There’s no magic formula to improving your credit score. But there a several proven ways to quickly boost your score. The results won’t be instantaneous. It takes more effort to repair a score then it does to damage it. Even one missed payment can harm a history of on-time payments and lower your score. But a better credit score doesn’t have to be years in the making.
Four tips for a quick boost
- Research and verify. To revive your credit worthiness, you need to know your score and to confirm that all the information on your credit report is accurate. If you see an error, correct it immediately with your creditor and the credit agency. Removing erroneous history from your report could give your credit score a boost in the right direction. Remember, you can request one free credit report annually from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
- Double up. One recommendation we’ve offered over and over is to pay more than the minimum balance on your credit card. This helps keep your credit utilization ratio lower, which has a positive impact on your score. But, if you can’t afford to pay a larger sum all at once, spread it out over the month and make two payments. The extra payments could also help you save money on interest charges and pay off that balance faster.
- Invest to progress. If your biggest obstacle is no credit. There are resources available to help people starting from scratch, as well as those struggling to rebuild their credit health. One option to consider is a credit builder loan. Think of this as a reverse loan. Instead of receiving a lump sum of money upfront and making monthly payments, you make fixed monthly payments (which will be reported to the credit bureaus) and at the end of your loan term the money you invested, minus any possible fees, is returned to you. You may also want to consider a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on a well-established credit card.
- Think outside of the box. Credit cards and loans aren’t the only way to kick-start your credit history. There are ways to increase your score without taking on debt. Services like Experian Boost will report reoccurring monthly payments, such as your cell phone bill or utility payments, to credit bureaus. This way you’ll get credit for making on-time payments, without having to incur any debt.
A low or no credit score doesn’t have to keep you from achieving your goals. These tips will help boost your score, and if you continue to make on-time payments and manage your spending, you can turn that boost into long-term success. We’ll be here to share the tips and guidance you need to reach and maintain your goals for better and healthier credit. Follow us on Twitter for more.