If you have a bad credit history or your credit score is lower than you’d want it to be, then there are ways that you could bring it back up. However, it’s not possible to build an excellent score overnight and it does require work, but the results are possible once you know what to do.
The higher you build your score, the more likely you’ll be able to qualify for credit cards and loans at the most favorable terms, allowing you to save more money in the process.
The quickest way to build your credit score is to focus on creating a positive payment history and avoid making damaging credit mistakes. Furthermore, if you just started building your credit, then it will be at least 6 months before you can get a score at all.
Here are some of the best tips on how to raise credit score:
1. Regularly Review Your Credit Report
Constantly checking your credit report is a good and necessary habit to get into. But it’s especially essential to ensure your biographical information is accurate and there haven’t been any signs of identity theft.
You may also find it rather surprising to learn that you don’t have just one credit score or even three for that matter. Rather, there are over hundreds (if not thousands) of credit scores already made available to you.
You might not be able to tell which credit score a lender will use in order to assess and grade your credit score, but you can have some aspect of control over your credit reports from which your score is based on. Therefore, your score needs to be just as good as your report. But there may not even be a credit score if you haven’t even opened your first line of credit yet.
2. Make Sure You Pay On Time
Another way to increase credit score quickly is to ensure you pay your bills on time. Whenever lenders review your credit report and ask a credit score from you, they’ll want to know how you paid your bills reliably. The reason why this is so is that the performance of your past payments serves as a good indicator of your performance in the future. This is especially the case with both VantageScore and FICO credit scores. With FICO, your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score.
Former credit expert of Equifax and FICO, John Ulzheimer recommends that we avoid not only late payments but also repossessions, defaults, third-party collections, and foreclosures as any one of them could negatively affect our credit score. He especially recommends that we avoid filing for bankruptcy as it is a terrible idea.
And it’s not just credit card bills or loans, like student loans or personal loans, that you need to pay for, but also utilities, phone bills, rent, and more. Some of the best things you can use to stay ahead of the payment cycle are calendar reminders and automatic payments.
To learn how to increase your credit score in Canada, let Loans Geeks guide you on this page.
3. Get a Credit Card That’s Secured
In case you’re making your credit cards score from the ground up, you’ll need to get yourself a credit card that’s secured. Cash deposits that you do upfront make up your secured card; the amount for a deposit on this card is identical to your credit card’s limit.
Don’t worry, the secured card can be used in the same manner as any credit card, such as making payments before or on due dates, buying things, as well as incurring interest if you’re unable to fully pay your credit balance. And when you need to close your account, you can get your deposit back.
4. Construct A Financial Safety Net
Although it isn’t a very popular choice, budgeting is another way you can raise your credit score. Without it, you can easily fall behind on your savings or be stretched too thin. But it doesn’t necessarily take more than an hour or so once you develop a habit for it.
And when you’re budgeting, be sure to keep emergency fund savings in mind. Emergency funds can serve as a financial safety net that will help you in dire circumstances like unexpected expenses or even a job loss that could negatively impact your credit score.
So make sure to save at least two month’s worth of emergency funds every year, and be sure to increase your contributions until you can put a year’s worth of take-home pay away.
5. Make Yourself An Authorized User
By making yourself an authorized user, you can use another person’s credit card, just not from making any payments. You can ask a friend or a relative with a long history of responsible credit card usage as well as a high credit limit to have you added to their card as an authorized user.
When you become an authorized user, the other person’s account history will be added to your credit report and get factored into your credit score. As a result, you will have a longer credit history and be able to reduce your credit utilization.