Credit Score Chart
Credit Score Chart

Many people do not look at their credit report and/or credit score they have had some credit problems. It is very important to always take a good look at your credit profile every once in a while. It does not hurt to explore many varying and effective strategies for improving your credit and consequently, score.

For starters, you should know your credit score because it gives you the basis for action and base from which to build and improve. You can get your credit score for free here and is also provided directly by TransUnion, one of the three major credit bureaus. You can get it any site sponsored by advertisers, thereby allowing you to access your score as often as you’d like at no cost. Your scores from the two other major credit bureaus can be obtained from similar websites, some of which provide free scores. For more information on those sites, visit our article “Free and Cheap Credit Reports and Scores” on creditandtips.com.


Generally, it is better to have a credit score of at least 720 or more. Anything less than that may result in being rejected from quality credit extensions and lower interest rates which makes borrowing more costly especially over the long haul. You might also miss out on credit card perks like premium rewards. Next, you should acquire your credit report. A document that comprehensively details how your creditors have reported your financial history. As mandated by the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you’re entitled to one free credit report per year. To obtain these credit reports, visit AnnualCreditReport.com. There’s a chance that a credit report will contain inaccurate information. If this is the case, you’ll need to request that the credit reporting company and the information provider review and verify the items in question, which they usually investigate within 30 days of receiving the request. For more information on disputes, see creditandtips.com’s article on disputing credit report information. Once you’ve made sure all the data on your report are accurate, you should take note of any negative records and when they expire. Typically, negative records will last seven years on your report, with some exceptions like bankruptcy, which could stay on your report for ten years. For more information on the other exceptions, visit the article “How Long Does the Bad Stuff Stay On Your Credit Report?” on our website creditandtips.com. If any negative records are still on your report that are more than seven years old and don’t fall into one of the exceptions, you should dispute it.



Once you’re done with reviewing or correcting your credit report, you should take positive steps to improve your credit score from there. You need to become financially responsible at all times to prevent your score from slipping. You can do that by implementing the following tips:

1. Don’t use too much of your allotted credit extension. You should maintain a healthy credit utilization ratio by paying attention to the balance versus the credit limit. High outstanding debt could categorize you as high risk, which could bring your score down. Most importantly, putting a self-imposed limit on your spending will probably deter you from burying yourself in debt.

2. Try to pay the card off in full each billing cycle. Doing so likely demonstrates fiscal responsibility in the eyes of the creditors and saves you from paying unnecessary interest. If you can’t pay it in full, you should pay as much as you can. Making only minimum payments each cycle could bring your score down.

3. Ask your creditor for an increase in your total available credit. Part of your score is based on the amount of usage of your total allotted extended credit, your credit utilization ratio. Accordingly, having available credit of ten thousand dollars will help more than one thousand dollars. If your creditor won’t increase it, consider applying for a card with another company, preferably one with a lower APR. However, you should not apply for more than one card at a time. That could actually hurt your score.

4. Don’t cancel your old credit cards. Many people believe that by cancelling a card they’re sparing themselves from the temptation of racking up debt again, but part of your credit score is determined by the length of time your credit accounts have been open. Closing a card with 10 years of positive reporting removes it from your credit report, which could negatively affect your score and your ability to obtain other loans. If you’re tempted to use it, you should use it only for small purchases and pay it off in full each month. If your card is inactive, your creditor may choose to cancel it, so make sure you’re using it at least once a month to ensure it stays open.

5. Look into getting other forms of credit extended to you. Your score is partially based on types of credit that have been extended to you so consider looking into other forms of reported credit. Maintain a varied credit portfolio. Department store cards or installment loans are a great way to possibly increase your credit worthiness, provided you’re paying on them diligently! If you follow these simple steps, you’ll likely be well on your way to building a solid credit score. Much more information can be found in other sections on this site, so don’t hesitate to check out the articles for in-depth analysis and tips on trying to improve your score.

Overall, maintain a habit of reviewing your credit profile, checking for errors and areas for improvement. It also helps you to identify transactions that were not authorized by you.

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