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- 1. Ask for a credit limit increase on all your cards
- 2. Ensure you’re below the 30% utilization rate for each of your cards and cumulatively
- 3. Ask to remove 30 day late payments (and maybe even 60 or 90 day late days)
- 4. Check if you have credit lines as an “Authorized User”. If you’re young or sharing a credit card with someone this may apply to you.
- 5. Time your new credit inquiry application after a credit inquiry expires
Let’s say you’re looking to apply for a new apartment in a month or want to buy a car soon. You’ll want to make sure your credit score is in its best possible shape. Here are some quick ways to increase your credit score.
1. Ask for a credit limit increase on all your cards
If you’re able to increase your credit limit without a credit check (meaning they won’t need your social security to run a hard inquiry), then try getting a credit limit increase. If they run a credit inquiry, it’ll run a hard inquiry and may decrease your score.
If your income has increased by 5%, it’ll be easy to negotiate a credit increase. If the creditor doesn’t offer this service online try calling them and say “I’ve been your customer for x years and have always paid a bill on time (if true), so please give me this credit increase.”
2. Ensure you’re below the 30% utilization rate for each of your cards and cumulatively
If one of your cards has a $500 credit limit make sure your balance is 30% or lower ($150 or below). This rule also applies to your credit limit total. So if you have $10,000 in total credit limit from all your cards, you shouldn’t pass 30% ($3,000).
3. Ask to remove 30 day late payments (and maybe even 60 or 90 day late days)
If you made one late payment to a credit card after making 99% on-time payments, try calling your creditor and ask them to remove the late payment. They’ll usually allow you if it’s a one time ordeal.
4. Check if you have credit lines as an “Authorized User”. If you’re young or sharing a credit card with someone this may apply to you.
If someone added you as an authorized user, consider removing all “authorized user” credit lines off your credit report. Should consider this after you’re able to establish a long credit history and if the credit line balances don’t reflect your financial wellness. Otherwise, these credit line balances will continue appearing and affecting your credit report.
Being an authorized user at a young age is very useful because it can help build one’s credit score and history.
5. Time your new credit inquiry application after a credit inquiry expires
If you’re trying to increase your credit score for a loan application or rent a new apartment, time your new credit application so that you can submit it after your credit inquiry has expired. Credit inquiries usually stay on your report for two years, although they typically affect your credit score for one year.
Use tools like Credit Karma to stay on top of your credit score. Set up alerts to notice if there are any discrepancies that can be caused by fraud. We also advise you to get a free credit report from any of the 3 credit bureaus. Get your free credit report from any of the 3 nationwide credit reporting companies via the Federal Trade Commission here! Everyone is entitled to get a full credit report once every 12 months!
PRO TIP: Transunion tends to rate everyone’s score lower than other reports. Most creditors will go with the lowest score.