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Easy Ways to Boost Credit Scores

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To boost your credit score…

• Keep the percentage of revolving credit you use—such as credit cards—to 30% or less, and ­ideally no more than 10%, of the total revolving credit you have.

• Leave favorable old accounts on your credit report—that means debt you have paid off as agreed, such as a car loan or even a credit card you’ve had for a long time.

• When shopping for home, auto or student loans, make all your applications within a short time period—ideally within 14 days. Each credit application causes your score to decline slightly, but multiple applications in a short period of time are treated as a single inquiry, so it is OK to shop around.

Always pay bills on time, and aim to pay down your debts over time.

Helpful: You are allowed one free report a year from each credit bureau—Equifax, Experian and ­TransUnion—and you can request those free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com. Also, myBankrate.com provides free access to your TransUnion credit report and credit score each month.

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Source: Greg McBride, CFA, senior vice president and chief ­financial analyst, Bankrate.com. Date: March 15, 2016 Publication: Bottom Line Personal
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