To improve your long-term credit score, change your credit profile. Pay your bills conscientiously; close excessive accounts; reduce the amount of your outstanding balances—but total payoffs of all accounts may hurt because you want to maintain an active credit experience—and resolve disputes, liens, judgments, and write-offs. No one can quickly overcome the stains that soil a credit report when they lawfully belong there. Just clean them up as best you can. At the same time, manage your credit as if the FICO folks were looking over your shoulder—because they are.
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