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Improving Your Credit Score

Tips for taking your credit from good to great

Improving your credit score takes perseverance, but it can pay off.

Trying to raise your credit score?

A higher score (especially above 760) may give you more options — and better rates — if you ever need a car loan, mortgage, or home equity line of credit. Here are some key points to consider that may help to continue to improve your credit score:

  • Keep track of your progress. As you make changes, it will take time for your score to adjust. Scores update on a monthly basis, so be sure to track them regularly.
  • Always pay bills on time. It may seem obvious, but a history of consistent on-time payments is one of the biggest factors in building a good score. Thirty-five percent  of your credit score is based on your payment history, so be sure to always make at least your minimum payment, and more it possible, on or before your due date every month.
  • Keep balances low. How much credit you have available is another important scoring factor, making up 30% of your credit score. To maximize your score, you will want to keep balances as far below your credit limit as possible. 
  • Avoid using your full credit limit on any of your credit cards. If you are over or close to your limit, you will need to work at paying down your balances. Keeping balances below 30% of your total available credit may improve your credit score.
  • Keep unused accounts open. The length of your credit history accounts for 15% of your score, so closing old accounts may negatively affect your score. Open accounts with no balances mean you have more available credit, so it can help your score by keeping them open and using them sparingly.
  • Be careful about opening new accounts. Recent credit activity makes up 10% of your score. Too many credit inquiries in a short period of time may hurt your credit score. If you need a new credit account and can comfortably manage the additional payments, great. But avoid anything that might strain your budget.
  • Diversify your debt. Ten percent of your credit score is determined by your “credit mix”. Creditors like to see a pattern of handling credit responsibly over time on a variety of account types, including installment loans and revolving credit (like credit cards and and lines of credit).

 Tip 

Applying for credit may impact your score. If you’re a Wells Fargo Online® customer, checking your own score through the Wells Fargo Credit Score is free and won’t hurt your credit.


760+, Excellent

You generally qualify for the best rates, depending on debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and collateral value.

700-759, Good

You typically qualify for credit, depending on DTI and collateral value, but may not get the best rates.

621-699, Fair

You may have more difficulty obtaining credit, and will likely pay higher rates for it.

620 & below, Poor

You may have difficulty obtaining unsecured credit.

No credit score

You may not have built up enough credit to calculate a score, or your credit has been inactive for some time.