If you are researching about how to boost your credit score, then you likely have had issues due to your credit rating, or are considering making an application to borrow a large amount of money.
When your credit score is good, it is something you don’t often think about. A good credit score makes opening accounts and lines of credit easier. However, if your credit score is on the lower side, or has taken a beating over the years, it can make life quite difficult.
Fortunately, credit scores are not fixed ratings. They change with us and how we run our lives. This means that you can make changes that can quickly and effectively increase your credit rating.
How do credit scores work?
Credit scores are made up of a range of aspects of your financial life. They are there to make life easier for financial institutions and to assess risk. However, sometimes they end up being low simply because of some easy to fix ‘errors’ that people make without realizing it.
Simply put, it is a score that is designed to be an overview of how you manage your finances and is a snapshot of your current financial situation. The most popular of these is the FICO score, which ranges from 300-850. This credit scoring system looks at 5 main financial factors:
- Payment History – Do you pay on time and in full? Or have you missed payments and possibly defaulted on some debts
- Debt Level – How much you owe in relation to your current credit limits
- Credit History – How long you have had credit and how well you managed repayments
- Recent Credit Applications – Have you applied for numerous credit lines in recent months?
- Variations in Credit – Do you have a healthy and natural mix of credit types (preferably not maxed out), such as credit cards, overdrafts, loans, mortgage, etc.
What is considered a good credit score?
The score ranges from 300 to 850. A lot of people fall into the 600-750 range. Generally speaking, a good credit score is that of about 700 or above.
However, this does vary slightly by credit score organizations. The top two would be FICO Score where anything above 670 is good, and VantageScore where anything above 661 is good.
In general, less than 600 is considered a poor score, with less than 500 being very poor. If you fall into these areas, it is time to review things and work hard at boosting your credit score. That said, even those with a good score can benefit from improving it.
How can I raise my credit score fast?
Your daily and monthly actions impact your credit score. If you make a plan, it is possible to boost your credit score quickly. Some of the factors seem almost ‘contradictory’ to what people assume would be good actions to increase their scores. So, keep reading to see how you can raise your credit score fast and safely.
- The first thing you need to do is find out where you stand by checking your credit score. This gives you a base and a better understanding of where you are on the scale.
- Check your credit report for any anomalies. If there are errors or fraud items, contact to try and resolve them.
- Organize your bills to make sure that you pay all bills on time. If you’ve recently missed a payment, make sure not to miss another one. The more time without a missed payment, the more points you should be awarded. This can be made easier by automating your bill payments so that they aren’t missed.
- Maintain a good credit limit to credit usage ratio. Many people think that closing unused cards will help their score. In fact, this likely reduces your score. This is because the credit ratio is calculated by the total credit you have, divided by the amount you owe each month. For example, if you have 5000 in credit with 2500 of debt, you are at 50%. If you then close a credit card with 1500 in credit available, this would increase your percentage of use dramatically (3500/2500 instead of 5000/2500).
- Increase your credit limits if ‘pre-approved’ or they don’t require a hard inquiry to offer you a larger limit (you can ask the provider). By doing this, you increase your ratio without causing a negative impact through applications.
- Don’t apply for lots of accounts or credit to try and increase your score (apply only if needed). These applications could increase the number of ‘hard inquiries on your credit report and reduce your score. It takes 2 years for these to fully drop off the report, so this is a big one to be careful about.
- Keep your accounts active, even if you don’t need to borrow. By using cards and repaying monthly, or even using credit for smaller amounts and repaying, it helps to make sure that the account stays open and your credit rating stays strong.
How can I raise my credit score in 30 days?
This largely depends on your personal history. Some reasons for a lower score can be fixed quickly, but issues like many hard inquiries on your report, missed payments, or bankruptcy will only improve with time (so long as you follow the above points).
Take advantage of paid utility and mobile phone payments by getting these added to your credit score. You can use Experian Boost to connect with your bank and add these payments to your history. This should have an immediate impact on your score.
If you can afford to, make regular small payments throughout the month to credit cards. Credit utilization is an important factor and regular small repayments can have a fast and positive effect on your credit score.
Ask the family to help. If you have someone willing to add you to their account and they run their finances well, it could help increase your credit rating. They can add you as an authorized user without providing you with temptation (such as a credit card) so that their spending habits can help your profile improve.
A good credit score is a valuable asset and so you should take care of it as well as you can. This is something that doesn’t cost you anything to achieve but can give you a better life and financial flexibility. Always borrow responsibly and follow the above tips to make sure your credit score keeps on improving.
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