Individuals can improve their credit scores by checking their credit reports, paying bills on time, keeping balances low, and having a variety of credit account types, states the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. It's best to avoid companies offering credit repair services as they are often scams.
Individuals can get copies of their credit reports from Annualcreditreport.com, which is the only authorized site providing free credit reports, states the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Checking credit reports helps individuals identify inaccuracies and get an idea of where their credit stands. Individuals should contact the credit bureau if any information is inaccurate.
Payment history is one of the biggest factors in a credit score, notes Experian. Paying all credit accounts on time helps the credit score. Paying down balances on revolving lines of credit can also improve credit scores. Large amounts of debt can lower credit scores.
Closing accounts may negatively impact a credit score, states Experian. If the account didn't have a balance, but other accounts do, the individual still has the same amount of outstanding debt with fewer accounts and less available credit. Likewise, applying for lots of unnecessary new credit often negatively impacts a credit score.
The impact of changes individuals make is often difficult to assess because many factors go into the score calculation. The length of time to rebuild a credit score after a negative credit event varies and depends on the reason, says Experian.