Things You Can do to Improve Your FICO Score
Keep in mind that changes in your FICO score take a long time to occur but if you live by the following guidelines, your credit score will improve over time.
Review your credit reports regularly for errors. You must check all three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax) to ensure that you will receive a fair evaluation the next time you apply for credit. Check a minimum of once a year, preferably every six months.
Pay your bills on time — it seems almost too obvious, doesn’t it? But hey, it works and make sure you never pay a bill 28 days late or later. If you’re cutting it close, make sure to count mail time when you send your bills.
Pay down and close unneeded accounts. Over time, you should pay your higher interest accounts off then close them. An account that has been taken up to a high balance, brought down, and then closed is a good FICO builder. But don’t close them all because you need at least three accounts open.
On the flip side of this, don’t apply for too much credit at the same time. A sure sign of desperation is someone who has applied for eight credit cards in the last 30 days.
Don’t allow prospective creditors to pull your credit report unless it is absolutely necessary.
Keep all credit card balances low. If you carry a balance at all, make sure that you don’t exceed one half (although 30% or less of the balance is optimal) of the credit card’s limit. High credit balances can hurt even the most meticulous on-time bill payers.
Delete negative credit listings and inquiries, if possible.
Pay down your credit card debt. Take money from an outside source, such as savings, a personal loan, or other credit cards and apply that money to credit cards that are at or near their limit.
Settle collections, judgments, or outstanding debts.