Q:

How can you increase your credit score?

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Quick Answer

Several ways in which people can increase their credit scores are to check their credit reports and resolve any errors; set up automatic payments and payment reminders; and cut down on debt, according to myFICO. The credit reporting bureau Experian also recommends maintaining low credit card balances and requesting new credit accounts only on an as-needed basis.

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Full Answer

MyFICO explains that payment history, which comprises 35 percent of a credit score, can have the most impact in increasing a score, but there is not much people can do about previous missed payments. They should start paying on time immediately, and as more payments are made on time, previous missed payments get even older and have less of an impact. Collection accounts, even if settled, stay on credit reports for seven years. Consumers should contact their creditors or seek counseling to avoid an account going into collections.

MyFICO also says that the total amount of debt is 30 percent of a credit score. People should maintain low debt amounts, especially on revolving debt such as credit cards. They should keep unused credit card accounts open but avoid applying for new credit cards because the average account age matters.

Both myFICO and Experian counsel patience and advise that increasing a credit score is not a matter of a quick fix.

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