Improve a low credit score by analyzing your credit report and disputing any errors, paying off debts, balancing existing cards and keeping up with current payments, states About.com. Avoid applying for new credit cards, cancelling old cards or reaching your credit limit.
A consumer is legally entitled to one free annual credit report each year from each of the three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Request the reports, and study them carefully. If you find any errors that negatively impact your report, inform the credit reporting company and the creditor in writing. After an investigation, the information must be removed if it is inaccurate.
Pay all your bills on time, and keep outstanding debt well below your credit limits, counsels the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. If you have several cards, balance out your debt on all of them, keeping overall percentages low, suggests Bankrate. Do not close down old credit card accounts if it means that the remaining ones have higher balances. If you do close some accounts, retain the older ones, and cancel the newer ones as a longer credit history improves your score.
Improving a credit score takes time, so avoid credit repair services that promise quick fixes to credit problems, advises the Federal Trade Commission. If negative information on a credit report is accurate, no company can legally remove it. Focus on developing good credit practices, and consider the achievement of a better credit score a long-term goal.