Ways to lift your credit score

It’s a number that dictates much of your financial future – your credit score - and if you’re looking to make a big purchase, you need to have it in good shape.
Published: Jun. 2, 2022 at 10:20 AM EDT
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InvestigateTV - It’s a number that dictates much of your financial future – your credit score - and if you’re looking to make a big purchase, you need to have it in good shape.

Your FICO score constantly changes with your credit activity. It reflects your buying and spending patterns and it could take you a few months to fix your score, especially if you’re trying to improve it by a hundred points or more.

Cherry Dale, a financial coach with the Virginia Credit Union, said the number one thing you can do to help your score is pay your bills on time from your credit cards to your mortgage.

“This is the most weighted when it comes to your credit score 35 percent of your credit FICO score is based upon online payments, so making sure you at least pay the minimum on those payments,” Dale said. She added that it’s, of course, best to pay more than the minimum because if you pay only the minimum, you’ll just be paying more in interest. Also, she said don’t over borrow.

“For example, if you can borrow a thousand dollars on a credit card, you want to really keep your borrowing to around $300, 30 percent is a good rule of thumb when it comes to what you should be borrowing off of your credit line,” Dale explained.

She said if you are maxing out that credit card, that is a risk factor and that will bring your score down. Also, keep your accounts open. The lengthy of your credit history makes up 15 percent of your FICO score. Accounts that you’ve had for more than two years will have a more positive impact on your score than newer accounts.