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There are many reasons why you might need a credit score bump now. Maybe you’re looking for an apartment and your credit score isn’t where it should be. Perhaps you’re in the market for a new car and you need a higher score to get better terms.
Whatever the reason, is it possible to raise your score significantly in a short period of time? For most people, raising your credit score takes time. It’s important to know why your credit score is low so that you can begin working towards building your credit.
Can I Raise My Credit Score 100 Points in 30 Days?
It’s not impossible for you to raise your credit score by 100 points in as little as 30 days. However, it’s likely improbable for most people.
Why? For those who have a lot of derogatory marks (which require several rounds of disputing), longer credit history with multiple accounts that were poorly managed, and other issues in their credit report, it takes time to get your credit back in good standing.
However, it may be possible if you have thin credit and no derogatories. If this is your situation, using some of the tips below will help you boost your score rapidly.
- Develop a Greater Awareness of Your Credit Situation: Facing bad credit can be daunting, especially if you have a large amount of debt. But these issues aren’t going to go away if you ignore them. They’ll only grow bigger. Set aside some time to assess your financial situation, the reasons why your credit is bad, and the scope of the situation.
- Create a Plan of Action: Tackling debt so you can get back on your feet (or addressing the other issues impacting your credit score) is your current priority. Once you know where you stand, create a plan of action that will help you address these issues quickly and effectively. There are plenty of tips and resources out there to take advantage of regardless of your individual situation.
- Establish a System to Reduce Credit Problems in the Future: Ask yourself, how did your credit fall in the first place? Were you spending too much? Did you not plan ahead and face a major change in income? Now’s the time to establish systems that can help you avoid the situations you faced before that negatively affected your credit in the first place.
Here are some helpful tips to bring it up as quickly as possible.
Dispute Any Inaccuracies on Your Credit Report
Your payment history makes up a massive 35% of your FICO credit score.
For those who have slipped up and missed payments in the past, the only thing you’re likely able to do is to deal with it and make sure that you don’t miss any future payments.
But some items in your report might not actually be a result of a mistake you made. Sometimes, a company may incorrectly report something to credit bureaus, lowering your score in the process.
Take the time to review your credit report and see if there are any inconsistencies.
If you do happen to find any inconsistencies, reach out to the credit bureau where the mistake was reported as well as the business who reported the error and file a dispute.
Keep in mind that disputing errors can take time, so you might not see changes in your credit score reflected immediately.
Once they are, you should see a considerable change reflected in your credit score if you otherwise make on-time payments. Check credit scores regularly to make sure no inconsistencies impact your credit score in the future too.
Get Your Credit Utilization to Less Than 10%
The general rule of thumb in maintaining good credit is to use less than 30% of your available credit. But if you’re looking to skyrocket your credit, you’re going to need to keep your credit utilization below 10%.
Fortunately, you have several ways you can achieve this. Here are some of the options at your disposal.
Option 1: Pay Off Your Credit Card Bill
If you’re someone who follows the 30% rule, paying off credit cards can help you boost your score.
This will help clear all of your credit and get you back to zero. Then, focus on using your card sparingly or adjust your bills to where you’re only using one to nine percent of your available credit line.
Using substantially less credit (if you’re engaging in other good credit habits) will result in major positive changes to your credit that are reflected almost immediately.
Of course, this isn’t just advice that you should use if you need a short-term boost. Using less credit is a good strategy to follow if you’re aiming to get a perfect score or even if you plan on making a major investment, like purchasing a new home.
Option 2: Get a New Credit Card
Applying for a new line of credit is going to naturally affect your credit.
The first reason why this happens is because there’s a hard inquiry. This will have a brief impact on your credit, but you’ll quickly rebound if you’re staying on top of your credit and sticking to good habits.
The second reason is that you’re opening a new credit account, which makes up 10% of your FICO credit score. Again, the impact here is rather minimal unless you’re opening a host of credit accounts at once, which can throw up red flags to lenders.
So, why is this a good strategy if you want to lower your credit utilization? By getting a new credit card, you’re going to increase your available credit limit, automatically reducing the percentage of the credit that you’re using.
If you’re strategic and you open the right account, you can quickly decrease your credit utilization. Then, you just have to be mindful of how much you’re using on each account so you don’t overextend yourself later on.
Option 3: Request a Credit Limit Increase
You don’t necessarily have to open a new account to increase your available credit.
In fact, you may be able to reduce your credit utilization with the same card you have now. How? Just reach out to your credit card company and see if you can request a credit limit increase.
