6 Simple Ways to Optimize Your Credit Score

April 10, 2024

Michael Carrington is an entrepreneur, international consultant, and founder of Tier 1 Credit Mastery. With over 13 years of business operations experience he has since decided to leverage his corporate finance and MBA experience to help others achieve wealth and financial abundance.

Michael is passionate about entrepreneurship - he mentors and shows individuals how to earn a lucrative income with online entrepreneurship.

When you buy big things in life, your credit score is very important. The credit score you have can make a difference when you are renting an apartment, buying a car, or asking for a loan.

Do not give up if your credit score is not where you would like it to be.

There are things you can do to improve your credit score and start living a financially healthy life. While it takes some time and work on your part, the benefits are well worth it.

These are the subjects this article talks about.

What is a Good Credit Score?

The number three on your credit report is between 300 and 850. Most of the time, a score above 700 is considered good. If you are careful with your money and your number is over 800, you are in the "excellent" group.

It's easier to get loans and credit cards when your credit score is good. You can also get the best interest rates and insurance rates if you have a high number. There are easy things you can do to raise your credit scores if they aren't very high.

What Factors Go Into Your Credit Score?

It's important to know what makes up your credit score before you can improve it. To begin, you should know that your credit score is based on your credit record.

Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion are the three credit bureaus that give these records. You will have three scores, but they should all be pretty close to each other since each organization has a different file on you.

Not all lenders and other financial institutions have to send information to all three agencies, so there are small differences from time to time.

FICO is the most popular and well-known credit score. VantageScore is the second most popular and well-known credit score. Both use computer models to look at financial data. Your three-digit credit score is the result of this research.

The two businesses use the data in different ways, but they are both taking in the same information. There are five main factors that are used to determine your credit score:

  1. Payment History
  2. Credit Utilization
  3. Credit Mix
  4. Length of Credit History
  5. New Credit

Over the course of your life, your credit score will change because of the many changes that happen to your credit report. In order to keep and raise your score, you need to understand how each of these factors works.

Ways to Optimize Your Credit Score

The normal credit score for a person is between 600 and 750. There are things you can do to raise your score if it's below 600 or if it's about normal but you still want to do better.

Don't forget that it takes time to raise your credit score, so work hard and wait. Here are seven easy ways to raise your credit score.

1. Make All Payments on Time

The most important thing that determines your credit score is how well you've paid your bills in the past. About three fifths of your total score comes from this. Insurance companies, credit card companies, loans, and even utility companies want to know that they will get paid on time.

People will be able to tell that you will pay on time if your credit score and record show that you have had trouble paying on time in the past. All of your bills should be paid on time, not just your home or car loan. This will help your score.

Some of your bills, like rent, cell phone, and hospital bills, may be sent to a credit bureau. You can set your bills to automatically pay or use an alarm on your phone to tell you when it's time to pay.

You should let the company know if you're going to be late. It might keep the late payment from showing up on your credit record. You should keep track of all your bills and payments in a filing system, which could be paper or digital. If you ever need to prove that you paid your bills on time, these records can help.

2. Reduce Your Credit Utilization

A big part of your credit score is how much credit you use, along with how well you pay your bills. The amount of credit you have used goes down when you have less credit available. To do this, keep your credit card amounts low and pay off your balances as soon as possible.

Here's how to figure out how much of your credit you're using:

Credit balance on all accounts ÷ total credit limit = credit utilization percentage

If you owe $400 on your credit card and the maximum amount you can borrow is $1,000, your credit utilization rate is 40%.

Lenders like it when the number is less than 30%. Lenders can tell that you are responsible and careful if you don't use a lot of your credit. After you reach your goal of 30% usage, work on lowering it even more.

3. Review and Dispute Negative Items On Your Credit Report

If you don't normally check your credit report every year, at least once a year with your free credit report. You need to get copies of your credit report from all three credit bureaus and check each one carefully for errors.

Credit reporting agencies do not put the information in your file; they just get it from other sources. Your creditors (and the people who work for them) make a lot of mistakes when they report things to the government. We can almost certainly say that your credit file is full of mistakes if you've been sent to collecting agencies.

