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 Also, provides free access to your TransUnion credit report and credit score each month.