Credit advice is not one-size-fits-all, the advice that may be perfect for someone may not be the very best thing for you. To make sure that you are efficient with your time and money it is a good idea to have a custom game plan tailored to your exact needs and situation. Just taking the advice you get from a friend or that you saw someone post on social media may actually increase your credit scores but it could likely take you twice as long and cost twice as much as it should. 

Start by pulling your credit report online (best sites to monitor your credit) so that you review it and break down each type of accounts, number of accounts with balances, derogatory accounts, number of new accounts, recency of derogatory accounts, the severity of derogatory accounts, and age of your credit history. Using the FICO pie chart, you can thing make a list of the steps to take to improve your credit in order of importance.

Using any one of these tips and tricks is likely to give you a bump in your credit score if it’s relevant to your situation. But if you want more than a tiny fix, it’s going to take a bit more effort. Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to improving your credit. If what you’re after is getting big results in a short period of time, you’ll need to make sure you use the right combination of tools, in the right way.

You’ll be using several of these strategies in your credit game plan, but don’t worry too much about that now. You have some time to decide which ones will be most beneficial to your unique credit situation, once you’ve got the full picture.

We recommend you take notes as you read on. That will help you when you refer back to this section as you’re auditing your credit report, which I’ll walk you through in the full, detailed post Top tips and tricks to improve your credit.