Q: I’m looking to apply for a mortgage in the near future. How can I improve my credit score? A: You’ve probably heard the routine answers of how to improve your credit score – pay your bills on time, keep your balances low, don’t apply for new credit when you already have plenty. Here are a few tips you might not be aware of: Dust off your oldest credit card. Credit history is important and the longer you have a card the better it looks to reporting agencies. What’s more, if you stop using your oldest card, issuers may stop updating them to credit bureaus. Don’t close unused credit card accounts. Canceling a card may actually lower your score. Don’t consolidate your accounts. Rather than shuffle your balances to a lower rate card, keep several small balances. Add an installment loan to your credit mix. A quick way to improve your score is to show you’re responsible with other types of loans, such as auto, personal and student loans. Rather than pay down your highest interest cards, pay down the ones closest to their max. As a rule of thumb, you should keep your balances at 30% or less of their max. If you need to shop for a personal loan, submit your applications within a two-week period. A cluster of credit inquires won’t be looked at unfavorably if they fall within a short period of time.

Source: The Buzz-Signature Title Services