STEP 2 To Raise Your Credit Score

STEP 2 To Raise Your Credit Score

2. Eliminate credit card balances

"A good way to improve your credit score is to eliminate nuisance balances," says John Ulzheimer, a nationally recognized credit expert formerly of FICO and Equifax. Those are the small balances you have on a number of credit cards.

The reason this strategy can boost your score: One of the items your score considers is just how many of your cards have balances, says Ulzheimer. He says that's why charging $50 on one card and $30 on another instead of using the same card (preferably one with a good interest rate), can hurt your credit score.

The solution to improve your credit score is to gather up all those credit cards on which you have small balances and pay them off, Ulzheimer says. Then select one or two go-to cards that you can use for everything.

"That way, you're not polluting your credit report with a lot of balances," he says.

If you can't afford to pay these small balances off at once, moving them to a balance transfer credit card might help.


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