Having a good credit score is, in many ways, essential to having a balanced financial situation. It shows banks and credit companies that you are able to keep your finances under control and that you are trustworthy enough to get a loan whenever you need it. However, your credit score needs to be built up over time, and this is often more difficult than it seems.
Depending on where you live and what your occupation is, you may be stuck using credit cards just to get from one month to the next, or to make your mortgage payments on time. Unfortunately, using credit cards, missing your monthly payments even by one day, or taking payday advances too often can put a dent in your score and make it difficult to get a large loan when you need it the most.
This having been said, there are a few things that you can do to raise your credit score without making any considerable sacrifices in terms of financial resources. Here are 5 easy methods that you can use to build up your credit score:
Close any accounts that you do not use
Get rid of any credit cards that you do not use on a regular basis. Having a large amount of unused credit can make creditors think that you need it in order to survive from one month to another. The rule of thumb is to only keep one or two credit cards, at most.
Use online lending services instead of payday advances
There are hundreds of online lending services that you can use to get short-term loans for when you buy electronics or need to pay for medical services. These do not perform credit score checks and do not report their transactions to credit score registers, which means that they can be used as a credit card alternative.
Furthermore, most services are able to process loan requests in under 24 hours and transfer you the money instantly after approving the transaction, making them almost as reliable as banks.
Clean up your credit report
Use a platform such as AnualCreditReport to request a free credit report from each of the main US credit registers. These are:
You can legally request one of these, for free, each year, which means that you only have to clean up your credit report every 12 months. Once you get the report, print it and read it thoroughly. The goal here is to identify any standing debts that you have (late payments, unpaid bills, etc.) and to pay them.
Pay off your credit cards every 15 days
Most individuals tend to pay off their credit cards every two months. While this is not extremely damaging to your credit score, it will slowly chip away at it and keep it from increasing. This is because the rate at which you pay back the money helps creditors create a financial profile that they will look at when deciding how much money you can borrow.
Make a habit out of paying off your credit cards every 15 days in order to see a fast improvement of your credit score.
Raise your credit card limit
This is more of a technical solution of raising your credit score, however, it is easy to do and the results are great. If you have a credit card that is maxed out at $1000, you can call the company and ask for a limit increase. Most creditors will agree to increase your credit limit instantly, without any other modifications to the terms and conditions.
The idea is to double the credit card limit to lower the overall credit percentage that you’re using. In other words, if you have a credit card that is maxed out at $1000, you’re using 100% of the credit that has been given to you. Once you raise the limit to $2000, you will only be using 50% of the credit.
Keep in mind that for this method to work, you will have to refrain from using the rest of the credit once you raise the limit on your card.
Use these methods and you should be able to increase your credit score fairly quickly. However, remember that the best way to have a good credit score is to constantly look at ways to pay your debts on time and to use your credit cards as little as possible.
Where possible, try to use online services to borrow money when you make larger purchases. It is better to borrow the money from one of these platforms than to charge it to your credit card because online lending platforms do not report transactions that are under $1000 to any credit core registers. Furthermore, most will never even perform a score check to determine if you are eligible or not for their services.