You can always improve your credit score; it takes consistent effort, a financial plan, and patience to improve credit scores. When you buy a home or car, lease property and, in some cases, apply for a job, your credit determines your chances of attaining any of these items. If you have poor credit, chances of getting a loan is slim. If you want to know how to improve your credit score, here are some credit score tips to get a better credit score.

1. Monitor Your Credit

The first place to start to improve credit scores is to monitor your credit. Start with reviewing all three credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and Transunion) credit reports. Review your credit report for errors and resolve errors as soon as possible. Credit bureaus are required to complete their investigation on all reported errors within 30 days.
Analyze your credit including payment history, debt usage, credit age, account mix, and the number of credit inquiries. You can use websites for assistance in analyzing your credit and creating a plan to improve your credit score, or you can hire a financial debt professional to assist you. A great place to start is credit.org.

2. Lower Credit Card Balances

If you have credit cards, lower the balances on all your credit cards immediately. One of the biggest contributors to a low credit score is a high amount of revolving credit. Improve credit scores by lowering credit card balances and keep those balances low.
Only use 30% or lower of the total amount of credit on your card. Do not close your credit cards because not having enough revolving credit on your credit report cause a lower credit score as well. Bonus: Pay off credit card balances. Start with the lowest balance(s) and work your way up to the cards with higher balances.

3. Pay Your Bills on Time to Improve Credit Scores

The worst thing you can do is not pay your bills or not pay on time. To improve your credit score, pay bills in a timely manner. Not paying bills significantly damages your credit score. If you are struggling, communicate with your creditors/lenders.
Creditors can be reasonable and willing to work with you on payment options. Be realistic with your negotiations. Understand any new terms that arise.

4. Minimize Credit Inquiries

Every time you apply for a loan, the inquiry lowers your credit score. Each inquiry lasts one year on your credit report. Only apply for a loan if you are serious about the application. If you are shopping around for a house or car, be sure to research your options, and act quickly. Shorten your shopping time to improve credit score.
The credit bureaus allow for submitting multiple applications and retaining one loan in an effort to get the best rate for your specific needs. The credit bureaus ignore inquiries that occur 30 days prior to scoring and therefore, your credit score is not affected during that time period and lenders do not see the inquiries and your credit score stays the same until after the 30 day period.

5. Improve Credit Score by Keeping it Simple

If you are new to credit, your credit age will be short and the number of revolving credit accounts will be low, which is keeping your credit score low. Build your credit smartly and open one line of revolving credit (a credit card). Use this credit card for small purchases (i.e. gasoline, movies) and pay off the balance every month.
The process of building your credit from scratch can take time, but the decisions you make now will improve your credit score fast. Do not open multiple credit cards and loans at the same time because this will look too risky for lenders and lower your credit score.
When you want to improve credit scores, monitor your credit reports, make a plan of action, and stick to it. Always pay your bills on time and make every effort to pay off or lower credit card debt. Manage the loan application process to keep inquiries to a minimum. If you are a credit newbie, keep the process simple, be patient, and be smart about opening lines of credit. Improving your credit score can happen and it is so beneficial to your future.