When you want a personal loan, credit card, or some other line of credit, you need a credit score that’s in good or excellent shape. If your score needs some work, you may not get the terms and interest rates you want. You might wonder if there is a way to raise your credit score fast, but the truth is that there’s no clear-cut way to improving your score in a short amount of time.
Building your credit is a labor of love, and there are many factors to consider, including:
- Payment history
- Credit utilization ratio
- Credit history
- Credit mix
- Recent credit applications
The sooner you take the time to learn about these factors and establish positive habits, the faster your score will climb. These tips from CreditKarma can help you develop a sustainable plan to build your credit.
Check Your Credit Report Often
Applying for loans or credit cards can affect your credit score. Not only do creditors run a hard inquiry that trims points, but a slew of applications in a short time looks bad to lenders. Knowing where you stand gives you a better idea of your chances of approval. Plus, it saves you time on applying and protects your credit score from unnecessary hits.
Right now, you can check your credit score every week for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com.
Get Free Credit Monitoring
When you check your credit score regularly, you are more likely to catch mistakes and other errors. But it never hurts to have an extra set of eyes. That’s why you should consider free credit monitoring services. These notify you about suspicious activities or fraudulent behavior that can hurt your score. With the number of security breaches that have occurred lately, protecting yourself should be a top priority.
Calculate Your Debt
Do you know how much debt you owe? If not, you should calculate the total of everything you owe and develop a strategy to pay it back. Common debt management techniques include the snowball and avalanche methods, but a balance credit card can help if you have multiple high-interest payments to track. No matter which you choose, as long as you stick with it, you are guaranteed to lower your debt, credit utilization ratio and boost your credit score.
Sign Up For Automatic Payments
Missed payments are one of the easiest ways to hurt your credit score. If you frequently forget due dates, consider enrolling in autopay. This way, you don’t have to worry about missing future payments, and you can start improving your credit.
Pay Your Balance Bi-Monthly
Most people don’t realize the benefit of paying their credit card balance twice a month. Not only does it make payments more manageable, but it also saves you on interest. It might not raise your credit score fast, but you’ll knock out your principal balance quicker and lower your credit utilization ratio.
Ask For A Lower Interest Rate
Having a lower interest rate makes it easier to pay down debt. That’s because more of your money goes to the outstanding balance instead of the interest payment. And of course, as that principal balance decreases, so will your credit utilization ratio.
Request A Higher Credit Limit
One way to lower your credit utilization ratio (and subsequently improve your credit score) is by asking your lender to raise your credit limit. However, the downside is that some perform a hard inquiry when you ask for a higher credit limit, affecting your score.
Diversify Your Credit Mix
Your credit mix is simply the different loans you have borrowed. It’s not the most significant factor in your credit score, but lenders generally look for a combination of things such as:
- Revolving credit, like credit cards
- Installment loans, such as a mortgage or student loan
The more diverse your credit, the more favorable it reflects on you. But, that doesn’t mean you should seek out new loans for the sake of diversifying, especially if you don’t need them.
Become An Authorized User On Another Credit Account
If your credit history is limited or nonexistent, getting approved for a line of credit can be challenging. But signing up as an authorized user on another person’s credit account is one way to build your credit.
Just remember that this strategy can backfire: If the other person misses a payment or maxes out their credit card, for example, it could affect your credit score, too. But, if the individual maintains positive habits, it can boost your score. If you opt for this strategy, choose a trustworthy person with a healthy credit history and a solid score.
- Devaney, Tim. “Can I Raise My Credit Score Fast?” Credit Karma, 4 Sept. 2020, www.creditkarma.com/advice/i/quick-tips-build-credit.