To improve your credit score can often seem like a daunting task. The scoring model seems to factor in all sorts of variables and makes it seem as if you have no direct control. However you do, by taking a few easy steps you can raise it.
1. Dispute and remove negative items on your report. You can do this yourself or hire a service but this is frequently the source of a low number.
2. Pay off any verified items on your history. In exchange for your payment have the lender remove the mark.
3. Pay your bills on time. It is estimated that missing a payment can cause up to 50 points of damage.
4. Open a new revolving line of credit such as an unsecured card. Your will receive the most benefit if you can keep your monthly balance below 25% of your available limit.
By making your on time monthly payments you will create a positive payment history. However if you can not qualify for an unsecured card then open a secured card, just make sure it reports to all 3 bureaus.
5. Pay down your large debts. This will help your ratio of available credit to debt. The bureaus want to see that you are not in over your head and this is the best way to show that.
These are the five factors you should focus your efforts on. There is however one last factor that is surrounded by controversy.
6. Piggyback, this is where you become an authorized user on a high limit card. The benefit is this account is now also reported as yours. It will create a positive payment history and show available funds.
This tactic has been widely abused and the scoring model has adjusted its formula to discount authorized users. However there is a debate over if this change has occurred yet or not.
In sum, focus your efforts on steps one through five and you are on your way to a high score.