Improving Your Credit Score

     The following credit score information was published and provided by on August 21, 2003.

     Scores reflect credit payment patterns over time with more emphasis on recent information. In general, a score may improve, if you:

1. Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments and collections can have a major negative impact on a score.

2. Keep balances low on credit cards and other "revolving credit." High outstanding debt can affect a score.

3. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed. Don't open accounts just to have a better credit mix - it probably won't raise your score.

4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around. Also don't close unused cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score. Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your score.

5. Make sure the information in your credit report is correct, too. It won't affect your score to request and check your own credit report. If you find errors, contact the consumer reporting agency and your lender. (, 8/21/03)

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