Top Tips to Put You on Track to a Better Credit Score

January 30th, 2023

Unless you’re a Nepo baby, have generational wealth, you’ve been saving since birth, or you plan on avoiding adulthood for life, you may find yourself in need of a credit card, a loan, or a mortgage in the future. And, if that is the case, your credit score will matter. 

That’s because, as part of responsibly doing business, banks, lenders, insurers, utilities providers, brokers etc. must ensure their customers can effectively manage their finances OR comfortably handle debt. They assess this ‘creditworthiness’ by looking at your credit score to see how reliable you were when paying money back in the past.

Your credit score is graded between zero and 1,000 or zero and 1,200, depending on the reporting agency that is used i.e., Equifax or Experian. The higher the score, the more ‘creditworthy’ you are – anything around 700 is considered good by most credit bureaus 1.

Particularly in the current economic environment, hiccups happen and, unfortunately, they can affect your credit standing, holding you back from reaching that ideal score you need to help you stay afloat.  

We’ve pulled together some  Top Tips to Put You on Track to a Better Credit Score. Read on!

Pay bills on time 

Not only is paying your bills on time generally a good life habit that can spare you dreaded debt collector calls and save you on late fees, it’s also a surefire way to keep missed payment marks off your credit file. 

When you’re regularly late, it suggests that you could be under financial strain and unable to repay your debts. So, the further you fall behind, the harsher the impact on your credit score2.

If you have a habit of forgetting deadlines, consider making a budget tracker with your accounts payables, set up auto-payments and direct debits, and let modern banking do its thing! Or, if you’re old school or suspicious toward technology, pen all your upcoming bills in your wall calendar or sticky tape them to your fridge. 

Do whatever you need to do – just try not to  miss the due date if you can help it!

Make frequent payments 

Frequent payments demonstrate consistency, reliability and responsible spending behaviour. 

Whether you’re paying smaller amounts more often, or larger sums each month, consistency is key. Both will contribute to reducing debts or loans quicker, getting you on your way to a stronger credit score. 

Staggering payments also ensures you’ve already paid something by the due date. It keeps your balance in check and improves your credit utilisation, which significantly impacts your credit score.

And remember, carrying a credit card balance actually weakens your credit score, and the lender may consider you a riskier borrower, which can equate to  higher interest rates too. 

Fix credit report mistakes 

Mistakes happen!

Make sure you have a good look through your credit report and correct any errors. 

Look out for:

  • Misspelt name 
  • Wrong loan names 
  • Unrecognised changes when you have paid a default. Any payments or settlements should reflect on your credit report.
  • Expired listings – see if the listings are still valid. 
  • Misleading information that does not reflect your ability to have or pay for credit.  

If you find any discrepancies, make sure to contact your credit reporter to straighten up the mistake. 

Keep a low utilisation ratio

Credit utilisation ratio is a big contributor to your credit score. It is the percentage of your credit limit that you spend each month. 

Most people with good credit scores keep their credit limits as low as 7% but up to 30%3 is generally still considered healthy. This figure is very important, as it is one of the most important factors that determines your score4

Often, when nearing 30% of their credit card limit, people choose to make a payment or use a different card. If you constantly find it hard to be under that threshold, consider setting up an alert for when your balance reaches that specific amount.

Reduce the number of credit cards 

If you are dealing with debt or overspending, consider if signing up for another credit card is really the best decision for you.  

If there is no way around it though, remember that applying for multiple credit cards at once could make it seem like you are in a desperate financial situation and actually impact your chances of approval, as well as affect your credit score.

Consider help to get you back on track

Debt consolidation is sometimes used to help people get back on track and involves taking out one loan to pay off others. Albeit temporarily, it could actually lower your score. This is because: 

  • you are opening another account, which can negatively impact the length of your credit history; 
  • your credit utilisation will increase; and
  • in order to use debt consolidation, you will require another credit enquiry on your file5.

Provided you don’t take on further debt, your credit score should eventually increase again, as you pay off your balance.

Further to this, if you are having a hard time managing your repayments or bills, you can ask your credit provider for financial hardship assistance. 

There are also many free, independent and confidential services that offer help with developing a budget and negotiating with your creditors, among other things.6

It’s important to know where your credit score sits and your perceived creditworthiness. However, having a weak credit score doesn’t have to be a fate set in stone.


Realistically, your credit score will not change overnight, but putting small changes in place, like the Top Tips listed above, could put you on the path to a better credit score and greater financial control.