3 Steps to Boost Your Credit 100 Points
Sometimes it's difficult to think about your long-term plans when you're busy trying to keep your head above water.
This is usually how credit scores start to slip in the first place!
Boosting your credit score by 100 points may not seem like a lot, but you might be surprised at how many doors it can open.
From cheaper car insurance to lower interest rates, you'll start to see the savings sooner than you think.
Just 100 points can be the difference between fair and good or from between good and excellent, so consider the following actions today!
Monitor Your Credit Report
It's not exactly fun to go combing through bank statements or credit reports to find potential errors or inconsistencies.
There's so much information, and it can be difficult to keep all the details straight.
But companies, algorithms, and organizations aren't perfect, and their errors can end up costing you a lot.
In fact, about 10% of consumers are estimated to have drastic enough errors on their reports to drive up their rates according to the FTC.
This could mean a person ends up paying twice as much interest on their next credit card approval.
Credit reports may report old or incorrect information that needs to be removed, so it really will be worth it to go through your report and make sure it's accurate.
If you spot an error, you can follow the dispute resolution process.
Within 30 business days, your report (and your score) should reflect your real financial status.
Fly Under Your Credit Limit
A credit line is one of the most tempting things in the world, no matter what that limit is.
Whether it's $1,000 or $100,000, it's hard not to picture what you can do with all that extra cash.
But your credit score can easily be destroyed if your eyes are bigger than your stomach — even if you're paying everything on time.
Your goal is always going to be 30% or below your credit limit on each individual account.
So pay your debts early and often. You can make smaller payments on credit cards regardless of when your balance is due to keep utilization as low as possible.
Start with credit cards that have the highest utilization percentages (e.g., $750 debt on a $1,000 card), or consolidate your debt into one major loan.
Taking care of maxed-out credit cards can instantly jump your score by close to 100 points.
So consider using that impending tax refund to tackle your debt, so you can get it all under control.
Catch Up on Your Payments
Payment history has a huge impact on credit scores, so it's time to start showing that you're responsible when it comes to paying off debt.
In fact, your history is the single biggest factor when it comes to your score.
Set up automatic bill pay, rearrange your due dates based on your paychecks, or start cutting down on luxury items so you can meet all your deadlines.
This advice isn't just for credit cards either, but for every outstanding bill.
Rent, student loans, utilities, health insurance: it can all count for or against you.
The good news is that you may be able to solve past mistakes with just a little finesse.
Calling creditors up and talking to a decision-maker is your first line of defense.
They may be willing to settle for less than is owed or they may remove the late payments from your report.
If the creditor is unable to offer you any of these concessions though that doesn't mean you can afford to let time keep slipping by.
One month overdue is better than two months overdue when it comes to your score.
It takes seven years to remove a missed payment from a credit report, but you can lessen the blow by finding ways to pay everything off on time.
How Long Will It Take?
Removing errors on a credit report and lowering your credit utilization will typically cause a bump in your score faster than consistently paying your bills. (After all, you're supposed to be paying on time anyway.)
But all three steps are crucial if you're looking to move your score up from one category to the next.
The other piece of good news is that the lower your score, the more powerful (and faster) these changes will be.
So if you want to bump your score up 100 points fast, it's time to start monitoring and making cutbacks on your spending habits.