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Are you looking for all the ways to raise your credit score fast? Often, this process usually feels easier said than done. Luckily, there are a few simple options that you can take to get started right now.
Here are 10 ways to raise your credit score fast:
- Build credit accounts.
- Always pay on time.
- Work on missed payments.
- Dispute all errors.
- Get higher credit limits.
- Keep your credit cards open.
- Be careful when applying for new credit.
- Focus on revolving accounts.
- Use secure credit cards.
- Get a variety of accounts.
You’ll learn the best ways to increase your credit score quickly, and this article will cover all of the above tips, so make sure to stick around!
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1. Build Credit Accounts
To quickly raise your credit score, you’re going to need to build your credit history. When you open a new credit account, that information reports to the major credit bureaus, which keeps track of your credit.
So, when you open a new one and pay on time, your score goes up.
You won’t be seen as trustworthy by credit companies until you have a few different lines of credit established. While you don’t want to take out too many new credit accounts at once, you still need to have more than one in your name for your score to go up quickly.
It’s essential when you’re just starting to have a few different credit accounts. Investopedia recommends having more than one to improve your credit score.
However, you need to make sure you’re not opening more than you can handle.
2. Always Pay on Time
Next, you must always pay your bills on time.
When you pay late, your credit score is going to go down, which is what impacts credit scores the most. Late payments can stay on your record for up to 7.5 years- which is a very long time for that damage to stick around.
However, you’ll need to have missed the payment by 30 days, at least.
If you’re going to miss a credit payment for anything, make sure that you reach out to the creditor. The creditor won’t report the missed payment if they see that you’re still going to pay.
The more on-time payments you make in a row, the more your credit score will increase. You can set up automatic payments for many different bills today, allowing you to avoid forgetting to pay.
This method makes it much easier to stay on top of things.
3. Work on Missed Payments
If you happen to miss a bill, you’ll want to make it up as soon as possible.
When all of your credit accounts are current, the result is excellent for your credit score. It also prevents more late fees and payments from appearing on your accounts.
You’ll want to call your creditors about any late payments you have. More often than not, they’re willing to work with you. If the overdue amount isn’t 30 days late yet, contacting them may also change the creditor’s mind about reporting you, which stops your score from going down.
What Happens When You Miss a Payment
You want to act as soon as you realize the payment came and went without you making it. It could quickly impact your score and come with an assortment of late fees.
If you don’t want to deal with that, you’ll need to make sure you respond right away.
Lenders only report your balances to credit bureaus one time per month, so you’ll want to make sure you call them before that happens. The higher your current score is, the more significant the impact of missing a payment.
It could quickly drop between 30 and 90 points. But why is that?
When someone with a low score misses a payment, those behaviors are already in their current scores. It’s a surprise when it happens to someone with good credit, making a more considerable impact.
4. Dispute All Errors
You’ll also want to make sure that you dispute all errors in your credit history. If there’s a mistake listed there, it could bring down the rest of your score. You’ll want to fix it ASAP to bring your score back up.
You should request your free credit score reports from the major bureaus when you can and look over them for errors. Sometimes, people find payments that are late when they were, in fact, paid on time.
You can also dispute old data in the record. For instance, if there’s a bill older than 7.5 years, you can have it taken off. You should discuss all of the errors that you find.
Once they’re gone, you’ll notice your score going up.
5. Get Higher Credit Limits
You can also ask your creditors for higher credit limits. When the number is higher but your balance doesn’t go up, it lowers the total amount of credit that you use.
This factor can also improve your credit.
This option is good if you earn more money now than when you first opened the account. However, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t start maxing out your credit after you get the limit raised.
If you aren’t sure how credit works, I recommend reading The School of Credit: Learn & Master the 12 Levels of the American Credit System found on Amazon.com.
This book, written by author Flame Newton, covers all of the essentials you’ll want to know about credit. The text contains information you could only find in special seminars dedicated to credit scores, making it well worth the read.
6. Keep Your Credit Cards Open
Next, you must keep your credit cards open.
If you want to improve your credit score quickly, you shouldn’t close your cards, because that information disappears from your credit report when you do, which is how companies determine your score.
You’ll want to keep the card open for as long as possible. It helps to use it from time to time as well. Otherwise, the creditor could close the inactive account for you.
