5 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score in 2022

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These moves could raise your credit score and open up your borrowing options.

Key points

  • A higher credit score could be your ticket to more affordable borrowing.
  • Being timely with payments, managing your credit cards strategically, and being vigilant with your credit report could all result in a higher score.

Having a strong credit score isn't just a matter of pride. It could also be the factor that brings you more accessible and affordable borrowing options. If you want to buy a home, for example, a higher credit score could help you qualify for a mortgage. And if there's a great credit card offer out there, a solid score could help you snag it.

If your goal is to boost your credit score in the coming year, here are five ways to make that happen.

1. Pay all of your bills on time

Your payment history carries more weight than any other factor when calculating your credit score. Paying your bills on time could really help your score improve. Keep in mind that you'll be considered timely with your credit card payments even if you only make your minimums, but it's still a good idea to pay off your full balance every month if you can swing it.

2. Pay down existing credit card debt

Another big factor that goes into calculating your credit score is your credit utilization ratio, which measures how much of your total credit limit across all of your cards you're using at once. A ratio above 30% could hurt your score, so if you have a sizable amount of credit card debt, paying some of it off could help bring your score up.

3. Ask your credit card companies for a credit limit increase

Paying down existing debt isn't the only way to lower your credit utilization ratio. Another option is to ask your credit card issuers to increase your spending limit. And they'll be likely to do so if you're an account holder in good standing who's been making timely payments. That said, some credit card companies may want verification that your income has increased before raising your credit limit. So if your earnings haven't risen and your accounts haven't been open that long, you may have to fight for more spending power.

4. Keep long-standing credit cards open

You may be tempted to close a credit card you rarely use in the new year. If you've had that account open for a long time, don't do it -- unless, of course, you're paying an expensive annual fee. The length of your credit history is another factor taken into account when determining your credit score. Keeping older accounts open could work to your benefit.

5. Correct errors on your credit report

Credit report errors are fairly common, and if yours contains a mistake, it could end up resulting in credit score damage. That's why it pays to review your credit report thoroughly and correct errors that may be working against you. Normally, you can get one free copy of your credit report every year from each of the three major reporting bureaus -- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. But right now, credit reports are free on a weekly basis through April 2022.

A higher credit score could buy you a world of financial freedom. Make these moves to boost your credit score in the course of the new year.

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