9 ways to improve your credit score today

A great credit score is the key to getting the financing you need. Whether it’s a car loan or a mortgage — the higher your score, the more likely it is that you will qualify for favorable terms on your next loan.

But not everyone has a high credit score. If your credit score is considered “average” or “poor” — anything lower than 650 — you’ll want to take immediate steps to make it “good” or “excellent,” which is typically considered a score of 700 or above. Here are some ways you can improve your credit score today.

1. Keep Credit Card Balances Low

FICO scores, the most popular credit scoring method used by lenders, weighs 30 percent of your credit score on existing amounts owed on credit accounts. A 10 percent credit utilization is ideal when improving your credit score. To find your credit utilization ratio, add up what you owe and divide it by your total available credit.

“Financial companies love profitable customers who run up their credit card balances, right? One might think,” said Randy Padawer, who has consulted with Lexington Law regarding consumer behavior and credit reporting. “But interestingly, that same industry penalizes consumer credit scores as a direct result. To ensure a good credit score, never max out your credit cards. For an even better score, keep balances as low as possible.”

2. Avoid Impulsive Retail Decisions

Impulsiveness has its place in areas outside credit repair. When targeting a good credit score, however, making hasty decisions often ends in credit complications down the line.

Padawer warned shoppers of retail credit card solicitations at the checkout counter that promise a discount on purchases.

“Big box stores might offer small price reductions with credit approvals, but resist the fool’s bargain,” Padawer said. “Too many cards may paint you as someone who depends upon borrowed money just to get by, and that’s why credit scores almost always suffer in turn.”

3. Look for Errors on Your Report

With prospective landlords, employers, lenders and other creditors scrutinizing your credit, it’s on your shoulders to do your due diligence in spotting errors on your annual credit report.

If you find a discrepancy, report the issue to credit reporting companies as soon as possible. According to the Federal Trade Commission, companies typically must investigate disputes within 30 days of receiving a correction request.

4. Make Timely Payments

Poor payment habits can be the biggest detriment to improving your credit. Thirty-five percent of your FICO score is determined by your payment history. A track record of late payments or missed payments will result in a downgrade of your score.

Stay on top of payment due dates, and for added safety, make sure to schedule payments with enough time to clear before your creditor’s deadline.

5. Know All of Your Credit Scores

The FICO score isn’t the only credit score creditors can base their decisions on; in fact, the three credit reporting bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — pulled together to create their own credit scoring model, called the VantageScore.

While FICO is used by more creditors to determine creditworthiness, being aware of your VantageScore and working to improve it can help you look your best should a creditor decide to use this algorithm instead of your FICO score. It can also be used as an educational tool to see where your strengths and weaknesses are.

6. Avoid Going on an Application Spree

In the same vein as Padawer’s warning that applying for retail credit cards could make credit bureaus question your sudden need for a bigger credit line, too many credit inquiries as a result of multiple credit card applications looks suspicious and can reduce your credit score.

New credit impacts your FICO score by 10 percent, which can be all that’s needed to kick your credit score one level up.

7. Use Credit to Get Good Credit

If you have bad credit and are in the process of rebuilding it, applying for a secured credit card can be a safe way to go about improving your credit score.

Secured credit cards are lines of credit that are secured with a deposit made by the cardholder. Usually, the deposit is a low amount and also acts as the limit on the secured card. Develop responsible usage and repayment habits, and you could see your credit score start to rise after a few months of steady use.

8. Diversify Your Credit Types

Installment lines of credit, such as a car loan, student loan or mortgage, contribute to your calculated score. But a good credit score has a mix of both installment credit and revolving credit, like a credit card or home equity. This balance of credit types accounts for 10 percent of your FICO score, which is significant enough to not be neglected.

9. Enlist the Help of a Professional

“Credit report repair professionals can help you challenge questionable items with your creditors and with the credit bureaus,” said John Heath, directing attorney of LexingtonLaw.

Seek the assistance of a credit repair service if you sense that you’ll need to dig deeper into negotiations to improve your score.

As you go through the process of raising your credit score, keep in mind that improving those three digits takes time. But by resolving to earn a good score, you’ll do your credit a great service.

