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 annualcreditreport.com. 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

ARM Caution3 bucket approachbuying car 20168 month emergency fund401(k) Contributionsvalentines dayAmy LacyetRetirement Incomeeliminate credit card debtraise deductiblesget credit cardUS Tax CodecommissionsAARPeight month living expense Urbana-Champaignstandard deduction origination feesrent vs buytax refund fraudlow credit scorelower overall drug costallowance taskinsurance yearly reviewdon't do five year car loanbad retirement planningsocial securitymarriage financial responsibilitysocial security never insolventcharges on credit cardAshley SpringerExhibitionBank!00% tuition paidconfidentLifestylecar loanchildren's booklet them have 50% controlmortgage brokerreal estate marketMinor Children closing feesis it true? no negativityidentity fraudMoney-Saving8 month safety netcreate new truthSuze changed my lifeOverspendingterm insurancesecure creditdon't defer interest paymentsbuying a carDeath BenefitJose Rodriguezwomen longer life spanInteresthome loan credit score below 740 know before you owedream schoolSandy Hook Promiseemotional stakesbest interest ratespush yourself to save more for retirementLTCsmall changes HDHP/HSAschedule vacationRevocable Living Trustgay marriage ban end Florida full retirement ageCPI-Wbig results traditional vs roth 401(k)dear suzeFinancial Power of Attorneypublic service loan forgiveness programFixed Rate MortgageInfluential CelebrityGay Couplesnegotiate points with bank or sellercalculate dependents annual income needsemployer funding HSApaid vacationroth iraFinancial Awareness Video Festivalstaycationfile taxes quickly15-year refinance dealPrime Rate Rise 2015responsible with moneyadjust allocations healthy gumsburn outAmericans don't use all paid vacation timePost-DivorceHDHP's are good for youswitch to spouse coverageshorter payback periodshort term goal back-to-school budgetearn more on savingsjanuary billshome budget after tax costGiftsescrowOne Wallet At A Timestrained relationshiptaxespay 100% cashdeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeresponsiblerising home pricesstore credit cardsbad decisionsborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up How To Build CreditTelepicturesFICO credit score credit card mortgageprotect your familylower interest rateface your financial fearrefinancehigher insurance deductibleanticipated salaryhigh FICO scoreRevocable TrustForbes Top 10don't blow tax refundlower rateBankruptcyretirement accountsinitial tax break same sex marriage band end Floridachildren under 18low-cost index mutual fundcommunity collegeLong Term Care shoppingearn allowancecnbc alarm clockmarriage inequalityMost Influential Celebrities Listraising mortgage rates Mass Mutualswitch to roth 401(k)shop online guaranteed level term policyStock InvestmentsUniversity of Floridavalue moneyautomate student loan paymentsreduce monthly paymentis it necessary?Baby BoomersLTCi ASAP740 credit scoreHoliday SeasonAlarm ClockInfluentials3 step financial road mapLTC shoppingSatisfyingyours, mine & oursreduce withholdingpowerfulpositiveFederal ReserveMarlo ThomasMoneyFinancial Systemsame-sex marriagedon't spend financial aidwomen long term careloan necessityloan is giftemergency fund savings10% donate to charitykids schedule paymentsChanging Livespermanent life insurancepay down student loan debtno tax on withdrawlshigh credit score discountdebtpublic service career student loan repayment 20% down payment avoid feesInflation BenefitFree Debt Eliminatorlower mortgage interestmobile appbecome member accelerate dental workHDHP'sno apologynot enough life insuranceborrowing plan financing car credit utilization rate19 years cash flow problemstudentSchool of Social Workoverspend on giftsmultiple lendersEasy Life Insurance SelfishPrime Rate Increaseverify wellness screening and programslong term goalMortgage Credit Availability Indexpurely financial standpointFinancialSandy Hook Elementary SchoolRichraise your deductibleETF'sis it kind?pay credit debt ASAPonly refinance if it paysSave Us MoneyForeclosurenon conventional routemax benefit coveredstudent loan debtCiti Simplicity Card be good examplehigh down paymentWall Streetmoney-aware childPersonal Financeovercome financial fearsfinancial independenceSuze is my biggest mentoriffy incomeFederal Funds RateBeautygrandparent IRA contribution Staffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest ratestandard ratepremiumgraduationRoth 401(k)breakdown projected monthly housing cost3 savings buckets too expensive schoolARMultimate compounding gifthigh premiumsemergency fund peace of mindbalance transfer money vowsMust Have Documentspay interest while in schoolHoliday Shoppingno sneaking in feesHolidayis it necessaryhome buying budget20 to 25 times annual incomewrite new goalgift grandchild IRA contributionfamily save at least $100 monthlytake actionleave a legacyGay Rightsbe true to yourselfwomen live longer4 Must Have Documents overspend on dining outkid borrow firstadvice for college graduatesget the most out of social security percentage of women widowed 75-84school interest capitalizationclosing costs 2% of loanfederal student loan deferment spring summer low mileage discount2015 record year car saleshealthy youdebit cardPay Off Debt Before RetirementCombo Insurance ProductsCNBCPBS Specialhealthy retirement weightdental insurance compare monthly expensesNew american Dream physical healthjuggle multiple financial goalsquick closingdoctors in networkfinancial goal phrase3% debt transferred save New York Lifeno interestlong term carebest loan deal College of Veterinary MedicineMothercredit reportterm life insuranceConventional loan PMIcredit managementFICO ScoreWashingtonSwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance women outlive menpay down car loanunder 18 financial giftsetup automatic savings