Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio

Paying down outstanding credit card debt is a strong, active measure that may help improve your credit score. In total, your credit utilization ratio (how much of your available credit you’re using) typically makes up about one-third of your credit score. 

New Credit Cards Might Help

New credit cards have one major benefit: They can lower credit utilization by adding unused credit. But even if that new credit remains unused, new credit cards carry three potential problems. First, they shorten the average age of your credit history, which factors into your credit score (longer is generally better). And second, too much new open credit can impact your score. Finally, if you use all of the new credit line, your utilization will increase.

Bottom line? If you need another card (for a lower interest rate, for example, or for a second line of credit), you should get one that meets your needs. But never seek new credit just for the sake of a better score.

Pay Off Old Debts

Paying off delinquent debts may help improve your credit score. An account marked “paid in full” may appear better than a delinquent account still in “collections.” Note that a settled account, while allowing you to get out of a debt for less than what you owe, may still appear on your credit report.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.