If you want to significantly improve your credit score, be prepared to be in it for the long haul. There are a number of factors that contribute to the health of your credit score, like the age of your accounts and your payment history, which require time to become established. If you have a subprime credit score or no credit at all, the most foolproof method of credit improvement will be to create a long term plan for creating and maintaining smart credit habits.
However, let’s say that you anticipate needing to buy a new car within the next year, or are thinking of purchasing a home, then you might want to concentrate on improving your credit score within the next 30 to 90 days. While none of the steps are guaranteed to produce the results you are looking for, there are simple and quick actions you can follow to produce the best possible outcome.
Here are a few methods of quickly revitalizing your credit score in 2017:
Ask a trusted friend or family member to make you an authorized user.
If a person you trust adds you as an authorized user to a line of credit they have had for a long time, it will allow you to essentially piggyback off of their good credit. This account will be listed on your credit report, and if it has been responsibly managed, it will be enormously beneficial for your credit score. However, you should be wary of whom you ask to do this. If their account is used irresponsibly or they are unable to meet their financial obligations to it, then both of your credit scores can take a hit.
Ask for an increase on your credit limit.
If you have a credit card, you can request a credit limit increase from the provider. If you have been timely on making your monthly payments, there is a fair chance that they will be willing to negotiate with you. When your credit limits are increased, it simultaneously decreases your credit utilization, which is a significant contributing factor to your overall credit score.
It is important to emphasize that this strategy works only if you do not increase your spending. Likewise, your provider may conduct a hard inquiry on your credit report, which will lower your credit score temporarily, so use this action wisely.
Pay down or pay off your credit cards.
In a similar manner, your credit utilization rating will almost always improve if you are able to pay down or pay off the balance on one or more credit cards. Experts recommend paying down the balance(s) so they are under 30% of your actual credit limit. This is a simple and straightforward step that will yield positive results in a minimal amount of time.
Check your credit report for any errors.
Your overall credit score could be negatively affected by errors on your credit report, and having these errors corrected will rapidly improve your score. AnnualCreditReport.com offers American adults one free credit report (from each of the three major credit bureaus) each year. If you notice an error or problem, be sure to file a dispute with the agency in question. Most disputes can be resolved in 30 to 45 days.
Inquire about rapid rescoring.
Finally, if you are planning on applying for a mortgage in the near future, one little known trick that is available to you is to ask your mortgage lender about rapid rescoring. These services are generally offered by mortgage lenders when an applicant is close to qualifying for lower interest rates.
A rapid rescore will quickly resolve errors and will assist in updating your credit report. For example, if a negative item has been recently removed from your credit report, or you have paid off a debt, you can provide your mortgage lender with documentation of this. Your lender then asks for a rapid rescore on your behalf. Some lenders do charge a fee for rapid rescoring, so make sure to inquire about any additional costs ahead of time.