Suze Orman TwitterSuze Orman FacebookSuze Orman YouTubeSuze Orman LinkedIn
View Blog & News List

The Best Moves to Boost Your Credit Score

April 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM

Having a good credit score isn’t good enough. To land the best loan deals and qualify for the best credit card offers you need to have a seriously great FICO credit score of at least 740. Here’s how to improve your FICO score.

1. Pay your Bills on Time. Your payment habits –whether you are on time or habitually late-account for 35% of your FICO credit score. You have zero excuse for not nailing this.

2. Charge Less on Your Credit Cards. You know I am a big believer in pay as you go: use cash or a debit card that does not have overdraft protection. That way you only spend what you have. At the same time, I want you to use a credit card a few times a month. Debit card payments aren’t tracked by the credit bureaus, so you need credit card charges to help build a credit score. The trick is to only charge a few items a month, and then pay off the bill in full. By limiting your credit card balances-and paying them off-you will have a great debt-to-total credit ratio. This is a formula that accounts for 30% of your credit score. The formula divides your total outstanding credit card limits by the amount of your existing unpaid balances. The lower the ratio the better. Aim for less than 30%.

3. Check Your Credit Report. Your credit score is calculated based on information in your credit report. The sad reality is that credit reports often contain lots of mistakes that can pull down your credit score.

You have a credit report from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. The credit bureaus are required to give you a free credit report once a year. The only place you should request a credit report is at Once you have a report scour it carefully. If you find a mistake-such as a debt you paid off that is still showing up as unpaid-follow the directions to submit a dispute.

4. Don’t Fall for Store Credit Cards. I know it’s tempting when you’re checking out and are enticed to sign up for a store credit card to qualify for a discount. Resist the temptation! Opening new credit will cause your credit score to take a temporary dip. If you don’t need the credit, don’t take it! And besides, store credit cards are the worst deal around, as they charge insanely high interest rates.

