Your credit score is a critical piece of information about you; in fact, it affects far more than just whether you can get a car loan or mortgage. Any job that requires a background check, such as government jobs that comes with a security clearance, will also look at your credit.
The same background check is used for everything from coaching a Little League team to volunteering at your local charity. If your credit isn’t great, you could be barred from volunteering. This is why knowing how to raise your credit is absolutely critical!
If that’s not enough, poor credit could lead to landlords passing up your application to rent an apartment or home. Your credit score can harm many different areas of your life. If your credit score needs help, then read on for tips on how to get it increased fast!
How to Raise Your Credit in 30 Days
Decrease Your Credit Utilization
One of the biggest factors in how to raise your credit and what makes up your credit score is your debt-to-credit utilization, or how much of your available credit you’re using. Anything over 30% and your credit takes a big hit; in order to get your credit score increased, you’ll need to use less credit.
That could be a bit more difficult than it sounds. If you’re used to grabbing your credit card to pay for things and overspending, it could mean having to take a hard look at your finances and spending habits. It’s impossible to drop your credit utilization unless you stop using credit. If you’re trying to raise your credit quickly, you’ll need to start there.
Even if you only make one large payment on one card, it’ll help drop that number. If you’re the kind of person who generally only makes the minimum payment, try paying more and use your card less.
Another option to lower your ratio is to ask for a credit limit increase. Since the ratio is based on how much of your available credit you’re using, getting more available credit will lower your utilization. This means a higher credit score for you.
Attempt to Remove Incorrect and Negative Marks
In 2017, almost a third of all complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involved errors on consumer credit reports. Those errors can make a big difference; 13% of consumers were able to get their credit scores changed after correcting information. 5% actually had a mistake on their credit report so bad that it affected their ability to get credit at all.
You can get a free report from each credit bureau every year. In between annual reports, you can use apps like Credit Karma to keep track of your TransUnion report. Other bureaus have monitoring services as well. Once you have a copy of your credit report, go over it carefully.
Ensure that even the smallest details are correct; even a misspelled name or error in your Social Security number can cost you when someone else’s credit is being reported to your name.
Look for things that should be showing as paid off and yet show a balance. Find accounts that should be closed yet are still showing open. If any of your accounts show even one late payment it can affect your credit score significantly. Ensure that late payments are reported accurately. If you do find any type of error, dispute it immediately.
Stay Away from Scams Promising Credit Repair
If your credit score is lower than you need it to be, you might feel a little desperate to get it increased. That means you’re susceptible to scams promising to fix your credit score fast. The Federal Trade Commission says there is no legitimate credit repair operation, so keep that in mind when you see ads that promise a quick fix for your credit.
While most are scams will try to get you to pay fees or monthly subscriptions up front, some are even more sinister. They may tell you never to contact the credit bureau. Instead, they will want you to give them all of your personal information so that they can work “on your behalf.” Once you’ve given them your info, they’ll be free to do whatever they’d like with your accounts and your credit. You may never know.
Others will offer you a “credit profile number” that they want you to use to apply for credit. They will tell you that the new number tells creditors that you’re working with a credit repair company. They’ll say you should get special handling, or that the number will help you get credit. In many cases, however, that profile number is someone else’s Social Security number—and that constitutes federal fraud. If you apply for credit with one of these stolen numbers, you’re the one who could go to jail.
Following the steps above carefully is how to raise your credit score quickly. It all comes down to spending the time reviewing where you stand. The best way to fix your credit fast is to do it yourself. Understand what your report says, fix errors, and get your credit usage under control. That is the best way to raise your credit score fast.