Tips on how to improve your FICO credit score

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Tips on how to improve your FICO credit score
2 years ago
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There is no quick fix for improving your FICO Credit Score, but following a few tips consistently can help along the way. It does take time and effort to repair a credit score even though it only takes a few bad moves to destroy your credit. Act responsibly with your finances and you should see an improvement in your score.

Credit Card: Tips for Balances Due
- Always pay the minimum amount due on a credit card account.
- Whenever possible pay more than the minimum amount due to lower the balance and pay off your debt more quickly. Too much debt can affect your FICO credit score negatively.
- Pay your debts off rather than cycling it from one credit card account to another. Transfer balances don't always provide an advantageous scenario for your fiscal health.
- Just because you reach a zero balance on a credit card does not mean that you have to close the account. It is okay to have accounts with no balances due.

Credit Card: Tips for Payment History
- Always pay your bills on time or before the due date to avoid damage to your FICO credit score.
- If you've missed a payment once, don't let that fool you into thinking that it doesn't matter if you do it again. Get back on track with your payments as quickly as possible since the longer you continue to miss payments, the worse your credit score will get.
- If any of your credit accounts wind up at a collection agency, you don't get a free pass once you pay it off. Collection account history remains on your credit history for approximately seven years where it will impact your score negatively.
- If you begin to experience financial difficulties that might lead to missed payments on a regular basis, contact the credit card company and try to make some type of arrangements. At the very least, you might be able to prevent having your account go to the collection agency.

Credit Card: Tips for New Credit
- Don't open too many new credit card accounts all at one time. Since newer accounts lower the average age of an account, they can lower your FICO credit score.
- If you are new in the credit arena, one new credit card account is sufficient.
- A rush of new credit cards added to your name can create a negative impact on your credit score since they lead to several ?ťhard??credit inquiries on your history.
- Shop around for the best credit terms when obtaining new credit.
- Use your new credit card accounts responsibly to build up your credit score. Pay your bills on time and make the minimum payment due.

Credit Card: Tips for Choosing Types of Credit
- Obtain credit card accounts that are tailored to your needs. If you travel a lot, get an air mile card. If you drive a lot, get a gas card and so on.
- Avoid store credit cards unless you shop exclusively at that particular store. The perks do not outweigh the added cost to maintain the account otherwise.

by Susan M. Keenan
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