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1. Check your score

The first step to improving your credit score is to actually find out what it is. You can get your score for free by contacting your bank or credit card issuer, or an online provider like Credit Sesame.

For reference, a good credit score is between 690 and 719, while 720 and up is considered excellent.

The higher your score, the more likely you’ll be able to secure favorable terms and interest rates on things like auto loans or mortgages.

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2. Review your credit history

Next, go over the records of all your bills and payments in your credit report.

This way you can track what you’re spending money on each month and look for areas to cut back — like perhaps a streaming subscription you no longer use. Consider creating a budget or use the cash-stuffing hack to get a handle on your spending too.

You can also keep an eye out for any outdated or incorrect information, like loans you’ve already paid off, or an unauthorized credit check, which can also lower your credit score.

If you spot anything amiss, you can go ahead and request an investigation.

3. Pay off your debts

Now that you know where you stand, it’s time to take action by lowering your debt load.

The lower your credit utilization rate (the amount of available credit you’re using), the better your chances of improving your credit score. Experts generally recommend keeping your credit utilization rate below 30%, so it’s key to avoid carrying a large balance on your card.

As for how to tackle your debt, there are a couple of cool tactics you can try, like the snowball or avalanche methods. You might even be able to negotiate with your lender to lower your interest rate or reduce the amount of debt you owe.

If you’re juggling several lines of credit, another option would be to roll them into a single lower-interest loan and consolidate your debt.

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About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis

Reporter

Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.