Learn how to raise your credit score using these important tips and strategies. Know what credit rating agencies are, how they work, and what matters most when it comes to your credit score.
Frequently Asked Questions
  • Is it possible to check your credit score without affecting it?

    Yes, it is often possible to check and monitor your credit score without having to pull a full credit report. Many credit card issuers now offer free credit scores and even put cardmembers’ credit score on their billing statement each month.

  • Can someone get credit after declaring bankruptcy?

    It is often possible to get additional credit after declaring bankruptcy but it depends on the lender and their credit underwriting policies.  Any credit that is made available will typically be considered subprime, however, and likely carry much higher interest rates due to the enhanced risk to the lender for someone who has defaulted on previous credit obligations.

  • Do you have to pay to see your credit score?

    There are options available to see one’s credit score without paying. Many major banks and credit card issuers such as American Express, Barclays, Bank of America and Chase make credit scores available for free to their account holders and even print the current score on their billing statements each month.

  • What is on my credit report?

    Credit reports contain credit-related information between the borrower and various lenders such as the lender name, account number, age of the account, late and on-time payment status, credit amount and current balance information.

  • When should you begin trying to build your credit?

    Establishing credit and building a positive credit history should begin as soon as the teen years and can take the form of a young person being added to a parent’s credit card account as an authorized user. Then, once a child turns 18 they can be eligible to get credit in their own name, though this still may require a parent or adult over 21 to serve as a co-signer unless the young person can show sufficient income to service the account.

  • What do different credit score ranges mean?

    Lenders consider credit score ranges when assigning credit limits and interest rates on a risk related basis. The highest FICO credit score range, which lenders designate as excellent credit, typically runs between 740 and 850 and the lowest range for bad credit is usually below 600. Credit score ranges for fair and good credit can be between those extremes at levels set by individual lenders.

Key Terms

Explore Building Credit

credit repair companies can help you fix your credit
Is Credit Repair Illegal?
Couple enjoying time together in rental apartment
What Is FICO 9?
Financial papers, one labeled "Credit History," with a calculator, ballpoint pen, and reading glasses.
FICO Credit Scores 101: Everything You Need to Know
Credit score meter aimed at 724
What Are FICO 10 and FICO 10T?
FICO logo
FICO Resilience Index: What Is It, and How Does It Work?
Credit Report: Your Financial History as Prepared by a Credit Bureau
FICO vs. Experian vs. Equifax: What's the Difference?
Do More With a Good Credit Score
Credit Karma vs Experian: What's the Difference?
woman making notes with a pen on a paper on a clipboard
Pen on a bar chart
How Do Balance Transfers Affect My Credit Score?
What is the highest achievable FICO score?
Credit Card Payment, Shopping, Shopping Online
Credit Score Ranges: What Do They Mean?
An envelope with a credit report
FICO 5 vs. FICO 8: What Are the Differences?
Man in suit, seated on black leather couch, works on a laptop.
Getting Your Credit Score from a Bank
What affects your credit score
Businesswoman Filling out Contract
How Long Does an Item Appear on My Credit Report?
Personal Finance
Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
A graph of FICO scores that range from 688 to 704 between October 2005 and April 2018.
FICO Score
Businesswoman with a good credit score talks with a customer in a warehouse
Credit Score
Credit Cards
Pay Student Loans With a Credit Card and Get Rewards
A student using a credit card home in front her computer.
Best Credit Cards For International Students
A Man Holding a Magnifying Glass Over Paper
What Is a Soft Credit Check?
Two hands hold a tablet revealing a credit score of 810 Excellent.
Can You Hit the Highest Credit Score?
Credit Report Form on a Desk With Other Paperwork
6 Ways to Build Credit Without a Credit Card
Credit Report Form on a Desk With Other Paperwork
Free Credit Score: How Free Is It Really?
Woman holding credit card, sitting with laptop in her lap
Is it Worth Paying to Check Your Credit Score?
Businessman show analyzing report, business performance concept
Beacon (Pinnacle) Score
Understanding Credit Reports vs. Investigative Consumer Reports
An application with an approval stamp on it.
The Top 3 Credit Bureaus
Read This Before You Consolidate Your Student Loans
Why Get a Gas Credit Card?
4 Tips to Build Your Credit Score
Credit Cards: Should You Ever Pay an Annual Fee?
Can You Have Too Many Credit Cards?
Man sitting on couch applying for a credit card on his laptop.
FICO vs. FAKO: Limitations of Free Credit Scores
Subprime Definition
Negative Information
Good Credit
Can I Improve Credit Score With Utility Bill?
Professor explaining the triggers of a credit event to business students.
Credit Event Definition
Woman looking at credit report
Is Pay for Delete Worth It?
What Is TikTok?
Couple getting financial advice
Super-Prime Credit
Credit Report
How Long Does Negative Information Stay on Your Credit Report?
woman looking at credit report
Can You Get Charge-Offs Erased From Your Credit Reports?
What Is Saudi Aramco?
Does a Lost or Stolen Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?
Common Things That Improve or Lower Credit Scores
Student loan computer keyboard
Will Getting a Student Loan Deferral Hurt My Credit Score?
How Not Paying Cable Bills Could Hurt Your Credit Score
Credit score online report document on smartphone, flat cartoon digital good history ranking loan record on mobile phone display, cellphone report isolated clipart
How Bad Is My Credit Score?
Laptop showing a credit score of 751
Know your credit score; review your credit report regularly.
Credit Review Definition
Man Using Credit Card Reader
What Is Impaired Credit?
Is your salary on your credit report?
Is Your Credit Score Affected by the Number of Cards You Have?
Credit Muling Definition
6 Benefits of Increasing Your Credit Limit
Voluntary Bankruptcy
Precision Score Definition

Credit & Debt