44% of Americans Want to Boost Their Credit Score in 2022. Here's How

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A higher credit score could be yours if you make the right moves.

Key points

  • A higher credit score could make it easier to borrow money affordably when you need to.
  • A recent survey reveals that close to half of Americans are aiming to raise their credit scores in the new year.

Your credit score is the sort of thing you may not pay much attention to until you're ready to apply for a credit card or loan. At that point, having a strong credit score versus a lower credit score could spell the difference between, say, getting a mortgage at an affordable rate or being denied the opportunity to purchase a home.

In a recent survey by Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 44% of respondents said that boosting their credit is something they plan to focus on in 2022. If you're eager to see your credit score improve, here are some important steps worth taking.

1. Pay all of your bills on time

Your payment history carries more weight than any other factor that's used to calculate your credit score. If you make a point to pay your bills on time, that alone could work wonders for your score. In fact, a good bet is to automate as many payments as you can so you're not late due to sheer forgetfulness.

2. Pay off some credit card debt

It's not uncommon to carry a small credit card balance here and there. But using too much of your available revolving credit could damage your credit score by driving your utilization ratio upward. If you have a high credit card balance relative to your total spending limit across your various credit cards, paying a chunk of it off could help your score improve. Ideally, you don’t want to use more than 30% of your total available credit.

If you're unable to pay down some credit card debt, try asking for a credit limit increase on your existing cards. If your accounts are in good standing, your credit card issuers may agree.

3. Correct errors on your credit report

Credit report errors aren't uncommon. And if you have incorrect information on your credit report that reflects poorly on you, your score could suffer as a result.

At the start of the year, order a copy of your credit report from each of the three reporting bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Since credit reports are free on a weekly basis through April of 2022, it's not an issue to snag a copy of all three at once.

Then, review those reports carefully and be on the lookout for errors. If you spot one that may be hurting your credit, contact the bureau whose report is mistaken and find out what you need to do to get the issue resolved.

4. Keep older credit cards open – even if you don't use them

You may have a credit card you're thinking of canceling in the new year due to rarely using it. A better bet? Hang onto it if you've had that account open for quite some time. Having a lengthier credit history could help your credit score improve, so as long as you're not being charged an annual fee for a card you're not using, you might as well keep it.

A higher credit score could open the door to many affordable borrowing opportunities. Use these tips to boost your credit – and enjoy the feeling of potentially achieving one important financial goal on your list.

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