Contributed by Jack L.

Having a good credit score is important if you want to buy a car, start a business or even get a new job.  Paying on time, paying off your entire balance and not having too many credit card accounts open at once are good ways to obtain a high credit score.  But, there are some secret ways to increase your credit score too.

Pay your bills early. The due date is just that- the last possible date you can pay your bill without being penalized.  But, how much you owe is 30% of your credit score.  So paying off your bill before the due date helps lower the amount you owe.  If you do pay off your bill every month and are wondering why your credit score isn’t increasing, this may be the reason.

Make multiple payments. If you charge your account throughout the week for everyday expenses, try paying it off at the end of the week.  Check with your credit card company beforehand to see how they handle multiple payments.

Late payment calls. If you happen to make a payment late, and have a good record with the credit card company, call to have it taken off your record. This only works if you are not habitually late.

Pay off bad debts. If you have a bad debt and a collection against you, call up the company to see if you can pay it off.  Most of the time, you are able to pay a portion of the bad debt.  But before you make the payment, get the reduced payment arrangement in writing on company letterhead, along with the commitment to remove the collection from all three credit report companies.

Short sales. If you sell your house in a short sale, be sure to negotiate beforehand for them not to report any money owed to any credit bureaus.

Try using these tips and see your credit score increase.