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

shop online guaranteed level term policypaid in fullpercentage of women widowed 75-84television hostfederal student loan deferment purely financial standpointdon't spend overcome financial fearslow mileage discountdental discount planmarriage inequalitygraduationwomen live longergift up to 14,000life insurancestudent loan repaymentresponsibleoverspend on dining outpremiumFinancial Systemdream schoolfile asapHow To Build Creditheartachechildren's bookautomate student loan paymentsno life insurance financially irresponsiblestandard deduction FICO credit score credit card mortgagefocus on new truth lower overall drug costUniversity of Illinoisoverspend on nights outcostly insurance mistake10 year repayment plan Interesthealthy aging grandchild summer job IRA contributionWillstudentcnbc alarm clockapproved medical 100% tax-freeget credit cardallowance taskPhyllis Shelton expert long-term careretirement planlower mortgage interest740 credit scorewaive home inspection bidhigher insurance deductibleTelepicturesSuze Orman Scholarshipzero rate transfer dealscreate new truthSchool of Social Workdon't defer interest paymentssmall changes Americans don't use all paid vacation timechildren under 18short term goal Staffords this year have a fixed 6.8% interest ratehigh deductible health care planForbes Top 10let them have 50% controlpay high rate off first2015 financial roadmap401(k) Contributionsretain separate credit cardsvalentines day6 month waiting periodfinancial aidlong term careDeath Benefitwomen longer life span401KpositiveFICO at least 720paying for collegeStudent Debt Crisispush yourself to save more for retirementknow before you owefraudulent returnbe true to yourselfEric Dodge Emergency Savingsstudent loan repayment estimatorloved ones dependent on incomespeak new goalemergency fund mobile appdebt freeis it true? College of Veterinary Medicinetoo expensive schoolcharges on credit cardsummer job match income 3 savings buckets do you need life insuranceprotect and provide for minor child identity fraudNewtownretirementhousing marketdear suzeloan big picture MoneyCredit Card Rate Increaseone credit cardPBS SpecialMass Mutualback-to-school budgetbuy down raising mortgage rates Love2017 TaxesMoney-Savingstudent loan repayment planSuze Orman spouse Kathy Travisstore credit cardsCD'slong term goalgrandparent IRA contribution Financial Power of Attorneyno retirement funds for down paymentschedule vacationThe Suze Orman Show19 years cash flow problempay credit debt ASAPhealthy retirement blood pressureborrowing plan home buying mistakesmortgage disclosureenjoy saving college graduatebest interest of investormax benefit coveredwrite new goalidentity theftdental savings planlower premiumpowerfulrefinanceHolidayterm life insuranceLTC shoppingFICO Scorerequired disclosureback door Roth IRA30 year mortgage Durable Power of Attorney for Health CareRichget the most out of social security confident of solutionnon conventional routesave moneySelectQuote.comretirment savingspoint cost offset by savingsaffordabilitykids schedule paymentsloan necessityARM Cautionemergency fund savingssame sex marriage band end Floridasocial workadd teenFinancial AwarenessInfluential Celebritytax refund fraudLTCi ASAPbuy homehealthy gumsExhibitionfinancial argumentsOverspendingbest loan deal escrowpay interest while in schoolage appropriate chorefinancial concernlife insurance name trust as beneficiarymake saving a pleasureARMAdequate Auto and Home Insurancemeet monthly be good exampleraising interest ratesHoliday Shoppingdoctors in networkRevocable Living TrustFederal Stafford loansocial securityBaby BoomersGay CouplesAshley Springerverify retirement plan with HR or plan sponsorSave Us MoneyRoth 401(k)tax ID theftstandard rateSandy Hook Elementary Schoolthree year car loansavings pleasuresuitableincentives for health care wellness screeningnot enough life insurance8 month emergency fundCOLAcalculate dependents annual income needsNew american Dream Personal FinanceCredit Card Interest RateFiscal Responsibilitymaintain standard of livingHDHP's are good for youwould you decline a bonusworst financial mistakeraise insurance deductiblehigher monthly paymentignore 6 month grace period mental healthmortgage interest tax deductionAARP Social security calculatorautomatic withdraw to savings advice for college graduatesEasy Life Insurance Prime Rate Rise 2015retirement accountsinsurance yearly reviewdon't blow tax refundmultiple lendersCommencementfinancial goal phraseFRAMoney Marketfinancial independencehome ownershipno interestface your financial fearno fee transferCNBCUS Tax CodeCivil Rightsfiduciaryaccelerate dental workprofessional advisorMortgage Credit Availability IndexSuze Orman's Money Warssavingsage appropriate goalsBankruptcyearn allowancetraditional vs roth 401(k)switch to roth 401(k)2015 record year car salesno sneaking in feesSuze changed my lifestrained relationshipno apologyunsubsidized Stafford loanpay off debtHigh FICO Score = Better Ratebreakdown projected monthly housing costAmy Lacyetbuying a carbuy home you can afford20% down paymentdangerous retirement planFinancial EducatorFinancialCombo Insurance Productspublic service career student loan repayment term insuranceadult childrenHeart4 Must Have Documents Teachcar buying mistakessame-sex marriageMust Have Documentsprotect dependent big results successcontribution yours, mine & ourscar loanForbesRetirement Incomebest interest ratessave compare provider pricingMost Influential Celebrities Listmarriage financial responsibilityemployer offered life insurancekeep a schedulehome budget after tax costRetirement Savingsrepay student loansdon't derail retirement savingsdon't extend mortgage FHA loan feesbe kind to yourself20 to 25 times annual incomepublic service loan forgiveness