Credit tune-up: A few pointers to boost your score

| August 13, 2013

Careful – limited use of credit cards is best for your credit rating.

For many owner-operators, improving credit ratings is near the top of their business radar. You’ll be glad you made the effort next time you’re looking to replace your truck.

  • Pay all bills on time.
  • Never bounce checks.
  • Use only one credit card.
  • Avoid getting new credit cards, such as when department stores offer an on-the-spot discount if you make a card application.
  • If in serious debt, quit using all cards. Pay off cards with low balances while making minimum payments on others.
  • Avoid easy-fix lending products such as payday loans or so-called checking advance products. These usually have effective annual rates that are outrageous.

 Checking your record

To stay familiar with what’s on your credit record and correct errors, check your credit report periodically. You can obtain a free copy of your credit file from all three credit reporting agencies by calling (877) 322-8228 or by going to

Also, since each agency provides a free copy every 12 months, you can stagger your requests and view one every four months. You also can reach each agency directly:

When your report has a negative incident that needs an explanation, such as circumstances beyond your control, contact that credit bureau about adding that information. Negative history is less harmful the longer it has been in a report and is dropped after seven years.

Likewise, positive information such as accounts paid on time should be added to your report if it would help develop trust with a potential lender.

  • Andrey Poltavskiy

    Disagree to have only one credit card. I have experience and because I had 4 credit card I bought in credit my first truck. Ukraine federal credit Union Bank gave me only 90000 but truck price 110000, twenty thousandth I borrow from 4 or 5 credit card. During first two years i covered all my credit cards, it was very helpful for start business in the USA . Thank you

  • MercenaryMan

    Calling Credit repair companys is a waste of time, and NEVER pay someone to repair your credit, all you have to do is write the three credit agencys, get your report, dispute in writing anything thats not correct and update all your addresses, phone numbers etc, DO NOT APPLY for a bunch of credit cards, Get a bank card, a gas card, and maybe a Dept store card and use them and pay them off, keep balances about 6 months to establish a good payment record, overtime your credit will build and get better but it doesnt happen in a year, a realistic timeframe is about three years.

    Dont fall into the trap of getting card after card and closing them etc, Use one card and its balance will rise and give you more credit again over time…and keep an eye on your credit report, you can get the free report yearly. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.