Tips on increasing credit scores:
Lenders generally like to see a track record of being able to manage a high credit limit responsibly. The best way to get a higher credit limit is to demonstrate good credit behavior. So pay as much as you can each month to reduce how much you owe. If you don’t carry a balance, just keep paying on time each month. Then you can ask lenders to increase your credit limit.
Older accounts on your credit report help show lenders that you have experience managing credit. Lenders generally like to see a longer track record of responsible credit behavior, like paying on time each month. It tells them that you’re reliable and can manage credit well, which can really help your credit score. There isn’t a quick fix for this issue. The best thing you can do is continue to manage a credit card account responsibly by paying it on time each month and keeping your balance as low as possible.
If you’re borrowing too much, a lender might see this as a sign that you’re stretched too thin financially and might not be able to pay them back. If it’s possible, try to reduce how much you owe by paying as much as you can each month. Using less than 30% of your available credit is a good goal.
Having a few inquiries in a year is normal. But people with too many inquiries within a short period could be seen as applying for multiple new credit lines, which is an indicator that someone could be overextended financially. The VantageScore 3.0 model considers all inquiries for mortgages, auto loans and major credit cards that appear in your credit file within a 14-day window as a single inquiry.
Score Improvement FAQs:
Q: If I follow a suggestion, will it help improve other credit scores too?
A: Practicing great credit habits generally should have a positive effect on all of your credit scores. Each credit score comes from a credit scoring model such as Vantage or FICO, using information from a credit report. Each scoring model values your credit behavior and information differently, so changing your behavior will have a different level of impact. But while one score might go up a lot and another might go up less, generally the change in behavior will lead to similar results.
Keep in mind that different credit bureaus generate different credit reports, and sometimes those reports don’t include the same info. For example, let’s say your Vantage Score uses your TransUnion report, which lists your car loan, but your FICO score could use a different credit bureau’s report, which doesn’t list your car loan. If your top score suggestion says to pay down your car loan, doing so would potentially only help your Vantage Score in this scenario.
Q: Why am I getting certain suggestions when I’m already doing a great job?
A: The suggestions address the factors that are keeping your score from being perfect. So even if you’re doing great, the scoring model still identifies whatever factor you should address to improve your score.
If you have a score that you’re comfortable with, don’t get hung up on the suggestions. Just know that the higher your score is, the harder it will be for it to increase because there’s less room for improvement.
If you’re still frustrated with your suggestions or don’t think they’re helpful, we want to know about it.
Q: What if my suggestions don’t seem right?
A: If the suggestions don’t seem right based on your history with credit, please review your credit report to make sure there are no errors related to your open accounts, closed accounts, inquiries, public records or personal information.
If everything on your report looks good but these tips and suggestions still don’t seem right, it could be time and patience or you may benefit from contacting the credit bureaus directly. Try www.annualcreditreport.com to get started.