Tag Cloud

gift grandchild IRA contributiontax refund fraudno waiting periodHow To Build Creditsame sex marriage band end Floridareduce interest rate8 month safety netmonthly benefit Foreclosurehigh down paymentpowerful2016 adjust withholdingpay interest while in schoolNew York Lifecomparison shoppingmortgage brokerholiday spendingpaid in fullbest loan deal marriage financial responsibilityOne Wallet At A Timeemergency fund savings3% debt transferred responsible with moneyno private loanHDHP's are not badPost-Divorcesocial workdebt freewomen longer life spanincrease emergency savingscalculate dependents annual income needssocial security not going brokehealthy retirement blood pressurestudent loan repayment planback-to-school budgetstore credit cardsno retirement funds for down paymentpurely financial standpointpercentage of women widowed 75-84full retirement ageGay RightsNew american Dream dental savings planMortgage Credit Availability Indexdangerous money seasonbecome member no sneaking in feesretirementunsubsidized Stafford loanlife insuranceemotional stakesvalue moneycar buying mistakesstandard ratealternative FICO scorepay down car loanloan big picture no late fee spring summer interest capitalizationloved ones dependent on incomedon't do five year car loando not pay allowance for good behavior2016 adjust estimated taxcompare provider pricingcontribution live below your meansloan no longer than 36monthsbill paying prioritiesitemized deductionget over life insurance phobiaone credit cardis it necessaryhigher insurance deductibleHoliday Shoppingcnbc alarm clockbe good exampleborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up FRAincentives for health care wellness screeninglowest cost fund optionhome buying budgetUniversity of FloridaLong Term Care Insurance Financial AwarenessEric Dodge 6 month waiting periodopen enrollment review financial argumentsteensuniversal college accesspay down student loan debtstay positiveno fee transferhome loan credit score below 740 Communication Skills switch to roth 401(k)prescription tierExhibitionMoney MarketFinal Goodbyegift not loancost of capitalization calculatordeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeARM Cautionnear historic lowslet them have 50% controlincrease retirement savingsGay Couplesonly refinance if it payslong term carerefundRichcut monthly cellular billrolloverrent vs buycreate new truthFICO credit score credit card mortgageteens and moneydon't defer interest paymentsanticipated salarytake actionconsider roth 401(k)push yourself to save more for retirementHDHP/HSAschool permanent life insurancewould you decline a bonusHigh FICO Score = Better RateHoliday Seasonpaying for collegepercentage men widowed 75-8420% down payment avoid feespay credit debt ASAPRetirement Incomeknow before you owecompare monthly expensesAuto Savings retirement accountsthree year car loancollege graduateAmericans don't use all paid vacation timereplace permanent life insurance with termmarriage inequalitySave Us MoneyWashingtonCiti Simplicity Card traditional vs roth 401(k)Long Term Care shoppingFICO at least 720can you afford itlow mileage discountreal estate marketHeartgay marriage ban end Florida is it true? high FICO scoreDurable Power of Attorney for Health Carelow down payment10 year repayment plan high credit score discountconfidentForbes Top 10Personal FinanceCory Bookerroth iraFICO ScoreBankruptcypeace of mindsetup automatic savings withdrawretirement planface your financial fearPrime Rate Increasedoctor no longer in networkinsurance mistakestudent loan repayment estimatorannual cost of living adjustmentget health insuranceadvice for college graduatesschedule vacationpublic service loan forgiveness programbreakdown projected monthly housing costFiscal Responsibilityavoid burn outSpendingdon't use allowance as bribemental healthLoveCredit Card Rate Increasefraudulent returnmonthly dental insurance premiumraise insurance deductibleyours, mine & ours8 month emergency fundCollege of Veterinary MedicineYoung Adult no tax on withdrawlsat worst still pay 75% benefitcommunity collegefile taxes quicklyaffordable premiumstudent loan debtUniversity of Illinois401KstaycationCOLAdear suzelower overall drug costno negativityfile asapmeet monthly Roth 401(k)US Tax Codebest interest ratesbalance transfer federal student loan deferment shop online guaranteed level term policytitle insuranceFinancial CliffAccuQuote.comdebtsidelinedbetter loan dealslower mortgage interestgift up to 14,000credit cardmaintain standard of livingburn outspeak new goal15-year refinance dealSandy Hook Elementary Schoolborrowing plan waive home inspection bidcar loantaxesCredit Card Interest Rateis it kind?ignore 6 month grace period 20 year level term leave a legacywomen live longerAARPcar leasingGiftmanage student loansretirment savingsBankcommunity banksave moneybad retirement planningpaid vacationbuying a carunexpected expensemultiple lendersnegotiate points with bank or sellerpay 100% cashinsurance yearly reviewreduce monthly paymentFederal Funds RateWall Streetsecure creditHDHP'sjanuary billsletter to suzebudgetRetirement Savings40% toward financial goaloverspend on nights outautomatic withdraw to savings Student Debt Crisiscredit utilization ratestretch out haircut appointmentsFinancial Gift Cliffverify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsor3 bucket approachlearn good financial choicesverify wellness screening and programsUrbana-Champaignonly offered while employed keep a scheduleVeterinary School740 credit scorefocus on new truth earn allowancephysical healthFinancial Power of Attorneyterm