Perfect credit isn’t built in a day; it can take years of timely payments and good borrowing behavior. It can be even harder to achieve perfect credit if you’ve already got an existing credit score that’s below 620. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though. In fact, there are things you can start doing right now that can add points to your score quickly.
Once you start practicing some of these suggestions, you’ll typically start to see improvements after a month. And if you maintain these practices over time, you’ll see even bigger changes to your credit score after a few years. Remember, there’s no time like the present to start practicing good borrowing habits.
If you’re looking to improve your credit score quickly, try these 5 suggestions.
#1 Pay Down Your Credit Card Balances
If you have multiple credit cards, choose the card with the largest balance and put down as much money as you can afford. The bigger the payment, the bigger the impact.
It usually takes anywhere from 1-3 business days for a payment to be processed. Your credit score is then recalculated every 30 days, so it takes less than a month for you to see the positive impact that payment will have on your credit score.
#2 Keep Your Credit Card Balance at Zero for 30 Days
After you’ve paid your credit cards off, don’t use them for one full billing cycle. That way, when the credit bureaus recalculate your score, they’ll see a low debt-to-income ratio. The more available credit you have, the better.
#3 Pull Your Credit Report
Credit bureaus aren’t responsible for making sure the information that is reported to them is accurate. That’s your job! If you do spot an error, you can write a goodwill letter to the credit bureau explaining your situation in the hopes they rectify it.
You can check your credit report once a year without it negatively affecting your score.
#4 Raise Your Credit Limit
This one is tricky. First, you need to know that an increase in your credit limit won’t entice you to spend more money. If you trust yourself to spend responsibly, then a higher credit limit can help boost your score.
#5 Pay Your Bills Early
You don’t have to wait till the day your bill is due to make a payment on your credit card. By building a record of on-time or early payments, you can start to improve your credit score.
Payment history is the biggest contributor to your overall score, so if there is one practice you want to focus on the most, on-time bill payments would be it. And if you’re forgetful, set up automatic payments!
Improving your credit score takes time and patience. Keep in mind, calculating one’s credit score isn’t an exact science and it’s difficult to predict how much one action will affect your score overall. It also depends on what your score is now to know how much it will improve over time.
Don’t lose hope, though. It’s never too late to start working towards good credit. If you start applying some of these suggestions today, you should start seeing improvements quickly.