How To Boost Credit Score Quickly
In the era of coronavirus uncertainty, finances are on everyone’s minds. From pandemic-related payment holidays to renters struggling to pay landlords, most people’s credit scores have seen quite a bit of fluctuation. In a complex climate like this, you can be forgiven for thinking, “I don't know how to improve my credit score fast."
With this number dictating your ability to get everything from a mortgage to a credit card, it’s important to get it in tip-top shape for your future financial security. No single practice will cause your score to spike overnight. However, if you’re caught wondering, "How can I improve my credit score?" while hoping to make a fast recovery, here’s are some of the best ways to improve credit score.
1. Pay Your Bills On Time
If you have a backlog of unpaid bills, it's tempting to think, "How can I improve my credit score when I owe so much?" It's unfortunate but true: regular bill payments can be one key to a high credit score you can't afford to pass up. When you're wondering how to improve credit score fast, it's worth noting that making regular payments is a huge contributing factor.
You might be surprised at the dent a few missed or late payments can make. Paying bills on time won’t magically earn you a higher credit score, but it will act as a critical foundation for the steps that follow. Delinquent payments hurt your score on a month-by-month basis, so don’t “give up” on past late payments, or start thinking "I don't know how to improve my credit score fast, so why bother?"
The truth is, delinquent payments you haven't taken care of can continue to impact your finances over time. If you’re still looking for the best business ideas to make money during the economic downturn, of course, this can be easier said than done. When you’ve missed a payment, however, there’s a tip that sometimes works: calling your creditor.
Sometimes, if you arrange to make the payment immediately, you can persuade the creditor not to report the late payment to the credit bureaus, saving your credit score from a negative impact. If this works, it can be one of the best ways to improve credit score. However, even if they still report the late payment, making up for past mistakes with positive credit behaviors can help you recover from the damage faster than you could otherwise.
2. Pay More Frequently
One key concept in improving your credit score is credit utilization, and it's the best resource you have if you're trying to reach financial stability by learning how to improve credit score fast. Also called your “debt to credit rate,” this refers to the amount of credit you’re using in comparison with the total amount of credit open to you.
The bigger the gap between your debt and your total credit, the more trustworthy you look to lenders, and the better your credit score. If you're still thinking, "How can I improve my credit score?" it's worth knowing that a great way to affect your credit utilization fast is by making small payments throughout the month rather than one large monthly payment.
Though the effect may be a small one at first, it can move the needle on your credit score over time, allowing you to see quicker changes.
3. Check Your Credit Report for Errors
If you’d like to know how to improve credit score fast, there’s no better way than checking for errors on your credit report. On occasion, the human error means that your credit score drops without notice, making you look riskier to lenders. Fortunately, if you find a mistake, you can force the credit bureau to investigate and correct your score.
To do this, get a copy of your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies by visiting annualcreditreport.com. This federally authorized site allows you to order your reports for free once each year online, or you can call the service or mail in a request form if you prefer. Instead of wondering, "How can I improve my credit score?" you'll be able to see a detailed list of past mistakes you'll need to work to correct.
In addition to a perusal of your credit history, however, you'll also want to look for common errors. These can include things like loan payments applied to the wrong account, bad debts that weren’t removed after the standard seven-year period, or mysterious accounts you aren’t aware of.
If you do notice any incorrect information on any of the reports, you should contact both the credit reporting agency and your lender to fix the issue as soon as possible.
4. Increase Your Credit Limit
Still thinking, "How can I improve my credit score?" Well, now that you know more about credit utilization, you may be wondering how to improve credit score fast with this powerful tool. Having a good credit utilization rate depends on your available credit limit. The higher your credit limit, provided you have no or minimal debt, the higher your credit score.
There are two ways to increase your credit limit, and both of them can be great ways to improve credit score. First, you can open a new card. This can be a good idea in certain situations, and it can open the doors to new benefits and rewards for things you already buy. However, you should think carefully about this move if you already have too many lines of credit open, or if the increased credit might tempt you to spend more money.
Second, you can ask your lender for an increased credit limit on your current card. This is often an easier step, though approval depends on your income, spending habits, and payment history.
5. Pair With A Friend Or Relative
If you've ever told a friend or family member, "I'm not sure how to improve my credit score," they may have made a simple suggestion to make it work: pair your credit with theirs. If your credit file is short or almost nonexistent, one of the best ways to improve credit score is to piggyback on the credit of a trusted friend or relative. To make this work, you’ll want to ask for authorized user status on their credit card account.
As an authorized user, you’ll have access to use the card, though you don’t need to do so in order to see a boost in your credit score. Simply acquiring another account with a long history can be enough to help you see results. Of course, note that you’ll want to choose a responsible spender with a longer credit history and a high credit limit to reap the most benefits.
How To Improve My Credit Score
Now that you've stopped thinking, "I don't know how to improve my credit score fast," it's time to get started with these quick and easy ways to improve credit score! Here’s the bottom line: building a better credit score won’t happen overnight, but each incremental action can add up over time. The tried-and-tested tips above will help you see faster changes than you might otherwise, so start here for the best approach!
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