There are many ways to improve your credit score. Some of those ways are commonly known, such as paying bills on time and keeping debt levels low. However, you might not know there are sneaky ways to improve your credit as well. The following are five ways to do this that others might not know.

1. Reporting Date

Each credit card you own reports to credit bureaus, which is how you get that credit score. People may already know this, but you might not know that each credit card company reports to these folks on specific dates. You might think paying on time is one of the best ways to boost your credit score, but if you want to boost your score faster, it would be a good idea to find out when each credit card company reports to the bureaus. Be sure to pay what you owe before this date, even if you still have a few days before your payment is due. You’re doing this so that your score reflects this payment now rather than later.

2. Strategic Payment

An easy way to boost your credit score is to pay your debt down strategically. The credit bureaus pay attention to the balance-to-debt ratio of each credit card you own. You don’t want cards near their limit. Cards near their limits are the ones you want to focus on since those are hurting you the most. If you have one or a few cards with a low balance, just lower your payments on those cards. You want to focus on the credit cards that are out of control.

3. Twice is Nice

Another sneaky way to improve your credit is to pay twice a month. This one might be hard to pull off if you don’t have control of your finances just yet. If you know that paying credit card companies twice could hurt you, then don’t take this step just yet. Try to budget your finances to take this step next month or as soon as possible. This can help you pay down your debt but need to split it up in the month. Try to keep in mind those reporting dates mentioned earlier. If you want your score to reflect this double payment, be sure each payment is made before that reporting date.

4. Boost Credit Limits

Okay, this is a sneaky suggestion, but it’s one you have to be careful with. You can ask some of your creditors to raise your credit limit. If you have been paying on time, some of these companies might grant you this. You are doing this to improve the debt ratio that gets reported to those three bureaus. This suggestion is a little dangerous because you could end up in deep debt if you’re not responsible. Try to be honest with yourself before you try to increase those credit limits.

5. Credit Mix

One thing people don’t hear about is the importance of credit mixing. It only represents 10 percent of your overall credit score, but sometimes, that little bit could mean the difference between getting approved for that loan or not. You’re going to attempt to have different types of debt rather than just one. If your debt all comes from credit cards, then your credit mix is not too good. If you’ve got a car loan, a personal loan, or another type of secured loan, then your credit mix is going to improve. Again, only do this if you know you can control your spending and know you can pay it back.

As you can see, there are many ways to improve your credit score. Be sure to consult a money management specialist to help you improve your score if you think you need additional tips or guidance.