It takes years of responsible credit habits to build a good credit score. But what if you need to take a home loan, car loan, personal loan or a credit card in the near future and a low credit score is coming in the way of your financial plans. In such a case you will not have enough time and patience to wait for the credit situation to change. You would need to look at ways to improve credit score fast so that you increase your chances of approval and get favourable rates and terms.
While there is no quick fix solution to transform the credit score here are some strategies that can help to raise the credit score by a few points in less than 30 days. Putting them in action will also help in setting the foundation for long term improvement in finances.
1. Order your credit report and check if any inaccurate credit information is negatively impacting the score. Mistakes relating to payment history, credit limits, outstanding balances, collection actions are not uncommon. Disputing these errors and getting them corrected is the easiest way to boost your credit score fast.
2. If your account has gone for collection you can offer to pay the balance and request the creditor to erase the entry altogether or report it as ‘paid as agreed’. Removing a collection action from the report is an efficient way to improve credit score fast. Get the arrangement in writing and follow up to ensure that the required changes are made. Remember to avoid any charge-offs situation as it a tangible proof that you are not serious about repaying your debts. Charge offs hurt your credit score badly for a long period of time.
3. Get a secured credit card. They are easy to obtain even if you have a bad credit history. It will bump up the total credit limit and reduce your credit utilization ratio. Make sure you do not carry a balance on the new card and pay your bills on time.
4. Pay your past due accounts. Payment history accounts for 30% of the credit score. Accounts that are due for more than 90 days hurt your credit score the most. In order to boost your credit score clear your past due loans as quickly as possible. Keeping accounts up to date will increase your score with time. Also make sure that you pay your bills on time from now on. Building a record of continuous, on-time payments is a good way to boost your credit score. Automate payments to make sure that bills are paid on time.
5. Pay your credit card balances. Credit utilization ratio has a major impact on the credit score. Paying your credit card balances will reduce the amount of credit line you are currently using as compared to the overall credit limit. As credit scores are updated every month they take into account any reduction in the outstanding balances. Reducing the utilization ratio to 30% is a good way to improve credit score fast. If you do not have funds to pay the balances consider taking loan from a friend. It will not reduce the amount you owe, but definitely help to boost your credit score.
6. Request for a raise in the credit limit. If you have a decent payment history on a credit card, talk to your credit card company and ask for an increase in the credit line. This will reduce your utilization ratio and boost your credit score. Make sure you do not increase your spending otherwise the whole purpose of getting the limit increased will be defeated.
7. Pay your bills twice a month. Do not wait for the due date to pay off the entire balance on the credit card. Make another payment just before the closing date. This will ensure that a lesser credit balance is reported to the bureaus. Maxing out the card at any given moment create an impression that you are overly dependent on credit. This is not good for your Cibil score.
These strategies will help boost your credit score. But you need to pay your bills on time, and keep utilizations low in order to see a continuous improvement in your score in the long run.