It can be a big step forward to dispute negative items on your credit report if you are eager to raise your score. Credit repair can give you a big boost in your scores or a fresh start when you combine it with other credit-boosting strategies like paying off debts, making payments on time, and paying down current debts.

You can take care of your credit on your own. You just need the right tools. All of our credit repair articles, which are full of free credit repair knowledge, can help. Don't want to improve your credit on your own? Read our pieces on credit repair firms and how credit repair services work. No matter what, you shouldn't wait to fix your credit records and get the better credit you deserve. Credit improvement can begin today, whether you hire someone to do it or do it yourself.

4. Don't Let Credit Card Debt Overwhelm You

Seeing that you have a lot of debt on your credit card bill can be very stressful. Do not try to fix it in one day. Instead, be patient with yourself and focus on being consistent.

Get out your credit card bills and use a spreadsheet or some other type of writing to show how much you owe each company and the interest rate on each card.

Next, figure out how you can start paying off your bills in a way that fits your lifestyle. Most of the time, people start with the accounts that have the most money in them. Some people will focus on accounts with the biggest interest rates and fees. You are the only one who can decide what the best thing to do is.

It also helps to put whatever extra money you can spare each month toward the balance that is the biggest. When you're done paying off that card, put the full amount you were paying each month on the next card in line. You'll soon see that this snowball effect is getting rid of your credit card debt!

Once you've paid off all of your debt, you should make a plan to keep your credit card debt low. If you have to use a credit card, make sure you pay off the whole amount every month. This will keep your credit utilization low.

You can tell your credit cards to send you messages when your balance gets too high or reaches a certain amount. This will help you pay off your debts and keep your usage rate low. Self-discipline is the most important thing.

5. Avoid Applying for New Credit Cards or Loans

There is a risk to your credit score every time a business checks it. This is called a "hard inquiry." This is known as "credit shopping" by lenders and is seen as a bad thing to do. Your score can go down by 5 points every time a hard inquiry is made.

The key to getting a loan, maybe a mortgage, is to fill out as many forms as possible as quickly as possible. FICO and VantageScore can see when these hard questions happened and won't punish you if they are within 30 days of each other and are for the same type of loan.

They may also show up as "soft inquiries" on your credit record. Inquiries like these are just asking for information from accounts you already have open. Creditors check your credit file from time to time to see if anything has changed that could affect your interest rate and credit limit.

This is how things are usually done, so you shouldn't be worried about it. These "soft inquiries" will show up on your credit report, but they won't hurt your score. After two years, the soft questions will no longer show up on your charge history.

6. Take Care of Old Debts

One of the most important things you can do to raise your credit score might be to clean up your credit report. Because of this, it will probably take the longest to finish.

You may already be getting letters, calls, and maybe even emails from debt collectors if you have accounts that are being collected. Talk to these companies and work out a payment plan if the account that is past due is really yours and is correct.

Related: Follow These 7 Steps Before Paying an Old Debt

This is what you can do if you don't have the information but know or think that you have accounts that are being collected on. Make a plan to pay off the bills once you've checked all the accounts.

The people who own these accounts want to settle them as much as you do. Get in touch with them and take care of these bills one at a time. It won't get rid of the information in your credit report, but it will show that you paid it off, which is something lenders like to see when they look at your report.

After you pay off the debts, they will be gone from your credit report in seven to ten years. Don't add any more accounts to the groups list until then. As was already said, this step will take some time.

It might look like a long list of things to do, but if you take the time to do them, they will all help your credit. Some of them will not work for you, but use the ones that do and slowly raise your credit score.

How Long Does it Take?

It won't help your credit score in a day or a month. You will see changes as the credit bureaus report your work every month. It might take six months to a year or even longer to notice a big difference.

You might want to sign up for a credit tracking service to keep an eye on your score. If your credit score changes, these services will let you know right away.

Make sure you don't fall back into old habits while you are trying to improve your credit. Be smart about how you use your credit and pay your bills on time.


One or two bad money choices don't have to be the end of your story. There are things you can do to improve your credit score if it's not where you want it to be. Once your score goes up, make sure you keep it up by being smart with your money.

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