Don't hint at risk
Sometimes one of the best ways to improve your credit score is to not do something that could sink it.
Two of the biggies are missing payments and suddenly paying less (or charging more) than you normally do, says Dave Jones, recently retired president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies.
Other changes that could scare your card issuer, but not necessarily dent your credit score, include taking out cash advances or even using your cards at businesses that could indicate current or future money stress, such as a pawnshop or a divorce attorney, he says.
"You just don't want to do anything that would indicate risk," says Jones.