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How to Raise Your Credit Score Fast

Boost your credit and pay less interest on loans and credit cards.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #164

Money Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Credit from Scratch

8 Tips to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

As long as you don’t have serious black marks on your report, like a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you can increase your score in as little as a month or two. 

So what’s the fastest way to increase your credit score? Unfortunately, there’s no one magic trick that can pump up your score by a certain number of points. Everyone’s situation is different and there are just too many variables that come into play. But don’t worry, increasing your credit doesn’t have to be difficult or take a decade. As long as you don’t have serious black marks on your report, like a bankruptcy or foreclosure, you can increase your score in as little as a month or two by following these eight tips:

Tip #1: Review your credit report from each of the three major reporting agencies closely. Then immediately clear up any errors, such as incorrect credit limits, late payments, or collection items that aren’t yours. Errors do show up on credit reports. As I mentioned, you can get your credit reports for free from each of the three credit agencies once a year at annualcreditreport.com—and you’re never penalized for checking out your own credit report or score.

Tip #2: Always pay your bills on time. Delinquencies have the biggest negative effect on your credit score. If you simply forget to pay your bills on time or are guilty of being chronically unorganized, what are you thinking? I know a better way! Consider setting your bills up for automatic withdrawal from your checking account. If you have overdue bills, make plans to get them caught up. Did you know that having an account go to a collections agency is a blemish on your credit report that stays there for up to seven years?

Tip #3: Pay down your credit card balances. Reducing your overall debt that’s on your credit report is a very effective way to jack up your credit score. But if you don’t have the funds to do that, consider taking a loan from a family member or friend. That doesn’t reduce what you owe, but it does move debt off your credit report and give your credit score a quick boost.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.