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As you may know, payment history has the biggest impact on your credit score. So, a simple way to raise your credit score is to avoid late payments at all costs.

Credit utilization refers to the portion of your credit limit that you use at any given time. After payment history, it's the second most important factor in FICO Score calculations. The simplest way to keep your credit utilization in check is to pay your credit card balances in full each month. If you can't always do that, then a good rule is to keep your total outstanding balance at 30% or less of your total credit limit. From there, you can work on whittling that down to 10% or less, which is considered ideal for raising your credit score.

If you are trying to raise your credit score, limit your requests for new credit and the hard inquiries with them.

Also, the age-of-credit portion of your credit score looks at how long you've had your credit accounts. The older your average credit age, the more favorably you appear to lenders. If you have old credit accounts that you're not using, don't close them. Though, the credit history for those accounts would remain on your credit report.

Once your credit rating is up a bit, you may want to consider cards for car upgrades, such as the My GM Rewards Card™. The $0-annual-fee card earns 7 points per dollar spent on eligible GM purchases and 4 points per dollar spent everywhere else. Eligible GM purchases include GM Certified Service, parts and accessories purchased at GM dealerships or online, as well as some OnStar and Connected Services plans.

New card members can get 15,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. There's also an introductory APR promotion on purchases for 12 months that new cardholders are entitled to, and then the ongoing APR of 20.24% to 29.99% variable purchase APR based on creditworthiness. Rates as of 8/1/2023.

If you need money right away and don't have time to wait for your credit score to get high enough, you might want to think about getting a personal loan. The variety of credit accounts can tell more about you as a borrower, improve your credit mix and boost your credit score with regular monthly payments.