A good credit score has many benefits. It makes it easier to get good financing rates for large purchases such as a home or car. It can also help you get approved for new credit applications. Conversely, if you have bad credit, it can act as a roadblock to these approvals. Here are four ways you can improve your credit score to achieve your financial goals.

1. Get Your Credit Report

The first and easiest way to improve your credit is to look at your credit report and make sure any errors you see get corrected. There are many reasons why your report may show inaccurate information. For example, if you paid off an account but the bank didn’t report it, you may still have a reported debt that you have already paid bringing your score down. By contesting the false information on your report, you can clean it up and improve your credit rating.

2. Take Out a Loan

It may sound counter-intuitive to get more in debt in order to show you manage your money responsibly, but paying off a loan is a clear indication that you have good habits. Even if your credit score isn’t as high as you want it to be, you can apply for bad credit long term installment loans online to establish a solid payment history. As long as you are making payments on time every month, you should see your credit score go up over time.

3. Lower Your Credit Utilization Ratio

Just because you have available credit, that doesn’t mean you have to use it. In fact, the less of your available credit you use, the lower your credit utilization ratio will be. Up to 30% of your credit score can be determined by how much of your available credit you are using. As a general rule, you should strive to use less than 30% of each account’s revolving credit limit.

4. Don’t Apply for Too Many Cards at Once

Opening a credit card account is the way many people start building their credit. If you apply for three or four at a time, however, that signals trouble. Each application results in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which can lower your score. If you want multiple cards, try to wait at least six months between applications.

Raising your credit score doesn’t have to be a long, arduous process. By committing to a few simple tactics, you can improve your credit rating.