1. Keep credit inquiries to a minimum. A credit inquiry can deduct five points from your credit score. It occurs when your credit is checked by a lender, merchant or others.
2. Limit the percentage of available credit you use to no more than 30%, even if you pay off your balance each month.
3. Evenly distribute your credit card debt on multiple cards to maintain a low ratio of debt to available credit.
4. If you can’t pay down all of your accounts, pay down your credit cards first. Not only do they usually have the highest interest rates, but credit card debt negatively affects your credit score more than other types of debt.
5. Always pay all of your bills before their due dates. Late payments, even every once in a while, will lower your score.
6. Keep your existing accounts open and active.
7. Don’t cancel multiple credit cards all at once. That can suddenly lower your available credit and increase your ratio of debt-to-available credit, hurting your credit score.