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How To Improve Your Credit Score : Tips From 15 Finance & Credit Experts

The one single question that gets asked in personal finance communities time and again is “How to improve your credit score?”.

There are several tips and advice floating around, that it is difficult to figure out what’s real and what’s not. So, we decided to ask the question to the experts.

We asked the following question to some of the most popular personal finance bloggers and credit experts in the field.

What is your one single “secret power tip” for folks trying to improve their credit scores?

We received many responses. Here are the best ones we handpicked!

Finally, we have some clarity now! Thanks all for participating.

1. Gerri Detweiler


“Deal strategically with collection accounts. So many people have misconceptions about how collection accounts and credit reports work. They believe that paying off these accounts will help them “clean up their credit.” Not true – at least for the majority of scoring models out there. (VantageScore treats them differently.)

Paid or unpaid, collection accounts are typically negative and can remain on your reports for seven years plus 180 days from the date you first fell behind with the original lender.

That doesn’t mean it isn’t worthwhile to resolve them. By taking care of them you can stop them from being sold to other agencies and appearing more recently on your credit reports. And you may head off a lawsuit that way as well. (Check your state statute of limitations if this is a concern.)

But it does mean that one viable strategy is to settle the account for less than the full balance. Be sure to get it in writing before you pay!

Thankfully, as these accounts age (get older) they have less impact on your credit scores. So if you pay your other accounts on time going forward, you can still build better credit even though these negative items are reported. “

Twitter: @gerridetweiler

2. Kyle Taylor


My secret tip is that people open a low-fee secured card immediately with a reputable company like Capital One.

We all know that secured cards can be a great way to get a new, positive tradeline on your credit report, but there’s a secret, added benefit…. By establishing a healthy relationship with a specific credit card company, you have an exponentially better chance of getting a real card with that company. And it can happen pretty quickly!

Call the company after 6 months and ask them if they will give you a regular card. I used that strategy to improve my score by more than 100 points in 12 months..

Website: The Penny Hoarder
Twitter: @thepennyhoarder

3. Jeremy Biberdorf


For those of you with some credit card debt holding back your credit score, keep in mind that the amount you owe accounts for 30% of your credit score. Still you might need a higher credit score to qualify for some kind of loan. If you’re lucky enough to have a trusted family member that could easily get the kind of cash it takes to cover your debt, discuss the situation with them. They might be able to lend you money long enough to improve your credit score. The tricky part comes in paying them back right away without putting that debt on your credit card as a cash advance with a hefty interest rate. So beforehand, work out a plan to pay them back quickly or talk to your bank about getting a line of credit.

Website: Modest Money
Twitter: @modestmoney

4. Andrea Travillian


“Don’t focus on the credit score, instead focus on creating wealth. When you focus on this you do the right things financially like paying off debt and paying on time. Do the right things and your score will follow.”

Website: Take A Smart Step
Twitter: @smartstep

5. Aaron


“The best tip we can give is to pay your balances on-time – even if it is the minimum due.”

Twitter: @3thriftyguys

6. Eric Adamowsky


“The single most important tip for improving your credit score is to watch your credit utilization. Ensure that your outstanding debt to available credit on your credit card(s) is not above 15%.”

Website: Credit Card Insider
Twitter: @CardInsider

7. Deacon Hayes


If you are looking to improve your credit score, you need to make sure that you pay everything on time. It is as simple as that. Even if you have bad credit, the best way to improve your score is to show creditors that you have changed your behavior and that you have a new track record of paying on time.

Website: Well Kept Wallet
Twitter: @deaconhayes

8. David Ning


The best way to improve your credit score is to stop spending time looking at it. You won’t be able to sustain a high credit score by worrying and reading some articles about how to game the credit score system.

Use the time to become a better borrower. Spend the time to get make more and find deals so you can spend less.

Website: Money Ning
Twitter: @moneyning

9. Andrew Fiebert


One of the measurements that has the biggest impact on your credit score is your number of on time payments. Sure you screwed up in the past but if you want to improve that metric quickly paying one card on time each month won’t get you there. Sign up for multiple credit cards and put a tiny amount on each every month so you can rack up many on time payments quickly. Three on time payments a month will get you to your goal three times faster than just one!

Website: Listen Money Matters
Twitter: @andyfieb

10. Michelle Schroeder


Always pay your bills on time and try to pay more than the minimum. Your payment history constitutes around 35% of your credit score, and if you pay bills late companies can see this and it may affect you being able to get a loan, and it will affect your credit score..

Website: Making Sense of Cents
Twitter: @senseofcents

11. Ivan Widjaya


In my opinion, not taking any credits is not a good way to improve your credit scores.

In order to improve yours, you need to show that you are a responsible credit taker – one of the ways to do so is by putting your purchases on credit – and always – let me repeat that again, ALWAYS – pay them on time.

Website: MoneyEstate
Twitter: @moneyestate

12. Peter Anderson


The best tip I have for improving your credit score is to just make sure that moving forward you don’t miss any payments or let any accounts go into past due status. Payment history is one of the largest items determining your score, so the better your future credit and payment history, the better you can expect your score to be.

Website: Bible Money Matters
Twitter: @moneymatters

13. Argel Tiburcio


The best tip I have for improving your credit score is to just make sure that moving forward you don’t miss any payments or let any accounts go into past due status. Payment history is one of the largest items determining your score, so the better your future credit and payment history, the better you can expect your score to be.

Website: Argel Tiburcio
Twitter: @argeltiburcio

14. Satrap Darabi


This is really no “secret”, but it has helped me to go from no credit history and score to a great score and history in just a few years.

If you have no credit history, it’s very hard to get a credit card to help you build history. Which is how it was for me when I first came to United States as a refugee in 2002. I couldn’t get even get a $500 loan or a credit card.

So, I opted for a secured credit card with a $200 limit. I used the card just to pay for gas. Then at the end of the month, I would pay it off. 10 Months later, they gave me my $200 back and offered me a $500 unsecured credit card.

Fast forward a few years later and that same card now has a limit of $10.000.

I have never had a late payment and, and I still pay my balance every month in full.

My score is where I could never imagine, and getting loans or new credit cards with amazingly low APR’s is a breeze for me now.

In short, if you have bad or no credit history/score, get a secured credit card, use it to pay for small purchases, pay the balance in full every month. Do this for a few months, then you’ll have the chance to get an unsecured credit card. Use it the same way and watch your credit limit and score rise.

Website: Money Pantry
Twitter: @moneypantry

15. Rob Berger


Pay your credit cards and other debt on time. It sounds mundane, but this factor is by far and away the most important when it comes to credit scores. A close second is keeping your credit utilization under 30%, preferably under 10%. All the other factors, while important to a degree, are far less important than the two above.

Website: Dough Roller
Twitter: @doughroller

Hope you enjoyed the tips. Now it is your turn.

What is your single “power tip” to improve your credit score?

Want to improve your credit score? You first need to know where it stands now. Visit SuperMoney’s credit score search engine and find the best companies to check and repair your credit.

Need cash in a hurry but don’t know which personal loan company you can trust? Supermoney is here to help you find the best options for all you loan needs.