Having a high credit score can open just about any financial door. From being qualified for a home loan to buying a car, a high FICO score is recommended. However, even if someone has overall good credit, there are things they can do to make it even better.


Below are three ways to boost a FICO score.


Pay Bills on Time


Probably the most important thing someone can do to boost their FICO score is to pay on time. While most credit cards do have a grace period, others do not and will report payments late even if the payment is only 24 hours over due. Check with the credit card merchant and make a note of their grace periods, if any.


Also, make sure that any rent, mortgages and utility bills are paid on time. Now, it’s not uncommon for power, water and internet providers to report to the three credit bureaus.


Keep Balances Low


Strive to pay off balances in full every month. While it’s okay to carry a small balance forward, in fact, it can almost be better to do so, maxing out credit cards and only paying the minimum is never a good idea. Only make credit cards purchases when that exact amount of cash is readily available. If the money isn’t in the bank, don’t use the card.


Don’t Apply for Credit


Having too many open accounts, or even just applying for credit, can negatively affect someone’s FICO score. When lenders see someone constantly applying for credit, especially in a short period of time, they appear high risk. What’s worse is that applying for too much credit in a short period of time will lower someone’s credit score.


Since hard inquires remain on a credit report for two years, only apply for for credit when needed. Maintaining a good payment history with one lender will open the door to credit line increases without having multiple cards.


When it comes down to brass handles, improving a FICO score doesn’t need to be painful. All it takes is a little financial planning and spending strategy. And the good news is, even if someone has less than stellar credit, they too can improve their FICO score implementing the changes listed above.