3 Little-Known Ways To Improve Your Credit Score

A young woman with a laptop and papers talking on the phone.

Image source: Getty Images

What can a higher credit score do for you? A lot, actually.

The stronger your credit score, the easier it is for a lender to say yes when you want to borrow money, whether in the form of a new credit card, personal loan, or mortgages. And, a higher credit score could be your ticket to getting a more competitive interest rate on a loan.

Discover: This card has one of the longest intro 0% interest periods around

Plus: Consolidate debt with one of these top balance transfer credit cards

If your credit score needs work, you’ll often hear that paying bills on time is the best way to improve it. And that’s good advice. Your payment history weighs more than any other factor when calculating your credit score.

But that’s not the only thing you can do to improve your credit score. You can also use this little-known trick to raise the number.

1. Get a secure credit card

With usual credit card, you are given a spending limit you can charge expenses against. With a secured credit card, you set your spending limit by putting down a deposit that becomes that limit. Or, to put it another way, your deposit secures your credit line.

A secured credit card doesn’t necessarily give you more buying power. That’s because you only charge fees against the money you have. But if you pay off your secured card on time each month, it can help you build your credit score.

2. Check your credit report

Your credit report is a summary of your credit and loan history. It shows the various accounts you have open, how much you owe, and the different types of debt in your name.

But credit reports are not immune to errors. And if you have mistakes that make you look like an undesirable borrower, fixing those mistakes can lead to a credit score improvement.

So, let’s say your credit report lists debts in your name that you never racked up. If you dispute the error, the credit bureau behind the report is obligated to look at it. And if it finds that it is, in fact, a mistake, your credit score could go up.

3. Get a credit limit increase

Another factor that goes into your credit score is you credit utilization ratio, which measures how much available revolving credit you are using at once. A ratio of 30% or less is generally considered favorable, so if yours is higher, paying off some credit card debt can help improve your credit score.

But that’s not the only way to lower your credit utilization ratio. You can also lower the ratio by raising your credit limit.

So, let’s say you owe $4,000 against the $10,000 spending limit on your credit card. That’s a 40% utilization rate. If you manage to increase your spending limit to $14,000, you’ll reduce your spending by up to 29%, which can help improve your credit score. And if you have a good account, chances are, a simple call to your credit card company will result in a higher spending limit.

Paying bills on time isn’t the only thing you can do to give your credit score a bump. These tips can help you get that number down, too — and open the door to more loan options.

Top credit cards eliminate interest until 2024

If you have credit card debt, transfer it to This high balance transfer card secure you 0% intro APR for up to 21 months! Plus, you won’t pay an annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top choice to help control your debt. Read our full review free and apply in just 2 minutes.

We firmly believe in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by any of the advertisers included. The Ascent does not cover all the offers in the market. The editorial content of The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different team of analysts. The Motley Fool has disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *