How to Improve Your Credit Score Now
Your credit score can either help you gain access to, or keep you from, buying the things you want. While improving credit scores takes effort, and time, there are things you can do now to help you get to a better score faster. Here are three ways to improve your credit score faster.
Ask for a Higher Credit Limit
You can improve your credit score by reducing your overall credit card debt. Credit card utilization carries a lot of weight in terms of your credit score. The lower you keep your credit card balances, the better your score can become. If you can’t lower your balances just yet, you could try reaching out to your credit card company to ask for a higher credit limit. If it’s been a while since you’ve received a boost to your credit limit, and you have an excellent payment record, you could be approved for a higher limit. Your credit card company may require additional information before making an approval decision that could include your income and employment status. You may be able to request an increase online by logging into your account.
Before request an increase, check to see if the company will run a new hard inquiry. Hard inquiries can also negatively impact your credit score, although not as much as your credit card utilization. Ask your credit card company if they will perform a hard inquiry before you confirm your request.
Write for Forgiveness
If you’re normally on top of your bills, but made a late payment recently you could improve your credit score by asking to have the bad mark removed. A “goodwill adjustment letter” gives consumers the ability to make a case for why the delinquency should be removed. You’ll need to describe why the late payment occurred, show proof of your normally timely payments, and show your positive track record with the company before and after the one late payment.
You’re at the mercy of the creditor at this point. They are not required to remove the report, so be patient.
Transfer Credit Card Balances
It takes about 15 minutes to apply for a balance transfer, and about seven to ten days to get approved. If you’re finding it difficult to pay off credit due to high interest rates, opening a new credit card may be able to help you pay down debt faster. Some credit card companies offer 0% introductory rates, and no fee balance transfers. By transferring high credit card balances to a credit card with 0% interest, you may be able to pay down debt faster.
Zero percent introductory periods give borrowers a break from high interest payments, and help debtors pay off balances quicker. However, that requires budgetary changes. Plan your budget to help you pay down your balance as much as possible before the introductory period ends.
Improve your credit score to afford a better car or home. It often means lower interest rates, and higher credit limits. There’s a lot of benefits to improving your credit score. Keep track of your score with free reporting tools, and work to maintain good credit.