Doing the things you want to do. Seeing the places you want to see. Living life with a little less worry and a little more freedom. It all can be easier when you have the flexibility that comes with a higher credit score. And while improving your credit score may not happen overnight, check out these 5 tips to help you start moving in the right direction.

Know your score

First things first—you’ll need to know your current credit score. You can get it from some credit card companies or from the 3 credit reporting agencies: Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion®. The numbers they provide may be slightly different, but all will give you a good idea of where you stand.

Keep an eye on your report

Mistakes on credit reports are fairly common, and these errors could be negatively affecting your score. If you have a question about a charge or a concern about your credit report, contact the reporting agency immediately.

Spend carefully, pay responsibly

Try to keep your credit card balance around 30% of your credit limit. Pay your bills on time and pay your full balance when you can. Whenever possible, try to pay more than the minimum amount due.

Stick with your first card

As much as 15% of your credit score is based on the length of your credit history, so it’s a good idea to keep your oldest line of credit open. Keep that card around and continue to use it responsibly.

Beware of the quick fix

Sure, having more available credit might give you more freedom, but applying for multiple cards—especially all at once—may affect your credit score. Apply wisely.

The moral of the story? Building better credit can lead to great things. In fact, you can start right now—check your credit report and then get to work improving your credit score.

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CreditWise® from Capital One makes it easy for you to manage your credit score and track changes, right from your phone.

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