The 5 Fastest Way to Boost Your Credit Score
While it is impossible to promise a boost of X points to anyone, there are some basic principles that can cause small to large leaps in your credit scores. Each score is too individualized and based on too many factors to be able to make blanket statements about score improvement. Although, significant improvement can be possible in just a short amount of time through a few simple techniques.
The Best Secret: Credit Card Utilization
A great way to bring up your credit scores is to bring down your credit card balances. Known as utilization, the percentage of how much of your cumulative credit card limit you are using is a significant part of your score. With so much theory shrouding proper credit card utilization, let's clear the record. The smaller the balance the better. Utilizing 10% or less of the available limit will optimize your scoring benefit.
Reporting Early and Often
For those who diligently pay off their credit cards when they receive their statements every month, you may consider paying off your balances before they are posted to your statement at the end of the month. Many credit card companies report your credit card utilization to the bureaus around the time your statement is printed to be mailed to you!
Do NOT Close Credit Cards
With many trending budgeting techniques and theories surrounding credit cards, there is a large population that are closing their credit cards. How does this affect the consumer? Closing a credit card will lower the cumulative credit limit, therefore hurting credit utilization. Similarly, it will affect your credit like that of an over limit credit card. Equally detrimental, you are throwing away the largest factor that makes up your credit score which is payment history!
A simple thing to avoid if you are seeking short term improvement is to stop applying for new credit. If you are boosting your score for an impending application, wait until after the application to seek other credit. When you apply for new credit, your potential creditor will pull your report, which has a negative impact on your score. These hard inquiries are not reported for 30 days, so you have that window. Furthermore, all inquiries from similar industries (i.e. Credit Cards, Auto, etc.) provide a grace period to shop other companies and allow multiple credit pulls while only affecting your credit as if it were one inquiry. This grace period is generally 14 days for most industries. This does not boost your score, but helps prevent a short term drop instead.
Throughout it all, prevention is always essential. Keep paying your bills. Any new negative items on your report may easily cancel out any good you accomplish. It is hard to say how much your score can jump using these strategies. No matter what happens, keep pushing ahead developing good credit. Some may only go up a handful of points, others dozens; either way you have nothing to lose by using these tactics if you need a quick boost.
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