Editorial Policy

How Can You Increase Your Credit Rating Or Credit Score?

default author image

By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 22, 2009

The best way to increase your credit score is to consistently make your payments on time. This factor affects your credit score more than anything else and it is one of the most important criteria that lenders use in determining whether or not to offer you credit. Lowering your debt load by paying down your loans will also help increase your score.

If you have missed some payments in the past, the effect of this will fade over time as long as you start to consistently make all payments on time. However, your credit report covers the last seven years of your credit history, so it takes a long time before the record of missed payments completely leaves your credit report. In short, it is critical to do everything you can to never miss a loan or credit card payment. Bankruptcy declarations are reflected in your credit report for a full ten years.

If you have bad credit, don’t be lured by “quick-fix” systems that claim to be able to repair your credit rating overnight. None of these companies can do anything that you cannot do yourself. Even worse, they may be scams that lure you in and make you do something that is not truly in your interest.

Instead, talk with your lenders and negotiate better terms – most lenders are eager to work with you to ensure that you don’t default on a loan.