep them low. The ideal debt-to-credit ratio is less than 30% utilized, so you should aim to reach that percentage.
  4. Pay off Miniscule Balances: One of the factors in credit assessment is how many of your accounts have balances. So try this: instead of charging $40 on three different credit cards, you can charge $120 on one card and keep the others at a zero balance. Just make sure you don’t close the zeroed out accounts, as this too can hurt your credit score.
  5. Keep Inquiries Within a Short Time Period: Every hard credit inquiry will cause your score to dip (usually a few points) for one year. While it is expected and beneficial for you to shop for the best rate, try to keep your time frame as brief as possible.
  6. Keep Paid off Accounts Open: Even if you don’t think you will use the account, your open accounts determine your account age; therefore, the longer the account has been open, the more it will positively impact your score.
  7. If You Have Had Credit Problems, Re-Establish a Clean History: When starting over, start small by opening new accounts and paying them responsibly. This will help you re-establish your credit history.
  8. Pay Your Fines: Some cities have begun to turn small fines in to private collection agencies. This could include items such as your delinquent library books and unpaid parking tickets.
  9. Ask Before You Purchase: Did you know that some cable and internet providers run a hard credit inquiry when you sign-up for their service? Protect your credit by asking companies about their policies before you sign-up.
  10. Don’t Close a Delinquent Account: It may seem counter-productive since you would like to remove it from your active account list, but if you close an account with a balance, it will cause your available credit and credit limit to be reported as zero.