#1. Watch those credit card balances
One major factor in your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you’re actually using. The smaller that percentage is, the better it is for your credit rating.
#2. Eliminate credit card balances
“A good way to improve your credit score is to eliminate nuisance balances.”
#3. Leave old debt on your report
Negative items are bad for your credit score, and most of them will disappear from your report after seven years. However, “arguing to get old accounts off your credit report just because they’re paid is a bad idea.”
#4. Use your calendar
If you’re shopping for a home, car or student loan, it pays to do your rate shopping within a short time period.
#5. Pay bills on time
While you’re juggling bills, you don’t want to start paying bills late. Even if you’re sitting on a pile of savings, a drop in your score could scuttle that dream deal.
#6. Don’t hint at risk
Two of the biggies are missing payments and suddenly paying less (or charging more) than you normally do, says Dave Jones, retired president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.
#7. Don’t obsess
You should be laser-focused on your credit score when you know you’ll soon need credit. In the interim, pay your bills and use credit responsibly.