A credit score is improved by always paying bills on time, keeping debt on credit cards low, and avoiding opening unnecessary lines of credit. It is also important to obtain a credit report and correct any errors, make payments on large bills to keep credit balances low, keep cards active by using them for minor purchases, and not cancel old credit cards. Correcting poor credit scores is a long-term effort that requires patience and moderation. If major credit mistakes need to be corrected, consumers should negotiate with creditors to reduce monthly payments and make goodwill adjustments of account reports.
A large part of a good credit score is dependent on prompt payment of bills. Although it is important to keep credit cards active by using them, maintaining a debt balance of 10 percent or less of the maximum allowance helps credit scores rise. If large debts are incurred, paying bills twice a month instead of once helps keep balances well below the limit. Opening too many credit lines or making too many credit inquiries indicates financial risk and lowers a credit score. However, once credit cards are active, closing them causes available credit to drop, which also negatively impacts a credit score. Instead, consumers should keep existing cards active by using them for small purchases or recurring expenses such as utility bills.