While it may not be possible to fix your credit overnight, there are several options that may help you increase your credit score over a short time span. Be cautious of tactics, scams or companies claiming to help you increase credit quickly. Not only are they out to make a quick buck, they could harm your credit even further. The following suggestions are just common sense, but they are honest and easy ideas that allow you to create a plan to help achieve your goal of getting your credit score improved:
- Pay down debt. Focus on accounts that have high outstanding balances and tackle those first. Paying down debt allows you to reduce interest rates and increase your score at the same time. This may be easier said than done but think about contacting creditors and asking to make smaller payments or ask about reduced payment plans available.
- Combine and consolidate credit cards. Many consumers carry more than one credit card but the process is pretty simple. You can ask your credit card company about consolidation options. It helps if your credit limit remains the same since this may have a positive effect of how revolving lines of credit are seen on your credit report. It also helps to reduce how often you use your credit cards to keep outstanding balances low.
- Check your credit report for errors and dispute them. Some errors that get corrected can help boost your score by several points. Check to make sure creditors are reporting your payments; sometimes a negative mark can be overlooked or placed on your report by error. You may need to request a copy from each credit bureau and make sure they each have your information correct. The credit agencies maintain reports for millions of people so it's not out of the question to find a mistake.
- Pay bills on time. Believe it or not, many negative marks on credit reports include delinquencies, late, missed or overdue payments. There are bills that can be paid automatically each month by withdrawal. If you have an account that goes to collections it could stay on your report for 7 years.
- Try not to apply for credit too often. Applying for credit too often can make your credit score drop. It helps to submit inquires within two weeks but too many inquires cause your report to be viewed multiple times. Other lenders learn about inquires and it could reduce chances of getting approved.