Shop for a loan within a short, focused period of time.

FICO scores distinguish between a search for a single loan and a search for many new credit lines, based in part on the length of time over which recent requests for credit occur. If you shop for a number of loans over too long a time period, it can count against you.

Contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor if you’re having financial difficulties.

This won’t improve your score immediately, but the sooner you begin managing your credit well and making timely payments, the sooner your score will get better.

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