1. Ensure minimum monthly payments are made. Also make sure that you continue to use your credit card or line of credit – even if this means simply paying for your gas or one bill per month on a given lien. Some credit fluctuation is ok, as long as you make the minimum payments and repay some of the balance. Missing monthly payments will lower your credit score substantially depending on the length of the missed payment, and how many payments were missed.
2. Any line of credit or credit card that carries a balance that is over 40% of the total credit limit will begin to eat away at your score. A credit card that is at or very close to its limit can easily take 30-40 points off of your score.
3. Make sure that your highest credit limit is $2000 or higher. This will prove that you can be responsible with higher credit amounts – such as those seen in a mortgage.
4. The longer your credit has been on file, and the more history of timely payments, the higher your score.
5. Keeping credit checks/ searches to a reasonable minimum will help add some points to your score.