There are no quick fixes for improving your credit score. But you can raise your score over time by demonstrating that you consistently manage your finances responsibly. Any of the following tips can help you to improve your credit score:
1. Pay your bills on time. This is the best way to improve your score, and it's never too late to start. Even if you've had serious delinquencies in the past, those will count less over time if you keep paying your bills on time.
2. Keep credit card balances low. High outstanding debt can pull down your score. Don't go maxing out your credit cards all the time.
3. Check your credit report for accuracy. It's possible that there may be inaccurate information on your credit report that can be easily cleared up (see How To Fix Credit Report Inaccuracies). If this proves to be the case, then you should contact one of the three credit reporting agencies-TransUnion, Experian or Equifax.
4. Pay off debt rather than moving it around. Consolidating your credit card debt onto one card or spreading it over multiple cards will not improve your score in the long run. The most effective way to improve your score is by simply paying down the amount you owe.
5. Keep your credit cards - but manage them responsibly. In general, having credit cards and installment loans that you pay on time will raise your score. Someone who has no credit cards tends to have a lower score than someone who has managed credit cards responsibly.
6. Don't open multiple accounts too quickly, especially if you have a short credit history. Opening too many accounts in too short of a time period can look risky because you are taking on a lot of possible debt. New accounts will also lower the average age of your existing accounts, something that your FICO score also considers.
7. Don't open new credit card accounts you don't need. This approach could backfire and actually lower your score.
8. Don't close an account to remove it from your record. It's a myth that closing an account removes it from your credit report. This is untrue-even closed accounts remain on your report, possibly for an indefinite period of time and may still be factored into the score. In fact, closing accounts can sometimes hurt your score unless you also pay down your debt at the same time.
9. Shop for a loan within a short, focused period of time. FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, based in part on the length of time over which recent requests for credit occur. If you shop for a number of loans over too long a time period, it can count against you.
The Butler Team
Tina & Mike Butler
(Article taken from Yahoo! Real Estate - How To Guide: Buying & Selling)