There are some quick and easy ways to improve your credit score. You don’t have to wait for years to get it to the place that you want it to be. Even if you have severely damaged your credit score you can improve it faster than what you might think possible.
We also want to point out that these are not overnight fixes but faster ways to get it to rise. As with many things in life, patience is a virtue when working with your credit score. It may have taken you years of wrong choices to get into this mess so you can’t expect it all to go away in a week or two. The best thing you can do is work on all of the points you see below simultaneously to see the best results.
If You Don’t Have a Bad Credit History
If you aren’t currently working with a bad credit history and simply want to improve your credit score you’re sitting in a very good position. A lot of people need to improve their scores because they have made mistakes in the past.
The best thing you can do is to gradually increase your available credit and at the same time make sure to pay off your debts responsibly. If you already own a credit card you can ask for a higher limit on it. Keep using it as you have in the past and you’ll see your score rise.
When you have more credit and don’t abuse it you’ll be rewarded.
2. Stay on Top of Your Credit Report
You’ll have to know exactly what is happening with your credit score in order to improve it. You can send for a free copy and then meticulously go through it to look for errors or problems. Look for payments that have been late or not paid at all and any companies listed that you haven’t dealt with before.
If you see any problems write them down. You’ll also want to check to see that all of the amounts that you owe for any of your current credit accounts are accurate. When you see discrepancies you can open a dispute with the credit bureau to get them handled.
In today’s online world it’s easy to request a copy of your credit report and best of all it’s free. Asking for a copy will not influence your credit score either way and it’s the starting point of the whole process. It will be difficult if not impossible to correct your score if you don’t know exactly why it is low.
While you may have a good idea of what has happened in the past, there may be some inexplicable errors showing on your report that need to be dealt with as well.
3. Reduce Your Debt Load
This is the fastest way to see your credit score increase. It’s a pretty easy fix for a bad credit score. As you start to make larger payments you’ll see the score numbers go up.
One of the best things you can do is to stop using your credit cards altogether and put the brakes on your spending. Although this may be difficult at the beginning, once you start addressing your debts and really put attention to paying them down it will become a part of your lifestyle and the process will be easier.
Take a look at how you can possibly bring down your monthly expenses and how you could increase your income. By doing one or the other or even both of these things you’ll have extra money that you can put towards your credit card payments.
There are ways to increase your income that you may want to consider at least for the short-term. You can examine the possibility of working part-time on the weekends. There are online jobs available that you can do in the comfort of your own home or you could hire yourself out to neighbors if you’re handy to help with tasks around their homes.
You don’t necessarily have to take on a second full-time position in order to see quick results.
4. Concentrate on One Card at a Time
It’s easier to stay focused when you are concentrating on paying down one card at a time. When you do this you’ll see faster results on this one card and will have a feeling of accomplishment.
Of course, at the same time, you’ll need to make sure that you are always making the minimum payments on the other cards. If you have more than one loan, it works the same way.
It’s easy to get confused and feel like you’re not accomplishing anything when you spread out the payments to all of your debts evenly. Handle one, handle another one and then move onto the next.
Handling debt can get very overwhelming so to increase your credit score keep things as simple as possible. Keep chipping away at it and you will see results.
5. Pay Your Bills on Time
If you have had a problem with late bill payments the best way to correct this is to simply start paying your bills on time. This can help undo the damage done. When you are start handling your credit well this will add positive weight to your credit score and take some weight off of the negative late payments you made in the past.
If making your payments late has been an issue you may want to consider putting together a board showing the dates that all of your payments are due. Make sure that you pay them all on time and remember that it will take some time for your payments to be processed.
If your credit card payment is due on the 20th of the month you should be paying it at least a few days in advance, the 15th would usually be safe, to take the processing time into account. The date you send out your payment will depend on how you are paying the bill and how long it will take to reach the lender and be processed as paid.
6. Keep Your Credit Card Accounts Open
Once you have managed to pay off one of your credit cards don’t cancel it immediately even if there’s no balance left on it. Leave it open so that lenders can see the credit history you have of paying it off.
If you do close down your accounts it may show that you have less available credit and in turn the outstanding debts that you currently have will only look bigger.
These open accounts without a balance will be linked to an actual, physical, plastic credit card. This card should be placed aside and not used. Take it out of your wallet and hide it somewhere safe in your home. This will help you resist the temptation to use it when you’re out shopping.
7. Avoid Asking for Any Further Credit
If you are asking for additional credit it immediately shows that you are having a hard time managing the outstanding balances that you currently have. This acts as a red flag to lenders.
Don’t close down your accounts and don’t open any new ones. Just concentrate on the balances that you are currently dealing with and work towards making them go away. You’ll be able to close down your zero balance accounts later once your credit score has increased.
If you are opening a lot of new credit cards, or trying to, lenders will automatically assume that you are desperate. It will not look good on your credit score and could later influence your chance of getting a mortgage or a loan for a high-ticket item like a vehicle.
Take the look of desperation out of your financial picture by operating one credit card and using it responsibly. This is the best way to paint a perfect financial picture for lenders and to increase your credit score.