How to Build Your Credit Score Quickly

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Good credit is essential to building a healthy financial future.

As interest rates continue to rise, it’s more important than ever to make sure your credit is either ‘very good’ or ‘exceptional’. The benefits of having such top tier credit are worth the time and effort it takes to build it. For starters, good credit lets you borrow money at a lower interest rate, get better terms and offers on credit cards and cell phones, and earn a better and lower interest on a home loan. In addition, a strong credit score demonstrates to lenders that you are reliable in keeping your promise to repay the money that has been loaned to you.

But what if your credit isn’t in good standing or you’re just starting to build your credit? You’re not alone. In the first quarter of 2022, ended March 31, credit card balances grew year-over-year to $841 billion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The national average credit card debt among cardholders with outstanding balances was $6,569. This type of debt can wreak havoc on your credit score, but never fear, there’s always hope that you can establish a better credit score.

If you suffer from a less than optimal credit score, we can show you how to build credit quickly so you can get the things you and your family need.

What is a good credit score?

There are two types of credit scores: the Experian score and the FICO score. The FICO score is used more often, but the two are used interchangeably, depending on each individual.

The FICO scale ranges from 300 to 850, with the latter reserved only for those with the best credit. From there, it goes from good to fair to bad, depending on your numerical score.

FICO® Credit Scoring Model 8

Poor

Fair

Good

Very well

Exceptional

300 – 579

580 – 669

670 – 739

740 – 799

800 – 850

How to build your credit fast

Eager to improve your credit score? ZDNet offers the following steps to help you boost your numbers without extended delay or added stress.

You won’t know what to fix if you don’t know what’s broken. You can get a free copy of your credit report through Annual CreditReport.com or Experian’s free credit report, which lets you see your FICO score updated every 30 days. It’s also an invaluable tool to help you monitor your month-to-month growth, so you know your options when it comes to applying for a credit card or loan.

Another benefit of your credit report is that it can tell you about incorrect information, which can negatively impact your credit score. Since your credit report lists the items against you, you can confirm or refute whether each item is correct and whether it is a late payment or a closed account. It’s a quick way to build your credit quickly and without too much hassle. Simply file a credit report dispute with all three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion – to correct incorrect information and watch your score climb over time.

Be sure to pay off your debts as soon as possible. Making timely payments helps improve your credit score quickly, as it shows that you are a responsible borrower and are able to repay your debts. Your debt-to-income ratio shows how much credit you have relative to your outstanding debt. Your credit usage score can help you determine if you have room to buy that new car or upgrade to a better credit card.

Sometimes you can benefit from someone else’s credit. If you have a close family member or friend you trust, ask if you can become an authorized user on the account. You can benefit from that person’s higher credit limit, and being an authorized user adds another account to your credit score and helps you achieve a balanced debt-to-credit ratio (ideally below 30%).

A secured loan is another option for building your credit fast when you have bad credit. This type of loan requires you to pay up front in exchange for a line of credit. After a period of responsible use, you may be able to exchange your secured credit card for an unsecured credit card. A secured loan is another recommended way to get credit quickly.

Over time, life changes. You may now have double income from the marriage, or maybe you got a raise and are making more money. Whatever the reason, positive changes like these could impact your credit limit. If you request an increase in your credit limit, your credit score could benefit from a better balance of your credit utilization rate.

Don’t go on an application spree and start asking for credit cards left and right. Constantly running your credit can jeopardize your credit score. Instead, keep the ones you have and focus on responsible and timely payments. Over time, you will see an improvement in your credit score when you stick to a level of credit utilization below 30%.

Building your credit doesn’t have to be a Herculean task. In fact, your credit score is not immutable, but rather a score that changes over time. If you now have bad credit, you can improve it faster than you think if you take a proactive and responsible approach by following the steps above. Start managing your credit card usage and reviewing (and updating) your credit reports to keep your credit usage level below 30%.

When you can be trusted to pay what you owe, you might be surprised how quickly you can build credit and improve your credit score.


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