How can I improve my credit score now that I have a better job?


Q. I had a tough time for several years but now I have a better job and I want to get my credit score higher. I do have some balances on credit cards and I’m working to pay them down. What else do you suggest?
— Working hard

A. Congrats on the job and wanting to improve your credit score.

It’s important to make sure you’re able to get loans and credit cards — at reasonable interest rates — in the future.

Your credit score is based on five components: 35 percent payment history, 30 percent amount owed, 15 percent length of credit history, 10 percent credit mix and 10 percent new credit.

All of these come into play if you want to improve your score.

The most important thing is to make sure to pay your bills on time, every time, even if you can’t make payments in full.

The next more important thing is the amount you owe, and you said you carry some balances.

This is important because it makes up your credit utilization ratio, which compares your debt to the amount of credit available to you. The lower, the better, in terms of your credit score.

New accounts will count against you, as would closing your oldest accounts, so you may want to hold steady with the accounts you currently have.

It will take time, but you will get there.

One last note: Make sure there are no incorrect negative marks on your credit reports. You can get free copies from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion at

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This story was originally published April 13, 2023. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.