When it comes to credit scores, I have found more often than not that it’s not until one is ready to make a big purchase, such as a home or a car, that they learn about credit. By then it’s too late if their score is too low to qualify for the loan or too low to get an interest rate that will make their payment affordable. Repairing your credit can take months or even years, depending on the information in your credit report.
However, there are some ways to repair your credit score in 30 days or less. Often, these tips will increase your score in as little as a few days, depending on when the information hits TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. There are 5 main factors that affect your credit score: debt/credit ratio, long history of paying on time, multiple types of accounts, how long you have had credit, and your last application for credit.
To increase your score quickly, try these tips:
1. Ask your credit card issuer to increase your line of credit. You have nothing to lose by asking!
2. Write a letter to TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax asking them to delete anything that is negative on your credit report. You will need a current copy of your credit report to do this and will need to ask specifically about each negative item. The credit bureaus have to validate the item and if they cannot, they have to delete it. You can get each credit report free once per year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com. I recommend staggering them and pulling one every 4 months.
3. Pay down all credit card balances to less than 30% debt to credit. For example, if you have a credit card that has a $1000 limit, pay it down to $300 or less. Keep in mind that each credit card carries the same weight, so if you only have so much money to use toward paying down your balances, pay down those with the lowest credit line first. I.e., if you have a $1000 line of credit with a balance of $500 and a $10,000 line of credit with a $5000 balance, pay the first balance down to $300. That requires less money and has the same impact as paying $5000 down to $3000.