Correcting a damaged credit score isn’t something that happens overnight. However, there are some steps you can take to help expedite your efforts and make notable improvements within a short period.
Whether you’re looking at buying a house or trying to achieve financial independence, here are six ways to boost your credit score fast.
Pay Your Newest Debts First
When the credit bureaus calculate your credit score, they often put more value on recent debts than older debts. By paying off your newest debts first, you can improve your credit score faster. This method of DIY debt relief is often referred to as the debt landslide.
The debt landslide is ideal for people who know they’ll need a significant loan within the next couple of years. It’s important to note that even this approach to credit repair takes time.
Dispute Negative Credit Report Items
Being in tune with your credit report is one of the essential aspects of repairing your credit score. Taking the time to go over your credit report with a fine-tooth comb will highlight any errors that could impact your score.
Looking for negative items is vital as collections on your credit report are reducing your chances of getting approved for car loans, mortgages, and low-interest lines of credit. Highlight negative items outside the statute of limitations or have erroneous information and dispute them with the creditors.
Keep Unused Accounts Open
If you manage to get a line of credit or credit card paid off, you may feel tempted to close the account to remove temptation. However, doing so will actually negatively impact your credit score.
One factor of your credit score is your debt ratio. The more credit you’re approved for that remains unused, the better your score will be. Thus, leaving an unused credit option open will help skyrocket your credit score over time.
Remove temptation by reducing access to the account— unlink it from your online banking, cut up your credit card, and call it a day.
Use Automatic Payments
The less you have to think about paying down your debts, the easier the process will become. Use automation to ensure you’re always putting money on your debts the day you get paid. This approach helps prevent overspending on payday or forgetting about your upcoming bills.
Try to set your automated bill payments for slightly above the minimum payment threshold. Making a minimum payment is all that’s required for maintaining your credit score and making progress over time; the extra infusion of cash will help you get ahead faster.
Increase Your Credit Limit
Another way to take advantage of the debt ratio equation is to accept the offers to increase your credit limit. However, there’s a caveat to this method. If you struggle with boundaries and debt management, increasing your credit limit can put you in a worse financial situation. As a result, you could damage your credit score even further.
This option for quickly improving your credit score is for people who already have their finances under control.
Avoid Hard Inquiries
Finally, manage your credit score by avoiding hard inquiries. A hard inquiry is when a car salesperson, mortgage broker, or bank pulls a detailed credit report to provide a loan. This action notifies the credit bureaus that you need financial assistance, triggering a decrease in your score.
It’s vital to know the difference between a hard inquiry and a soft inquiry. A soft inquiry is when you check your credit score or report by requesting information from the bureaus or your bank. Soft inquiries do not impact your credit score and are an effective way to become financially literate.
Use these techniques to boost your credit score faster. Remember to create sustainable money management habits to ensure long-term financial health.