From GoBankingRates.com: 9 ways to improve your credit score today

Business Videos
Impact of parking fees on visiting the Las Vegas Strip
There are no data showing a relationship between Strip resort and parking fees and the number of out-of-state visitors to Las Vegas. But there are data showing a relationship between Strip parking fees and the number of local visitors to the the Strip. ‘’As a local, I find myself picking hotels I visit for dinner or entertainment, based on whether they charge for parking or not,”’ said David Perisset, the owner of Exotics Racing. ‘’It is not a matter of money, more of principle.’’ A 2018 survey by the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance found 36.9 percent of Clark County residents reported avoiding parking at Strip casinos that charge for parking. 29.1 percent reported avoiding using any services from a Strip casino that charges for parking.
MGM's sports betting deals
MGM Resorts International signed a sports betting sponsorship agreement with the NBA in July It was the first professional sports league to have official ties with a legal sports betting house. The deal came just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a law prohibiting sports betting in most states. In October, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the NHL. In November, MGM became the first gaming company to sign a sports betting partnership with the MLB. Financial terms of Tuesday’s deal and earlier partnerships have not been announced.
Faraday puts Las Vegas land on the market
Nearly two years after Faraday Future bailed on its North Las Vegas auto factory, the company has put its land up for sale. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
El Cortez owner Kenny Epstein on running the iconic property
Kenny Epstein, owner of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Las Vegas, talks about Jackie Gaughan mentorship and answers rumors about bodies in the basement at the mob-era casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
LVCVA recommends construction of underground people mover
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced the recommendation for an underground people mover for the convention center. The system would have the potential to expand and connect Downtown and the resort corridor all the way to McCarran. (Michael Quine/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA/Boring Company Press Conference
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority announced a collaboration with Elon Musk's The Boring Company to develop and operate an autonomous people mover system for the Las Vegas Convention Center District.
International Pizza Expo includes green and gluten free
The International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center included companies focused on vegan and gluten free, and plant-based pizza boxes. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
International Pizza Expo kicks off in Las Vegas
The first day of the International Pizza Expo at Las Vegas Convention Center is everything Pizza. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
T-Mobile program aids guests with sensory needs
A program at T-Mobile Arena is designed to provide a more sensory friendly experience for guests.
Photo Booth Expo
Danielle May talks about how Simple Booth transformed her Volkswagen bus into a business.
Nevada Gaming Commission's highest fines
The highest fines assessed by the Nevada Gaming Commission, according to commission Chairman Tony Alamo: 1) Wynn Resorts Ltd., $20 million, 2019 2) CG Technology (then known as Cantor G&W Holdings), $5.5 million, 2014 3) The Mirage, $5 million ($3 million fine, $2 million compensatory payment), 2003 4) Stardust, $3 million, 1985 5) Santa Fe Station, $2.2 million ($1.5 million fine, $700,000 compensatory payment), 2005 6) Las Vegas Sands, $2 million, 2016 7) CG Technology, $1.75 million, 2018 8) CG Technology, $1.5 million (also $25,000 in escrow for underpaid patrons), 2016 9) Caesars Entertainment, $1.5 million, 2015 10) Imperial Palace, $1.5 million, 1989 11) Peppermill Casinos, $1 million, 2014
Tiny Pipe Home vs Shipping Crate
A Tiny pipe home was displayed at the International Builders Show this week in Las Vegas.
Auto repair shortage affects Las Vegas
The auto repair industry is facing a national shortage of workers.
Franchising industry booming
Experts say Las Vegas is a hotbed for the franchise industry.
Africa Love owner talks about his store in Las Vegas
Mara Diakhate, owner of Africa Love, gift and decor store, talks about his store in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Developer gets approval to build homes at Bonnie Springs
The Clark County Planning Commission has approved a plan to build 20 homes on the site of Bonnie Springs Ranch. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dig This opens new location In Las Vegas
Remember when you were a kid and played with construction toys in the sand box? Dig This Las Vegas has the same idea, except instead of toy bulldozers, you get to play with the real thing. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Town Square developer Jim Stuart building again in Las Vegas
Las Vegas’ real estate bubble took developers on a wild ride, something Jim Stuart knows all too well. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Salon opens at Veterans Village
T.H.E. Salon, owned by Nicole Christie, celebrated their opening at the Veterans Village with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Southwest Airlines considering Las Vegas-Hawaii flights
Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly says the airline is "very focused" on Hawaii. Hawaiians have a strong presence in Las Vegas.The city’s unofficial status is “Hawaii’s ninth island.” In 2018, at least 2,958 people from Hawaii moved to Nevada. Of those, 88.7 percent moved into Clark County, according to driver license surrender data. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 310,249 people came to Las Vegas from Hawaii in 2018.
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day
Fewer Nevadans are celebrating Valentine's Day. About 1.2 million Nevadans are expected to celebrate this year, a 5 percent drop from 2018. A growing number of people consider Valentine’s Day over-commercialized. Others weren’t interested in the holiday or had nobody to celebrate with. But spending is expected to rise. Those who do celebrate are buying for more people. The average American is expected to spend about $162 this year for Valentine’s Day, a 57 percent jump from a decade prior. Katherine Cullen, director of industry and consumer insights at NRF
Foreclosures of mansions in Las Vegas
Las Vegas was ground zero for America's foreclosure crisis after the housing bubble burst. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Rick Helfenbein talks about the impact of tariffs on the clothing industry
MAGIC fashion convention showcases men's clothing trends
The MAGIC fashion convention has come to Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center to showcase some of the hottest clothing trends for men. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Allegiant Air flight attendants learn how to handle a water landing
Field instructor Ashleigh Markel talks about training prospective flight attendants for Allegiant Air getting live training with a raft for a water landing at the Heritage Park Aquatic Complex in Henderson on Monday. (John Hornberg/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery speaks about the new Smith & Wollensky restaurant coming to the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
Smith & Wollensky CEO Michael Feighery talks about Las Vegas return
Michael Feighery, CEO of Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group, discusses the restaurant's upcoming return to the Las Vegas Strip.
Apartments to Come to Hughes Center
Developer Eric Cohen discusses his current building project at the Hughes Center office park in Las Vegas, Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019. Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stratosphere to rebrand to The STRAT
The Stratosphere, a 1,150-foot-tall property in Las Vegas will be renamed The STRAT Hotel, Casino and Skypod.
TOP NEWS
Home Front Page Footer Listing