How to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

How to Raise Your Credit Score Quickly
  • Opening Intro -

    Your credit score is a three-digit number used by creditors to determine if you are "worthy" to get a loan or to be extended a line of credit such as a credit card or home equity line.

    The Fair Isaac Corporation or FICO developed the formula behind credit scores; similar scoring is also used by Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, the three credit reporting bureaus.


A late payment can hurt your credit score

Your score can range from 300 to 830 or 850, with scores above 700 suggesting “good credit management” according to Experian.[1] Below that number, and credit is harder to get. If you are granted a loan, you’ll pay a higher interest rate, costing you thousands of dollars if that loan is for a mortgage.

Clearly, raising your credit score is important, but it won’t be something that will happen over night. However, certain action you take today can be reflected in an improved score 30 days out, perhaps offering you enough time to make some changes before applying for a mortgage or new car loan.

1. Pay down your credit cards — If your credit card balances are above 30 percent of your credit line, this can work against you. For example, if your credit card company extends a $10,000 credit line and you have $4,231 in debt, that extra $1,231 hurts. Try to reduce your balances below 30 percent. Or, if you’re lucky, your lender may will be willing to increase your credit line which could provide the room you need.

2. Get a new charge card — Store cards are some of the easiest cards to get. And, even if your credit line is just $500, using the card once and paying off your balance immediately can help to raise your score. Check with Sears, the Home Depot and Penney’s for store cards.

3. Clean up your credit reports — Negative, wrong information on your credit reports can work against you. Managing your credit reports is imperative if you’re considering borrowing some money.  You can get one free copy annually of your credit reports from[2] Obtain your three consumer credit reports and dispute wrong or outdated information. Credit bureaus of 30 days to respond to your request.

4. Set up payment reminders — One late payment can ding your credit score, especially if the creditor reports your mistake to the credit bureaus. A full 35 percent of your credit score is determined by your payment history.[3] Have your lenders send you reminding emails at least 10 days before your payment is due.

The best way to keep your FICO score high is learning credit management skills.

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5. Pay down debt — That income tax refund, tax or legal settlement or other windfall can be tempting! Instead of spending it on something frivolous, apply those funds to your debt. The more debt you can pay off, the better. However, don’t close your old accounts: keeping them open will raise your credit score. Just don’t charge anything new if you’re trying to get a mortgage or installment loan.

Be mindful that there aren’t any legitimate schemes that will raise your credit score overnight. However, you can see your scores jump in as little as 30 days if get started on repairing your credit today.


[1] Experian: What is a Good Credit Score?

[2] Federal Trade Commission: Free Annual Credit Reports

[3] MyFICO: How to Repair Your Credit and Improve Your FICO Credit Score

Adv. — Need college financing? A Sallie Mae Smart Option Student Loan just may be the best way for you to offset the expense of your higher education.



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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".