There are a number of ways to improve your credit score, but most will take time. Beware of anyone offering to quickly "repair" your credit, especially for an up-front fee. There is no quick, magic way to improve your credit score if it is based on accurate (but negative) information. Instead, you'll have to work over time to build a good credit history. As you do that, your score should improve.
Inspect your credit report and correct any errors
This is one step that you can - and should - take quickly. It won't affect your score to request and check your own credit report. One common error is the inclusion of debts that aren't yours on your credit report. This might be a debt of someone with the same name as yours, or a medical debt that your insurance company should've paid but didn't.
If you find errors, contact each consumer reporting agency that produced the report with the error, and tell them you want to dispute an item of information. You can also directly contact the creditor listed on the item, though the agency will contact the creditor itself in investigating the dispute. If the dispute isn't resolved in your favor, and you continue to believe there is something wrong about the way it's being reported, you have the right to include an explanatory note in your credit report accompanying the item.
Pay on time
Late payments and collections can hurt your score more than anything - except not paying at all or filing for bankruptcy.
Apply for credit only when you need it
Don't open accounts just to have a better credit mix. Applying for too much new credit is one of the easiest ways for people to accidently harm their credit score.
Keep balances low on credit cards and other revolving credit accounts
High outstanding debt can affect a score, so pay down your full balance each month or keep the balances low.
Pay off debt rather than moving it around
Don't close unused cards as a short-term strategy to raise your score. Owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your score, because you will be using a higher percentage of your available credit
Updated: August 2017