A good credit score is an essential in so many situations, from renting an apartment to buying a car. Though it often seems unfair that credit plays such a key role in accessing so many basic necessities, it’s hard to find a way around it. Here’s a few ways you can get your credit score to rise in short order.
Pay Down Your Credit Card Balance
A big part of your credit score is how much of your credit you are currently using. Try to pay down your balance as much as possible each month to avoid any negative reporting, as the smaller the percentage of your credit you are currently using, the more of a positive impact it can have on your credit rating. Aim for 30% of usage or lower, if possible.
Check Your Credit Report for Errors
Many credit card companies offer free credit reporting along with the card, which can help you track any changes in activity it improvements over time. Any record of an unpaid bill or late payment can negatively impact your credit. If you see these items, make sure all information is correct, if something has been incorrectly documented, you’ll need to report any inaccuracies to the credit reporting agency.
If you are late on some bills, set up a payment plan as soon as possible and set things right. Soon, you’ll be on the right track toward a respectable credit score.
Pay Twice a Month Rather Than One Lump Sum
Here’s the thing, credit reporting generally only takes place about once a month. So, depending on when your bill is due, it may look as though you are overusing your allotted credit, even if you are paying your balance in full. Try dividing your payment into two, (or multiple micropayments) so you’ll have less credit used at any given time during the month.
Don’t Expunge Old Debt
One common misconception with past debt is, many people are under the impression all debt is bad. But, that’s far from the truth. Unpaid debt and delinquent accounts are, in fact bad. However, records of past debts you paid off demonstrate that you’ve held up your end of the bargain, signaling to future creditors that you’ll likely pay them back as well.
Become an Authorized User on Someone’s Account
This one may be a little tricky. If you have a family member or partner willing to make you an authorized user on their credit card account, first of all, you are very lucky. If someone agrees to do this for you, be sure you don’t use their credit card, if possible. Provided this generous individual has great credit, you’ll get a residual boost overtime based on their good habits alone.
In the end, building good credit takes time, but if you’re able to take any of these steps, we promise, they will make a big difference over time. Slow and steady, keep paying those bills down, and who knows, maybe one day you’ll have a perfect score of 800.