However, if you have too many credit lines open already and are struggling to pay them, it could be a good idea to drop one of the accounts. You’ll want to consider your options and make a pros and cons list to help you choose what you want to do.
7. Be Careful When Applying For New Credit
You’ll need to be careful when applying to new credit accounts.
You’ll probably need to open more accounts to build your credit history, but you don’t want to submit a lot of applications at one time. When you do, your credit receives a hard inquiry that can impact your score slightly.
The more inquiries you have, the more they harm your credit score, so you’ll want to open new accounts carefully. Plus, opening another account lowers the average age of your credit, which can potentially damage your credit score.
8. Focus on Revolving Accounts
You’ll want to pay attention to your revolving account balances when you can.
Having a high balance on revolving credit directly harms your score, so you’ll want to keep the balance down to raise your credit.
The best way to do this is to consider the credit limit that they have. The further your balance is away from the credit limit, the better off your score will be. This is due to high balances leading to increased credit utilization rates, which are bad for credit scores.
9. Use Secure Credit Cards
It’s also a good idea to use a secured credit card when you can.
These cards require a deposit upfront, which is usually about the amount of the credit limit. You use it typically from there, but these cards are generally better for your score. You’ll also need to ensure that you make your credit payments for secure cards on time.
That way, the odds of your credit score steadily increasing are much higher.
Secured v.s Unsecured: The Differences
A secured card needs a deposit before you can start using it, which reduces the risks for creditors, making them a better option for people with lower credit. If you don’t pay the credit bill, the issuer can take money from the deposit instead.
Overall, secured cards are suitable for people who need to build their credit. You’ll want to have good credit to apply for credit cards, which isn’t possible for everyone. Secured cards are a great way to work up to that point.
Unsecured cards don’t use a deposit system. However, that means it’s riskier for lenders. These creditors will be pickier about who they give their cards to. Luckily, building your credit with a secured card shouldn’t take more than a year or two.
Once you do that, you can apply for an unsecured card.
10. Get a Variety of Accounts
Finally, you may want to have many different types of credit accounts open in your name.
If you only have credit cards or only loans, you do not have a solid credit mix. Companies will see you as more reliable with your credit by having both revolving credits, such as credit card and installment accounts or loans.
Often, the first loan we take out is for college. If that’s still the only type of credit you have in your name, you may want to try applying for a credit card soon. By having both types of credit options, your score is sure to start going up faster than it was before.
You may want to open the following types of accounts:
- Additional credit cards
- Car loans
- Home loans
- Student loans
Today, many people also use credit apps like Klarna or Afterpay. However, these apps don’t help your score, so you’ll want to be careful if you have them. Any late payments made on them will still go to the credit companies, which will lower your score.
While these apps are still a decent option for many people, they won’t help raise your score quickly, if at all. But it’s something worth considering.
How is My Credit Score Calculated?
Now that you know ways to raise your credit score, you might want to understand how companies calculate it. There are different scoring models out there, but your credit should be very similar between companies.
Most credit companies give you a score between 300 and 800. If you have one higher than the mid-600s, you’re good! These companies look at your credit reports and try to predict if you will be three months late on a payment in the next two years. The higher your score, the less likely you’ll be late.
These credit scores come from computer algorithms that analyze your credit reports. If you want to know your current score, you should request free information from a lender.
It’s worth knowing where you start, so you can see when you improve the score.
Time Needed to Build Your Credit
Many people also wonder how it takes to build their credit score. On average, you can expect the process to take between three and six months of credit activity, according to Experian. After that point, you can expect companies to calculate your credit score.
Your credit file includes your loans, credit card accounts, and other credits.
You’ll want to make sure you use your accounts often during that three to six-month period to increase your score the most.
Change Your Habits
If you have a low score now, you can improve it right away by changing some of your habits. It also helps to open a mix of credit and pay your bills on time.
It’s possible to raise your score by 100 points in a single month under the right conditions. You’ll need to figure out what’s holding your score back, then follow all of the above tips. I
f your score is already low, it’ll be easier to raise it.
You’ll also want to put away some money in a separate savings account in case things don’t work out with your credit. That way, you’ll have something to use if all else fails.
Credit Sesame helps you access, understand, leverage, and protect your credit all under one platform - free of charge.