Improving your FICO® credit score may take time and often there is no quick fix. FICO scores reflect credit payment patterns over time with more of an emphasis on recently reported information than older information. Below are some general tips to follow that may increase your FICO credit score:
- Focus on the negative factors provided with your FICO score. These represent the main areas where your score could be higher.
- Don't open new accounts for the purpose of providing a better credit picture – it probably won't raise your FICO score and, in some instances, may even lower your score. Apply for and open new credit accounts only as needed.
- Keep balances low on credit cards and other “revolving credit”. High outstanding credit card debt can negatively impact your FICO score.
- Pay off debt rather than move it around from one credit card to another. The most effective way to increase your FICO score in this area is by paying down your total revolving (credit card) debt.
- Pay your bills on time. Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, and collections can have a major negative impact on your FICO score.