credit

7 simple ways to improve your credit score

Watch those credit card balances
Watch those credit card balances © photastic/Shutterstock.com

Watch those credit card balances

One of the major factors in your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you're actually using. The smaller that percentage is, the better it is for your credit rating.

It's best to keep your debt-to-credit ratio 30 percent or lower -- the lower the better, says Anthony Sprauve, senior consumer credit specialist at FICO.

To boost your score, "pay down your balances, and keep those balances low," says Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union.

Know that even if you pay balances in full every month, you could still have a higher utilization ratio than you'd expect. That's because some issuers use the balance on your statement as the one reported to the bureau. Even if you're paying balances in full every month, your monthly balances will factor into your credit score.

Check to see whether the credit card issuer accepts multiple payments throughout the month to keep your utilization low.

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