You went ahead and took an important step: you pulled your credit report.  Maybe you were pleased with the score or perhaps there was some room for improvement.  Whether you’re looking to make drastic improvements, take it to the next level, or maintain your stellar score these 8 suggestions will help you increase your lending potential in as little as six months to a year.

(1) Fix those mistakes!  

If there is any incorrect information on your credit score, such as records of outstanding loans that have been paid off, connect with departments store, credit card company, or whomever you need to get to proof of payment via a letter of appeal.  Submit this letter confirming that there has been a mistake and ensure that it has been removed from your report/score in a few months.  The good news is that you can appeal mistakes online, which makes it a faster process.

(2) Don’t exceed your credit limits

While it’s best practice to clear your credit card balance every month, this isn’t always possible.  Avoid impacting your score by keeping your outstanding balance as low as possible, and avoid exceeding your credit limits

(3) Pay your bills on time, every month

Again, you don’t need to pay off your balance every month (although this is the best practice), but ensure you make at least the minimum payment required, on time, each and every month.

(4) Keep your lending requests in check

Avoid applying for too much credit at once, too many lenders inquiring about your credit score in a short period of time can create red flags that might impact your credit scores.

(5) Pay off old debts quickly

Work on paying off your old debts, the less debt you have, the easier it will be to make payments on time, and in turn both of these factors will improve your overall score.

(6) Don’t close the card you paid off

You paid off that card, congrats!  Instead of closing it, which will reduce your available credit, consider having one or two small automatic bills go onto it, like your Netflix, that you pay off every month.

(7) On months where you put a lot on the card, make two payments

This will reduce how close you get to your credit card limit, and in turn keep any credit red flags at bay.

(8) Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint

It takes time to build credit (both good and bad), be patient and persistent and you will improve your scores!