withdrawbetter termsalways use all paid time offautomatic paymentmeet monthly interest on student loanslong-term care premiums8 Rulesfocus on new truth home insuranceenjoy saving unsubsidized Stafford loanIRA contribution gifted moneypaying for collegeback door Roth IRAraise insurance deductibleno life insurance financially irresponsibleCD'ssocial security not going brokeadd teenpresident Obamaalternative FICO scoreoverspend on nights outSelectQuote.commaintain standard of livingStudent Debt Crisisspecial saving accountnew carSuze Orman ScholarshipNewtownno private loancouple financesrequired disclosureprotect dependent gift up to 14,000four steps to retirement savings secured cardannual cost of living adjustmentemployer offered life insuranceritual scheduleStudent Loandental discount planloan no longer than 36monthshealthy aging tax ID theft10 year repayment plan better loan rates15 year mortgagehome ownershiplong-term care lower premiumincreased auto insurance premiumteach your child good money habitsno private loansFICO at least 720cost of capitalization calculatoraffordable premiumhousing markethome related tax break bonus 50 over 50incentives for health care wellness screening2017 TaxesFederal PLUS loanuniversal college accessYoung Adult age appropriate choredon't buy wantsonly offered while employed mental healthsuccessHigh FICO Score = Better RatePhyllis Shelton expert long-term careCivil Rightsrefundwives should be involved in retirementGiftWilltelevision hostkeep a scheduleconfident of solutionhome buying mistakescollege graduate2016 adjust estimated taxsavings pleasureworst financial mistakecan you afford itreplace permanent life insurance with termAdequate Auto and Home Insurancestudent loan repayment estimatorcostly legal FHA loan feesno retirement funds for down paymentinsuranceAARP Social security calculatorplanteensnear historic lowshealthy teethone credit cardgift not loanavoid burn outpay high rate off firstlowest cost fund optiondeath benefit needs for familyreduce interest ratemonthly dental insurance premium6 month waiting periodbudgetLegal Guardianhealthy retirement blood pressuresidelinedlearn good financial choicesFederal Stafford loandon't derail retirement savingsopen enrollment review retain separate credit cardslousy investmentSuze approvedRetirement SavingsFinancial Solutions For YouFinancial EducatorHSA tax savingslow down paymentFinal GoodbyeheartacheFRAbetter loan dealsgrandchild summer job IRA contributionSuze Orman spouse Kathy Travismax employee matchfocus on needssummer job match income Credit Card Rate Increase20% down paymentholiday spendingMoney Marketnot gender specific compare provider pricingno late fee credit unionproperty tax20 year level term paid in fulldon't cover cosmetic dentistrySuze Orman's Money Warsloan big picture social workUniversity of Illinoisbuy home you can affordzero rate transfer dealsfinancial argumentsprofessional advisorretirementEric Dodge costly insurance mistakelife insurancemax employer matched 401(k) contributionno fee transferlife insurance name trust as beneficiaryspeak new goalpoint cost offset by savingshome buying seasonteens and moneySuze Ormanletter to suzeLong Term Care premiumscontribution workaholicrolloverdo you need life insurancefraudulent returnteach importance of helping othershighest possible benefitcomparison shoppingcar leasingincrease retirement savingsCredit scoreInvest for savings growth40% toward financial goallive below your meansCredit Card Interest Rateco-sign increase emergency savingsrepay student loansdoctor no longer in networkone annual feestudent loan repayment plandon't ignore open enrollmentbuy homemortgage disclosureFinancial CliffVeterinary Schoolapproved medical 100% tax-freeEmergency SavingsCommunication Skills require chore in exchange for allowanceautomatic withdraw to savings verify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorfinancial concernFinancial Adviceget health insuranceEmployer Matched Contributioncontribute household expenses Durable Power of Attorney for Health CareBill and Pennyno splurge three year car loanfinancial fearsprescription tierretirement planWarner Bros Television Groupsave moneytitle insuranceincrease retirement contribution rate20% equitybest interest of investorprotect and provide for minor child Goodbyeadult childrenage appropriate goalsconsider roth 401(k)Financial Gift Cliffprotect loved ones depreciating asset get over life insurance phobiaHeartcut monthly cellular billForbesfiduciarymortgage interest tax deductionStudent DebtAuto Savings HDHP's are not badpercentage men widowed 75-84closing disclosurecut monthly cable bill401Kcommunity bankGracestay positiveraising interest ratesstudent loan repaymentbuy down 30 year mortgage dangerous retirement planidentity theft2015 financial roadmapignore 6 month grace period waive home inspection bidmonthly benefit debt freeexercise reguarlydon't use allowance as bribeaffordabilityunexpected expenseHDHP insurance mistakeretirment savingsThe Suze Orman Showdangerous money seasonhigh deductible health care plansuitableallowancedon't charge a penny2016 adjust withholdinghigher monthly paymentstretch out haircut appointmentsLong Term Care Insurance Teachmortgageitemized deductionHigh Credit ScoreSpendingVital DocumentsCory Bookerderailed plandon't extend mortgage manage student loansfile asapprovider of financial supportCOLAbe kind to yourselfwould you decline a bonuscommitcollege studentLoveAccuQuote.comCommencementdo not pay allowance for good behaviormake saving a pleasurereferrals pay more than minimumloved ones dependent on incomereal estate mistakesFiscal Responsibilitydental savings plansavingspay off debtno waiting periodFinancial Awarenesscar buying mistakespreexisting condition not coveredcredit cardFundsengaged in financesbill paying prioritiesat worst still pay 75% benefit


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