By Sherita Goodman, Financial Wellbeing Coach

Residents of Memphis, Tennessee are flocking to HOPE Inside First Tennessee Bank‘s Credit and Money Management Workshops to get the credit assistance that they need to become homeowners, start businesses, and improve their credit scores, free of charge. They understand the significance of having a good credit score, and the setbacks associated with a poor credit rating.

HOPE Inside Financial Coaches, like Sherita Goodman, have a deep understanding of how very specific actions will affect a credit score. There’s no “one size fits all” approach when it comes to rebuilding your credit history. The amount of time it takes to increase your credit score after negative changes depends on the reasons behind the change. With this in mind, Coach Goodman, has shared 5 quick tips from her Credit and Money Workshop to help individuals increase their credit scores.


  1. Know The Difference Between Good Debt And Bad Debt. Contrary to popular belief some debt is actually beneficial for your credit score. Debt that you’ve handled well and paid as agreed, also known as good debt, is good for your credit. The longer your history of good debt is, the better it is for your score.
  2. Pay Your Bills On Time. This may seem like common sense for most; however, one of the most important aspects of maintaining a high credit score is simply paying your bills on time. If you’re bad about paying your bills promptly– it will damage your credit score.
  3. Eliminate Credit Card Balances. One of the items your score considers is just how many of your cards have balances. A good way to boost your credit score is to eliminate these balances.
  4. Monitor Your Credit Card Balances. One major factor in your credit score is how much revolving credit you have versus how much you’re actually using. The smaller that percentage is, the better it is for your credit rating. The ideal amount is 30% or lower. To increase your score pay down your balances, and keep your balances low.
  5. Use Your Calendar. If you’re shopping for a home, car or student loan, it pays to do your rate shopping within a short time period. When you apply for credit, it can slightly decrease your credit score, lasting a year. With mortgage, auto and student loans, scoring formulas allow for the fact that you’ll make multiple applications but take out only one loan. The FICO score rating system ignores any such inquiries made 30 days prior to scoring. If it finds some that are older than 30 days, it will count those made within a typical shopping period as just one inquiry.