Four Tips For Quickly Boosting Your Credit Score
By Jessica Williams
Rebuilding your credit score can be a long process, especially if it was severely damaged in the past. However, if you are on the brink of “good” and “excellent” credit, there a certain steps you can take to provide your rating with a quick boost.
– Pay off your credit card debt
Perhaps the easiest way to improve your scores is to attack your balances. If you have any money on your cards, eliminating some, or all, of it can potentially bump your rating up in the short term. The reason for this is that it impacts your credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of how much of your limit you are using. However, this can be difficult to accomplish if your balances are high, as most providers want to see a utilization ratio of 30 percent or less.
– Correct errors on your credit report
You are entitled to a free copy of this document each year from the three major bureaus, so be sure to take advantage of this benefit to check for any false information. Errors are more common than you may think, and the smallest mistake could be holding down your score. For example, a high balance may still be on your report many years after you paid it off. If that is the case, you need to contact the bureau to have this information removed.
– Start using an old card
Just because you haven’t closed an account, doesn’t mean it will continue to report to credit bureaus. In fact, after a long period of inactivity, this card will no longer benefit your credit score. With that in mind, you may want to consider dusting off your old plastic and purchase a few items a month with it. Paying off this balance in full before each pay period ends could help boost your rating.
– Ask for a higher limit
One of the major factors when computing your score is your credit utilization ratio. If you are unable to come up with funds to pay down your balances to zero, you may want to consider calling your provider and asking for a limit increase. With a bump from $500 to $1,500, your utilization will fall, potentially giving your rating some relief.
Jessica Williams is Consolidated Credit’s Marketing Communications New Media Coordinator. As a member of the education team, Jessica focuses on helping consumers make better financial decisions while living debt-free. She has previously worked with Take Stock In Children, where she was a mentor and communications specialist, and SouthPromo.com, where she managed community relations, event planning, marketing, and public relations. Jessica attended both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida where she received her B.S. in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and Marketing. Connect with Jessica on Google+.