Whether you’re just getting started with building credit or rebuilding your score, following these best practices can help you improve your credit over time:
- Pay all of your bills on time and in full every month. There's no need to carry even a small balance; it's possible to build excellent credit without ever paying interest.
- Keep your credit utilization ratio low. Less than 10% is ideal.
- Avoid applying for too many new credit cards within a short period of time.
- Avoid closing credit card accounts, unless you’re not using them and they charge an annual fee.
- Check each of your credit reports regularly for inaccurate information. If you find an inaccuracy, dispute it as soon as you can.
You should also know...
- If you’re new to credit, it generally takes about six months of credit-building activity to generate a credit score.
- If you're rebuilding credit, keep in mind that it can take months of consistently practicing the above habits before you'll see a significant increase to your score. Don't be discouraged if you've been doing all the right things but haven't seen much improvement - you're on the right track!
- In addition to viewing your TransUnion VantageScore 3.0 credit score for free on NerdWallet, you're entitled to one free credit report from each credit bureau per year. You can submit a request for your credit reports here.