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How to improve your credit score

Posted at 6:53 AM, Jan 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 10:29:51-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — Trying to boost your credit score can seem like an intimidating task, especially since it can take seven to ten years to repair it.

"The biggest thing to remember is that time unfortunately is your friend but you have to have patience. There's just no quick fix," said Tiana Ronstadt, a financial adviser at Power Women Investing.

Ronstadt said part of a credit score is your total outstanding debt divided by your total available credit. If that number is lower than 30-percent, your credit is on the positive side. The lower the percentage, the better your credit.

But if your credit usage is higher than 30-percent, your score will be negatively effected. So tip No. 1 one to boosting your score, is paying bills on time.

"Doesn't matter if its just the minimum. Pay it on time," said Ronstadt.

Tip No. 2, do not close old credits.

"Do not cancel the card. Unused credit actually helps," said Ronstadt. Your good payment history with that card will still positively impact your score if it is open. So only open credit when you need it.

Tip No. 3, do not have a lot of inquiries.

"The one thing that folks don't realize is that inquiries stay on for two years. If you all of a sudden are at holiday time running up 10 or 20 different credit cards just trying to see, 'Oh I'm going to get 10-percent here,' those inquiries stay on your credit and that does negatively impact your score," said Ronstadt.

Ronstadt said a good credit score is a gateway to everything. Buying a big purchase like a car or home and even if you are renting an apartment or a long-term Airbnb. So how your score goes up or down, depends on how you use it.

"I have folks that say, well I don't want any credit. Well, that actually is going to negatively impact your score. High balances, that's going to impact your score negatively also. But paying on time? Yay! Positive credit score. Seems so easy but it's the truth," said Ronstadt.