How you can impact your score

Different formulas are used to calculate credit scores, but five actions can improve it and five will hurt it.

Improve Your Score
Do these five things to improve your credit score:

  • Consistently pay your bills on time
  • Keep credit cards balances that are 70% or less of your spending limit
  • Only apply for and open new credit accounts when you need them
  • Have high income relative to how much you owe
  • Have a good credit history for a long period of time

Lower Your Score
Don’t do these five things — unless you want to worsen your credit score.

  • Pay some bills late
  • Have credit cards balances near your maximum spending limit
  • Apply for new credit cards frequently, whether you need them or not
  • Have a very brief credit history
  • Exceed your credit card spending limit

Note: Another way to help improve your credit score is to have a mix of revolving credit (e.g., credit cards) and installment credit (e.g., a car loan).

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