life insuranceHigh Credit Scorepay off debtLifestylecontribute household expenses no life insurance financially irresponsibleraise deductiblesmax employee matchprotect dependent Revocable Living Trust3 savings buckets tax ID theftStudent Loanrepay student loanswrite new goalGoodbyeclosing costs 2% of loanmax benefit coveredpremiuminsuranceprovider of financial support20% down paymentpresident Obamaemergency fund worst financial mistakederailed planhome buying seasondon't blow tax refundallowanceETF'sdental insurance be kind to yourselfConventional loan PMIdepreciating asset overspend on dining outpositivehome buying mistakesbetter loan ratesinitial tax break preexisting condition not coveredhealthy youoverspend on giftsTeachFundsfour steps to retirement savings switch to spouse coverage401(k) ContributionsMost Influential Celebrities Listteach your child good money habitsincreased auto insurance premiumchildren under 18Suze is my biggest mentorbetter termsbuy down allowance tasknew carsocial securityenjoy saving age appropriate chorebuy home you can affordautomate student loan paymentslong-term care premiumsStock InvestmentsStaffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest rateautomatic paymentNewtownbuy homeEmployer Matched Contribution!00% tuition paidpay more than minimumunder 18 financial giftJose Rodriguezkids schedule paymentsgrandparent IRA contribution ultimate compounding giftInvest for savings growthsame-sex marriageEmergency SavingsEasy Life Insurance 3 step financial road map2017 Taxesprotect and provide for minor child escrow19 years cash flow problemshort term goal savingsreal estate mistakesMoney-Savingget the most out of social security women long term caremoney-aware childmortgage disclosureFree Debt EliminatorAshley SpringerThe Suze Orman ShowMotheridentity theftFinancial Solutions For Youno apologypublic service career student loan repayment quick closingSuze changed my lifeFixed Rate Mortgagelow credit scorelower rateLTCi ASAPcredit reportLTCForbesAARP Social security calculatorBaby BoomersSelectQuote.comlousy investmentPhyllis Shelton expert long-term careclosing feesget credit cardritual schedulebad decisionsSuze Orman Scholarship2015 financial roadmapSuze Orman's Money WarsIRA contribution gifted moneylife insurance name trust as beneficiarydon't derail retirement savingsretain separate credit cardsCommencementFHA loan feesOverspendingfinancing car HDHP's are good for youhighest possible benefitSuze approveddangerous retirement planbig results reduce withholdingconfident of solutionlong-term care successdon't spend interest on student loansFinancialdental discount planfamily save at least $100 monthlyfinancial concernmax employer matched 401(k) contributionsecured cardChanging LivesAmy LacyetPay Off Debt Before Retirementexercise reguarlyjuggle multiple financial goals10% donate to charityTelepictures4 Must Have Documents Warner Bros Television Groupheartacheemployer funding HSASatisfyingsummer job match income PBS Specialloan necessitycut monthly cable billkid borrow firstMoneyclosing disclosuredon't buy wantsloan is giftBill and Pennyfinancial goal phraseGraceone annual feenot enough life insuranceadjust allocations property taxmoney vowsresponsiblenot gender specific CPI-Wzero rate transfer dealsGiftshigh premiumsorigination feesStudent Debtmake saving a pleasureHolidayhigh deductible health care planCNBCage appropriate goalswomen outlive menrequired disclosuredoctors in networkgrandchild summer job IRA contributiondo you need life insuranceincrease retirement contribution ratemortgagestudentplanrising home pricesprotect your familylow-cost index mutual fundteach importance of helping othersdon't ignore open enrollmentback door Roth IRAHSA tax savingsadd teenLTC shoppingfocus on needsreferrals mortgage interest tax deductiondon't cover cosmetic dentistrybuying car 2016School of Social WorkAdequate Auto and Home Insurancesocial security never insolventraise your deductibleBeautyadult childrenstandard deduction death benefit needs for familyhome insuranceMass Mutualdebit cardterm insuranceCivil Rightsovercome financial fearsprotect loved ones Influentialsworkaholichealthy aging Sandy Hook Promiseno splurge television hostmobile appFinancial Systembe true to yourselffinancial independencecharges on credit cardsmall changes credit managementwives should be involved in retirementdon't extend mortgage 20% equity8 Rulesemployer offered life insurancealways use all paid time offARMHDHP no interestlower premiumgraduationLong Term Care premiumshome ownershipFinancial Adviceiffy incomecredit unionrequire chore in exchange for allowancedon't charge a pennyAlarm Clockpoint cost offset by savingscouple financeshome budget after tax costvalentines dayhome related tax break bonus Financial Educatorrefinanceis it necessary?housing marketchildren's bookcommitlong term goalidentity fraudstudent loan repayment20 to 25 times annual incomeSuze Orman spouse Kathy Traviscollege studentFinancial Awareness Video Festivaldream schoolspecial saving accountcostly insurance mistakeMarlo ThomasSuze OrmanInfluential Celebrityapproved medical 100% tax-freeco-sign pay high rate off firstInterestPrime Rate Rise 2015save strained relationship50 over 50financial fears2015 record year car saleshealthy retirement weightsavings pleasureCredit score

View Blog & News List
People First. Then Money. Then Things.
Connect with me on Facebook Connect with me on YouTube Connect with me on Twitter
© 2017 Suze Orman Media Inc. All rights reserved.
 |  Search  |  Sitemap  |  Privacy  |  Terms
Sign Up For E-mail Offers
Open Panel
Close Panel