programrolloverengaged in financesMarlo Thomascredit cardconfidentreal estate market20% equityHoliday Seasonincrease retirement contribution rateonly offered while employed four steps to retirement savings annual cost of living adjustmentlow-cost index mutual fundcommissionsmortgageno waiting periodCory Bookerat worst still pay 75% benefitSuze Ormanuniversal college accessForeclosureWarner Bros Television Groupfull retirement ageitemized deductionStock InvestmentsinsuranceLTCcontribute household expenses always use all paid time offAccuQuote.comstretch out haircut appointmentsborrow each year, capitalization is going to pile up debit cardfocus on needsexercise reguarlyemotional stakesInfluentials3 step financial road mapallowanceconsider roth 401(k)Pay Off Debt Before Retirementclosing feesLegal GuardianMother20 year level term january bills3% debt transferred Changing Livesteens and moneyreferrals Minor Children credit utilization ratedo not pay allowance for good behaviorGiftshigh FICO scorerising home pricesOne Wallet At A Timenew carcostly legal title insuranceclosing costs 2% of loanalternative FICO scorecommunity bankincreased auto insurance premiumoverspend on giftsUniversity of FloridaSpendingVital Documentsis it kind?Suze is my biggest mentorAARPEmployer Matched Contributionleave a legacyis it necessarydoctor no longer in network8 month safety netHSA tax savingsFinancial Awareness Video Festivalincrease retirement savingsinterest on student loans15-year refinance dealmonthly benefit Sandy Hook Promisebudgetraise your deductiblecredit reportget over life insurance phobialousy investmentnot gender specific stay positivebad decisionsCPI-Wearn more on savingslow down paymentraise deductiblesdon't cover cosmetic dentistrystudent loan debtpay more than minimumroth irafinancing car LifestyleCredit scorepay 100% cashvalue moneyHDHP/HSAFinancial Solutions For Youcommunity college20% down payment avoid feesautomatic paymentprotect your familybill paying prioritiesfinancial fearspresident Obamahome insuranceUrbana-ChampaignSuze approved2016 adjust withholdingGiftJose RodriguezRevocable Trustbetter loan dealsFundsBankdeath benefit needs for familydon't ignore open enrollmentaffordable premiumFree Debt Eliminatordangerous money seasonloan is giftno private loanspring summer home buying seasonfile taxes quicklyVeterinary SchoolPrime Rate Increase40% toward financial goalcredit managementeliminate credit card debt50 over 50New York LifePost-Divorcedepreciating asset protect loved ones healthy youno late fee secure creditlong-term care preexisting condition not coveredmanage student loansbuying car 2016reduce withholdingunexpected expensehighest possible benefit3 bucket approachhigh premiumscollege studentmax employee matchrequire chore in exchange for allowancehigh credit score discountlower interest rateschool max employer matched 401(k) contributionproperty taxFinancial Gift Cliffreplace permanent life insurance with termfamily save at least $100 monthly15 year mortgagegift not loanhealthy teethlowest cost fund optionGay Rightsswitch to spouse coveragepermanent life insuranceincrease emergency savingsjuggle multiple financial goalsbecome member !00% tuition paidcut monthly cable billcompare monthly expensesLong Term Care shoppingeight month living expense responsible with moneySwap Older Annuities or Life Insurance money vowsone annual feecar leasingis it necessary?special saving accountopen enrollment review Beautyletter to suzepeace of mindLong Term Care premiumsHigh Credit ScoreBill and PennyInflation Benefittake actionIRA contribution gifted moneyreduce monthly paymentmonthly dental insurance premiumFinal Goodbyebetter loan ratesteensget health insuranceWashingtonhome loan credit score below 740 balance transfer adjust allocations teach your child good money habitsSatisfyingco-sign derailed planpercentage men widowed 75-84home buying budgetlow credit scoresecured cardrent vs buyFixed Rate MortgageFinancial Advicesocial security never insolventrefundAuto Savings provider of financial supporthealthy retirement weightbetter termscouple financesworkaholicInvest for savings growthavoid burn outcut monthly cellular bill8 Ruleslive below your meanskid borrow firstteach importance of helping othersdon't buy wantsFinancial Cliffhome related tax break bonus interest capitalizationtaxesanticipated salaryno tax on withdrawlsFederal Funds Ratehigh down paymentdon't charge a pennyWall Streetnegotiate points with bank or sellerverify wellness screening and programsshorter payback periodwomen outlive menphysical healthSelfishlong-term care premiumsno splurge credit unionsetup automatic savings withdrawsidelinedquick closingHDHP'sLong Term Care Insurance no negativityprescription tierloan no longer than 36monthspay down car loanburn outHDHP money-aware childholiday spendinglower rateplangay marriage ban end Florida 2016 adjust estimated taxpay down student loan debtcan you afford itgift grandchild IRA contributioninsurance mistakeConventional loan PMIreal estate mistakesdon't use allowance as bribedental insurance Student Debtmortgage brokerwives should be involved in retirementdon't do five year car loanemployer funding HSAnear historic lowsGracereduce interest rateno private loansETF'sultimate compounding giftbad retirement planningFederal PLUS loanCommunication Skills only refinance if it payslearn good financial choicessocial security not going brokeunder 18 financial giftdebtinitial tax break ritual schedulewomen long term carepaid vacationFederal ReserveStudent LoanHDHP's are not bad10% donate to charitystaycationcost of capitalization calculatorcommitdeath benefit 20 to 25 times annual incomeCiti Simplicity Card iffy incomeAlarm ClockGoodbyecomparison shoppingorigination feesclosing disclosureYoung Adult


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