Your credit score plays a vital role in your financial life. You need a good credit score if you are going for a good rewards credit card or wish to get a low mortgage interest rate. A good credit score can even help you secure a new cell phone or car insurance.

You can gradually improve your credit score by practicing good credit behavior. Listed below are some of the few steps that you can take to boost your credit score. This article outlines 10 tips to help you boost your credit score.

Pay Down Balances and Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio

Lowering your credit card balances from 90% of the credit limit to 30% can potentially increase your credit score by up to 100 points. Focus first on paying down balances on cards with the highest credit utilization rates. Bringing each card’s balance below 30% of the limit can dramatically boost your score. 

You might be tempted to close unused cards, but this lowers your overall limit and thus increases utilization. Keep cards open even if not used often. The next step after tackling high balances is to become an authorized user on someone else’s account to give your score an added kick upwards.  

Generally, the credit score ranges from 300 to 850, with scores above 720 considered excellent and leading to approval for the best terms on loans and credit cards.

Become an Authorized User on Someone’s Account 

Becoming an authorized user on a spouse or family member’s long-standing credit card with an excellent payment history can increase your credit score in as little as 45 days. When the primary cardholder makes on-time payments, it has the same benefit to your credit profile since payment activity gets reported on both users. While not a shortcut, becoming an authorized user can significantly supplement other efforts such as paying bills on time and lowering utilization.

Dispute Any Errors on Your Credit Reports  

It is found that over 34% of credit reports contain an error or outdated personal information. Inaccuracies like accounts that don’t belong to you, incorrect account statuses, and wrong personal details directly drag down credit scores.

You can get a free credit report annually from agencies and dispute items through mail, phone, or online. This can bump up credit scores once resolved. How else can you further build your credit profile? Apply for new accounts carefully.   

Apply for New Credit Accounts Strategically

Applying for several new credit cards in a short period can cause scores to drop by 50 to 110 points due to additional hard inquiries and lower AAoA.  However, opening new credit lines responsibly over time raises your total available credit. The key is patience. Consider timing applications based on credit needs rather than wants to avoid unnecessary hits. 

Never Miss a Payment Deadline 

Payment history carries the highest weightage out of all credit score factors. Adopt reliable mechanisms to ensure you never miss payments, such as:  

  • Setting payment reminders through your bank and card provider’s mobile apps 
  • Enabling email alerts in advance of due dates 
  • Putting small, recurring charges on cards to keep them active 
  • Setting up autopay through debit or linked bank account 

Limit Hard Credit Inquiries

FICO analysis reveals that people with credit scores above 800 have on average just 1-3 hard inquiries from shopping for loans or credit cards over 12 months.  Limit application invites and rate shopping to <=3 inquiries spaced reasonably apart, as too many inquiries can result in drops of 10 points or more quite quickly. Also, understand that applications submitted within the same category (mortgage, auto loan, credit card, etc.) over a short period count as only one inquiry.   

Build Your Credit Mix 

Diversify credit profiles further by having a healthy combination of installment loans and credit card accounts:  

  • For example, having 1-2 revolving credit cards, 1-2 retail cards, and 1 auto/personal loanFor example, having 1-2 revolving credit cards, 1-2 retail cards, and 1 auto/personal loan. Don’t open accounts just for a mix. 
  • Loans and credit cards report differently and portray responsibility across account types.
  • Mix accounts based on necessity rather than desire, and ensure balances are kept low across all accounts.

Set Up Automatic Payments 

Setting up automatic bill payments through your bank’s online billing features or directly on your credit card accounts will help ensure you never miss a payment due date. This can help preserve your on-time payment history which factors heavily into your score.

Sign Up for Credit Monitoring 

Credit monitoring services can act as an early warning system for problems or changes that could impact your score. Getting alerts when new accounts are opened, credit checks are done, or information changes on your credit reports allows you to address errors or suspicious activity as soon as they crop up. This can limit score damage.

Hold Onto Your Oldest Credit Card Accounts 

It’s generally wise to hold onto your oldest revolving credit account because the average age of accounts factors into your score. While having newer accounts you manage well demonstrates responsibility, having long-tenured accounts on your reports emphasizing your experience managing credit over decades does lift your score over time. Letting old accounts lapse or close can lower your average account age.


  1. How long does it take to see a credit score increase?

Depending on your starting score and negative issues to resolve, it can take 6 months to a year to see a meaningful credit score increase. Stay patient, consistent, and proactive.

  1. Does being added as an authorized user guarantee a credit score boost?

No, it depends on the primary cardholder’s payment history and credit utilization. To benefit, ensure you’re added to an account with an excellent track record.

  1.  If my credit history is less than 3 years old, will these tips still work?

Yes, the proven actions around payment automation, limiting hard inquiries, and managing utilization allow those with short credit histories to build scores rapidly. The impact may be even more pronounced.


Elevating your credit score takes diligence, patience, and employing a variety of tactics simultaneously. While no shortcut to a great credit score exists, consistently putting these proven tips to work can yield significant results over time. Focus first on reducing high balances, resolving report errors, and responsibly opening or maintaining accounts.

The payoff for building healthy financial habits is well worth it – a higher credit score saves substantially on loans and credit costs over the years. Gradually implementing the tips provided here, according to your unique situation, will firmly set you on the path to credit success. 

By ensuring you never miss payment due dates through automatic transfers and effective account management habits, a credit score boost of over 250 points is achievable.