If you’ve been on top of your payments and you’ve been a customer for a fair amount of time, they just may consider it. A credit limit increase can be sizable as well, allowing you to spend more in the future without going over your credit utilization goals.
If you don’t ask for it, you’ll never know if you could have a larger credit limit instead of having to apply for more cards.
Amounts owed make up 30% of your FICO credit score. If you lower your credit utilization and make on-time payments, you’re in the clear. But if you’re using too much credit and overextending yourself, it can cause your score to fall dramatically.
Stay on top of your spending and your credit will thrive.
Add Utility Payments to Your Credit Report
If you have thin credit, this makes determining how responsible you are when managing credit a difficult endeavor for lenders.
One way to start boosting your credit score is by adding something you have to pay for anyways, like your utility payments. Since you’re consistent with these payments, they can only help in establishing good payment history and building up your score.
There’s only the matter of figuring out how to go about adding utility payments to your credit report. Like rent, utility payments aren’t traditionally reported by utility companies. A few strategies you can leverage include:
- Speaking with your credit bureau and your landlord to figure out if there’s some agreement you can come to or some system you can use to make sure your utilities show up on your report. It never hurts to ask.
- Finding a third-party service that specializes in reporting rent and utilities to the three major credit bureaus. Keep in mind that these services are usually not free and that you will likely have to pay some sort of subscription or fee in order to take advantage of them.
- Conduct research to figure out how you can go about reporting utility payments to credit bureaus yourself. This may be more research-intensive, but it can help you save money if you’re not looking to enlist the help of a third-party service to get it done for you.
- You could also consider adding your utilities to your credit card bill. However, that’s not going to necessarily benefit you in the same way it would above. You may instead wish to add other small, recurring bills to your credit card to help you boost your score and establish good repayment history (while staying below your 10 percent credit utilization, of course).
Rent and utilities are something you have to pay, but they rarely benefit you in the credit department. If you can, add these to your report so that you have consistent payments that will help you boost your score with ease.
You can also consider using Experian BOOSTTM to start reporting your utilities for free, though it will only impact your FICO Score 8. This is also a great resource for tracking your FICO Score 8 for free.
Pay Off Collections
If you’re behind on debts and they’ve gone to collections, you know how stressful it can be.
Besides tanking your score because you have a history of late and missed payments, you also have to figure out how to best tackle said debt while also balancing all of the other items in your budget.
But as stated above, collections are not something that can be ignored. If you try to ignore the debt you owe, you can end up having your wages garnished, money taken directly out of your bank account, or even being sued because of your existing debt.
The sooner you take care of your debt, the better. If you can pay the full amount, do so immediately and work with the collector to see if you can get the debt cleared from your report so your score can rise.
If you can’t clear it all, call your collector to see if you can work out a plan of action that works best for you. Collectors simply want the debt paid, and you may be able to set up a payment plan that is affordable and achievable for you.
Be sure to get whatever agreement you make with them in writing.
It’s easy to ignore debt, but it’s harder to deal with the consequences that stem from ignoring it. Do what you need to do to clear your existing debts so that you can get back on track financially. Your credit score and your mental health will thank you for it!
Don’t Close Old Credit Accounts
It can be tempting to close old credit accounts that you’re no longer using. But it’s not advisable.
Closing old credit accounts reduces your length of credit history, which makes up 15% of your FICO credit score. It’s not a huge chunk of your score, but it can impact it if you suddenly close accounts that were opened years ago and are no longer being reported.
Then, you may only have a history related to some of your most recent accounts, which doesn’t demonstrate that you’ve been managing your credit well for years. The longer your credit history and history of on-time payments, the better it is for your credit.
Add to Your Credit Mix
Credit mix is another very small portion of your FICO credit score, making up only 10% of your score.
However, having a healthy credit mix can elevate your score and make it easier for you to access new financing opportunities as lenders will see that you’re able to juggle multiple credit types.
Credit mix consists of revolving and installment credit loans. These are things like credit cards, student loans, car loans, or home mortgages. It’s important to recognize how much you can handle and then go from there in the types of loans you take out.
So, is it possible to learn how to raise your credit score 100 points in 30 days and make it happen?
While it could happen for some, it’s not likely going to happen for the bulk of people looking to raise credit score overnight.
That being said, working on your credit is never a bad thing. Utilize the same tips above, make your credit a priority, and continue working hard. You will notice a change that will positively impact your financial life over time!
Dylan Buckley is a freelance finance writer and editor with 7 years of professional experience. Specializing in personal finance, cryptocurrency investments, and Fintech, Dylan is deeply passionate about creating content that helps readers make informed, confident financial decisions. He studied finance in college and maintains a credit score over 780.