10 tips to improve your credit score 1. Payment history: 35% The biggest factor influencing your score is whether or not you pay back your debts on time, whether it be from a credit card or student loan. Being 30, 60, or 90 days late on a payment can put a big dent in your credit health. However, the worst things by far are total write-offs like bankruptcies or foreclosures. Fortunately, this is one of the simplest parts of your score to improve. But it does take time.