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Factors that can contribute to a higher credit score include a history of on-time payments, low balances on your credit cards, a mix of credit card and loan accounts, older credit accounts, and minimal inquiries for new credit.


As you can see, payment history has the most impact on your credit scores. That is why, for example, it’s better not to have paid-off debts, say of your student loans, expunged from your record. As long as you paid off your debts responsibly and on time, it works in your favor.


Most credit card companies allow you to request a credit-limit increase online; you’ll just need to update your annual household income first. It’s possible to be approved for a higher limit in under a minute; the credit card company may do a soft pull of your credit score first. You can also request a credit-limit increase over the phone.


The credit bureaus assume that your request for additional credit means that you are at greater risk of not paying off your current debts. So if you are trying to improve your credit score, it’s best to avoid applying for new credit of any kind.

Know Your Score

One is Experian Boost. This is a new program that tracks personal financial data, such as your banking history and utility payments, and includes them in your Experian FICO credit score. It’s free to use and designed for people with no or limited credit who have a positive history of paying their other bills on time.


If you have an account with multiple late or missed payments, for instance, get caught up on the past due amount, then work out a plan for making future payments on time. That won’t erase the late payments, but it can improve your payment history going forward.