It is possible to increase your credit score by 100 points or more in just 30 days.
In order to raise your score as high as possible in the shortest amount of time possible, do any of the following credit raising tips below. You’ll likely want to implement many of them to boost your score.
10 Credit Score Boosting Tips & Tactics
Increase your credit limit
One of the quickest ways to (significantly) boost your credit score is to increase your credit limit. Roughly 30% of your credit score is determined by your credit utilization. Credit utilization is “how much” of your available credit you have used.
For example, if you have 1 credit card with a $10,000 limit, and you maxed it out by spending $10,000 on it, your credit utilization is 100%. That is horrible for your credit score because you want to keep your credit utilization ideally at 10% – 20% (or lower). In this example, you ideally want to use $1000 – $2000 of your allowed maximum of $10,000.
Remember, 30% of your credit score is based on how much of your available credit you have used. If you have several credit cards and lines of credit that are maxed out or near maxed out, you are damaging your credit score.
A fantastic way to “fix” this problem very quickly is to ask your credit card company for a credit limit increase. The more available credit they can give you, the higher your credit score should rise. A phone call is usually all you need to do (find the number on the back of the credit card). Do this for all your cards, and make sure you don’t begin spending more money. This alone could boost your score 100+ points if your credit score is currently very poor.
I’ll be sharing other ways to “increase your credit limit” in the other tips below.
Apply for more credit
Applying for more credit can give your credit score a big boost. Why does this work? Getting more credit brings down your credit utilization ratio (which accounts for 30% of your credit score). More credit (as long as you don’t use it) helps you keep your utilization ratio low.
For example, if you have one credit card with a limit of $10,000, and you’ve used all $10,000 of it, your credit utilization is 100% which is the worst you can have. However, if you have several credit cards with a limit that adds up to $100,000, and you use $10,000 of it, then you have a credit utilization ratio of 10%, which is awesome for your score.
Your credit score depends heavily on a small utilization ratio. Try to only use a maximum of 10% to 20% of your available credit.
If you currently are using a lot of your available credit, getting any type of credit can help lower your utilization ratio, which therefore raises your credit score. I recommend getting as much credit as you can (and be responsible with it).
One of the easiest ways to get more credit is to apply for a new credit card.
Make payments on time
Making payments on time is the biggest factor in determining your credit score (35% of your score depends on this). If you’re struggling to keep up with your credit card payments or loan payments, there are a few things you can do. You will need to figure out a plan that works for you in order to begin making payments on time.
However, here are a few ideas you can use to help you begin making payments consistently:
Consolidate all your debt – This is when you take all your debt (or some of it) and turn it into one debt. This can help you get a lower interest rate which makes monthly payments more manageable, and you now have only one payment to manage instead of several.
Get a personal loan to pay off your credit cards – Interest rates on personal loans are almost always lower than interest rates on credit cards. By getting a lower interest loan to pay off high interest credit cards, you save money. You will also have just one bill to pay now instead of several credit card bills.
Get professional help – If debt has become unmanageable and you could benefit from a professional to work with you to help you begin making payments on time and get you out of debt, hiring help may be what you need.
Check your credit report for accuracy
Your credit report is a “report” that lists your current and past credit accounts (credit cards, loans, mortgages, etc). This information MUST be correct. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people have an error on their credit report. For example, your report could contain a delinquent credit item from someone with the same name as you – which is lowering your credit score.
How do you check your credit report? There are three main credit reporting agencies. TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You need to pull your credit report from all three agencies to check for correctness. Fortunately, you can do this for free once ever year at annualcreditreport.com.
When you check your reports, make sure your identity information (name, SSN, birthdate, etc) are correct. But more importantly, look for any items on there that DO NOT belong to you. You can dispute them if you find an error.
Note: Your “credit report” is different than your “credit score”. A report lists all your current and previous credit products. Your credit score is a calculated number based directly on your credit report.
Obtaining your credit report is free (as mentioned above). However, you typically need to pay money to see your actual credit score – which is what many financial institutions use to determine if they will lend you money and at what interest rate.
To see your actual credit score, you have a few options. A lot of people check their credit score online with a popular credit website like Credit Karma.
Get various types of credit
Your credit score will be stronger when you have a variety of credit types. A few examples are credit cards, personal loans, mortgages, auto loan, and lines of credit.
If you only have a personal loan, you could go ahead and get a credit card or a line of credit. These are good types of credit to have because they are “revolving credit” tools. Which means you need to pay them only when you use them. A good practice is to charge a small amount of money on each to “use it” and pay it off each month on time. This practice helps you build a strong profile of responsible credit use which will only raise your credit score as time goes on.
I do not recommend obtaining an auto loan or personal loan for the sake of “varying credit”. These types of credit require monthly payments and have interest costs on top of that – which is likely to cost you more financially in the long run.
Get a secured credit card
A secured credit card is a popular type of credit card for those people who have very poor credit and can’t get approved for a typical credit card. A secured card is when you give the card company money as collateral in exchange for the card.
For example, if you obtained a secured credit card with a $500 limit, you would give the card company $500 to hold. Often times, the $500 will be returned back to you in 6 months or 1 year after you make consistent monthly payments (you’ve shown the card company you are responsible with the card).
A secured credit card may be the right option for you because it gives you available credit to use, and when you make your on time payments, you are building your credit history at the same time.
Pay large balances down quickly
If you happen to make large purchases and end up “maxing out” on too many cards, your credit utilization ratio has become too high which will negatively impact your score. You can pay your credit cards down midway through the billing cycle.
This is especially important if you plant to apply for any type of loan because the loan company will pull your score immediately, and you want your score in the best shape possible to get the lowest interest rate possible.
As mentioned above, you can pay large balances down by obtaining a personal loan to pay off credit cards. This is a very effective method to boost your credit score because you will almost certainly get a lower interest rate on the loan which means you will pay less money in interest costs over the life of the loan, and you also get more credit which lowers your credit utilization ratio. Both of these will help boost your credit score.
Get a personal loan to pay off credit cards with high balances and high interest rates
A personal loan to pay off anything with high interest rates has been used again and again by financially savvy people.
Here’s why you want to do it:
- All your high interest credit cards will become one “lower” interest rate. This saves you money in interest costs
- You’ll have one personal loan to pay off each month, rather than many credit cards to manage at one time
- You’ll still have your credit cards (they will have a zero balance after you paid it with the loan). You want to keep these as the more aged your credit is, the better for your credit score
- You increase the total amount of credit available to you which brings your score up (as long as you only use a small amount of it)
- You vary the types of credit you have, which is a factor in determining your credit score. The more variety you have the better
Lower the amount of debt you have
A huge part of getting a high credit score and keeping it high is to always have a small amount of revolving debt. You want to only use a small amount of the available credit on your credit cards and line of credits (less than 20% is ideal).
For instalment loans like an auto loan or personal loan where you have a regular monthly payment, the most important thing is to make sure you pay them on time each month. Payment history is the most important part of getting a high credit score.
Consolidate all your debt together for straight forward easy payments
Consolidation means combining all of your debt (or some of it) into one brand new loan.
There are two main benefits to consolidation:
- New lower monthly payments that are now manageable
- Lower interest rate on the new consolidation loan – which means you’ll save money
A consolidation loan makes sense if you can receive the benefit of at least one of the above. If you can both lower your interest rate AND get lower monthly payments, a consolidation loan may be exactly what you need.
A consolidation loan doesn’t make sense for everyone because not everyone will benefit from one.
If you’re curious to see if you can save money by consolidating your debt, you can online!