Boosting your credit score isn’t an art, it’s a science. Whether you want to raise a bad credit score, or just tack on a few extra points before getting a mortgage or a loan you can use these ways to boost your credit score.
How your Credit Score is Determined
Your credit score is made up of 5 parts:
- 35% Payment History. Have you been making all of your payments on time?
- 30% Current Debts How much do you owe, and how much can you borrow?
- 15% Length of Credit (Time) How long have you have a credit history?
- 10% New Credit Any recent loans or borrowing?
- 10% Credit Mix Do you have a mix of credit; auto, credit cards, home loans, etc.?
Now that we understand how our credit is calculated here are ways that you can boost your credit.
Monitor Your Credit With Credit Karma
Do this first! If you haven’t signed up for Credit Karma yet you’re really missing out. This is the best way to ensure that you know what’s going on with your credit. Check it every few months to watch the movement of your score. Frequently checking credit
How Credit Karma Helps You Boost Your Credit Score
Credit Karma gives you a holistic view of everything in your credit report. You can use this information to review what’s on your report, dispute inaccurate information, and make small tweaks to improve your score. This is your dashboard for all the information included in your credit report. Review it frequently.
Fight Back, If You Need To
Credit Karma also helps to facilitate disputes between you and the credit bureaus. This should only be used when you need to remove incorrect or inaccurate information from the credit report. Generally speaking, this process is a mess, but if you’re diligent and relentless you can get anything incorrect removed from your report. Winning a dispute will provide you with an instant boost to your credit score.
Stack Your Hard Inquiries
Hard inquires on your credit happen anytime you request for more credit from a new bank or company. For example opening a new Credit Karma account won’t create a hard inquiry, but getting new credit card will.
Hard inquires typically cause a negative effect on your credit score which can last up to two years. Hard inquires have a secret, they are defined by time not by company. So you can allow multiple companies to review your credit and only get one hard inquiry.
Instead of getting one credit card at a time, get two, or three. These will cause only one credit hit. You can also get a car loan or new credit card at the same time to only have one hit on your credit score. This can be a big deal to cause your credit score to rocket higher instead of taking a hit.
Request a Credit Increase
Getting more credit is one of the easiest ways to boost your credit score. One of my best secrets is to get 2-3 credit cards, then request a credit line increase every 6 months. The process takes seconds but is very powerful.
Requesting an increase in your credit line adds to the total credit line which affects 30% of your credit score. The more you can borrow the higher your score will go.
The key to doing this successfully is ensuring that you’ve got a large credit line, but low utilization. Utilizing too much of your credit or not paying the cards off every month is the faster way to kill your credit score.
Self Report Your Good Behavior
Experian is one of three major credit bureaus. It’s got a new program that I really like. It’s called Boost. Here’s how it works. You can self-report utility bills, rent, even streaming subscriptions to have them included in your credit score. This adds much-needed history to your credit (worth 15%) and to your payment history (worth 35%).
Experian Boost won’t add hundreds of points to your score, but it can be used to add a couple of points before applying for a mortgage or other loan. Every point matters when it comes to getting the best rate, so this will give you the best chance of getting the best rate.
Keep Your Usage Low
Keeping your usage low is another one of my best ways to boost your credit score. It’s actually really simple too. Instead of paying off your credit cards automatically pay them off twice a month, once on the 15 then again on the last day of the month. This will ensure that you’re effectively cutting your credit unitization in half.
It’s also beneficial to pay off the card immediately before a large purchase, such as a vacation, then pay it off again immediately after the large charge clears. This will ensure that you never untilize too much of your available credit; which is worth 30% of your credit score.
That’s it! Those are my 6 ways for boosting your credit score. Do you have any tips for me, or have you managed to get that elusive 850? Leave me a comment below.