Your credit score is determined by many factors and it’s your financial habits that will affect the strength of your score. Your credit score can range between 300 – 850 with a higher number increasing your chances for loan approval and better interest rates. Need to raise your credit score? Below are 5 steps you can take to help raise your score over time. A big boost in your credit score won’t happen overnight, but each positive step you take will make an impact in the long run!

Make Every Payment

When you make each payment on time, you’re showing that you can borrow money wisely. When you fall behind on payments, your credit score will be negatively impacted and it will be more difficult to borrow in the future.

Keep Credit Card Use Below 10%

A credit card can be a great tool to build credit scores but they can also ruin your score if not used properly. Maxing out cards along with missing monthly payments is a quick way to lower your score. When you spend less than your credit card limit allows, your score will thank you.

Lower Your Total Debt Owed

Mortgages, student loans, and credit card debt can be daunting to tackle. Any extra amount that you can pay toward your debt will help as you work toward raising your score. As you lower your debt, you will not only be one step closer to financial freedom but you will also raise your score.

Leave Old Credit Cards Open

Your score is also affected by the length of your credit history. Once you master making every payment, maintaining lower card use, and minimizing debt, you will want to consider keeping your old credit cards open. By leaving old cards open, you will extend the life of your credit history, thus benefiting your score. Note: If you don’t use your old credit cards, they may be closed due to inactivity. This is a way that financial institutions can help prevent account fraud! Use your card once a month for gas or groceries and pay it off before the end of the month to keep your card active and avoid paying interest.

Apply for a Credit Builder Loan

Community West offers a loan to help you raise your credit score! Upon application approval, we grant you a $500 Credit Builder Loan, which is deposited into a CD (certificate of deposit) for one year. This type of savings account offers fixed interest rates, letting interest accrue over the course of 12 months. After one year of steady payments, you’ll be entitled to the $500, as well as any interest earned by the maturity date. Learn more and start building your credit with Community West!

Want to talk more about how you can improve your credit score? Talk to one of our representatives today! Call (616) 261-5657, chat online at, or stop by your local branch.

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