10 Strategies to Improve Your Credit

Enrique V Urdaneta


The dream of owning a home doesn't start when you find the perfect property but much earlier, in planning and financial preparation. One factor that can hinder this dream is a low credit score. But don't despair; here are ten strategies to improve your credit before buying a property.

1. Know Your Credit Score

The first strategy to improve your credit is to understand your current situation. It's essential to know your credit score and the factors affecting it. You can obtain your free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. These reports provide a detailed view of your credit history and allow you to identify areas for improvement.

Additionally, knowing your credit score helps you understand what types of loans and interest rates you might qualify for, allowing you to plan and prepare better for your property purchase.

2. Balance Your Accounts

Maintaining a good balance on your credit cards is one of the best ways to improve your credit score. If you have multiple credit cards, try to keep a low balance on all of them. Experts recommend using no more than 30% of the available credit on each card.

If you have debts on different cards, consider a debt payment strategy such as "debt consolidation" or the "snowball method." These strategies help you reduce balances and improve your credit score.

3. Pay Your Bills on Time

Paying your bills on time is crucial for maintaining a good credit score. Late payments can negatively impact your credit, especially if they become a trend. Always try to make your payments on time, even if you can only make the minimum payment.

If you have trouble remembering due dates, consider setting up automatic payments or reminders on your phone. This way, you'll avoid late payments and keep your credit in good shape.

4. Don’t Close Old Credit Cards

You might think closing old credit cards you no longer use is a good idea, but it could harm your credit score. Closing a credit account can reduce your available credit, increasing your credit utilization ratio.

Instead of closing old credit cards, keep them open and use them for small purchases occasionally to keep them active. Always remember to pay the full balance each month.

5. Limit New Credit Applications

Every time you apply for new credit, a credit inquiry is made, which can slightly negatively impact your credit score. Therefore, limit new credit applications, especially if you plan to buy a property soon.

Having many new lines of credit can make lenders see you as a higher risk, as it might appear that you rely too much on credit. Apply for credit only when you really need it and are sure you can manage the payments.

6. Open New Accounts Prudently

While it may seem contradictory to the previous point, opening a new credit account can sometimes help improve your credit score. It can increase your total credit limit and decrease your credit utilization ratio.

However, do this prudently. Opening too many credit accounts in a short period can be detrimental to your credit score. Remember to maintain low balances and make timely payments on all your credit accounts.

7. Avoid Large Purchases

It can be tempting to make large purchases before buying a home, especially if you plan to buy new furniture or appliances. However, these large purchases can increase your credit utilization ratio and reduce your credit score.

Instead of making large purchases with your credit cards, consider saving money and paying in cash, or wait until after you've secured your mortgage. This way, you'll avoid adding additional debt and keep your credit in good standing.

8. Plan Ahead

Improving your credit score is not an overnight process. It takes time and requires careful planning. Start working on improving your credit at least a year before you plan to buy a property. This way, you'll have enough time to take action and see an improvement in your credit score.

Additionally, continue monitoring your credit after taking steps to improve it. This allows you to see your progress and adjust your strategy as needed.

9. Keep Your Balances Low

One of the most significant factors affecting your credit score is your credit utilization ratio, or how much of your available credit you're using. Credit experts recommend keeping this ratio below 30%. This means if your total credit limit is $10,000, try to maintain a total balance of no more than $3,000.

Keeping your balances low requires good money management and financial discipline. Avoid impulsive purchases and use your credit cards only for necessary expenses. Also, try to pay more than the minimum required on your credit cards each month to reduce your balances more quickly.

10. Dispute Any Errors on Your Credit Report

You may find errors or incorrect information when reviewing your credit report. These errors can hurt your credit score, so it's essential to dispute them as soon as you discover them.

To dispute an error on your credit report, you must contact the credit bureau and provide evidence that the information is incorrect. This process can take some time, so it's important to start it as soon as possible.


Buying a property is one of the most significant investments you can make, and a good credit score is key to securing good financing. By following these ten strategies, you'll be on your way to improving your credit and achieving your dream of homeownership.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get my credit report?
You can request a free credit report once a year from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

How does a late payment affect my credit score?
A late payment can negatively affect your credit score, and late payments can appear on your credit report after being 15 days overdue.

Should I close my old credit cards?
No, closing old credit cards can negatively affect your credit score.

How does credit card usage affect my credit score?
Experts recommend using no more than 30% of the available credit on your credit card to maintain a good credit score.

How can I quickly improve my credit score?
Balance your accounts, pay your bills on time, limit new credit applications, and dispute any errors on your credit report. Remember, improving your credit score is a process that can take time, so plan ahead.


Enrique Vicente Urdaneta

Real Estate Advisor | eXp Realty | EVU Luxury Homes


[email protected]




Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is intended to provide a general understanding of the topic. However, please note that I am a real estate agent, not a lawyer, accountant, tax, or financial advisor. This content should not be taken as legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. The laws and regulations related to this topic can be complex and may change or expand in the future. Therefore, it is crucial to consult with a qualified professional, such as a specialized financial or tax advisor, before making any decision based on this information. As a real estate agent, I can provide various options and professional guidance related to the real estate aspects of your investment strategy, and for matters related to tax implications, legal issues, and financial planning, please consult with the appropriate professionals, which whom I have allies I can refer.

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