How to raise credit: 13 tips
You throw in an application for a house loan only to get denied. You need a certain credit score for it, and you don’t even come close. It’s annoying because you’re ready to move out of your parent’s house, but what can you do?
You’re not sure how to raise credit. You’re dealing with so much debt that you’re not sure where to begin. Do you start with your credit cards, or do you begin with picking away at your student loans?
We’ve got all the answers you’re looking for and more. Keep reading to learn how to improve credit and get back on your feet.
1. Put Your Bills on Autopay
It happens to everyone. You have so many monthly bills to deal with that you forget about one or two. All it takes is one missed payment to impact your credit score, however.
That’s why it’s recommended to put all your bills on autopay. They’ll come right out of your bank account without you having to lift a finger. You’ll never forget another payment.
Just make sure that your bank account has enough cash in it to cover the bills. If it doesn’t, you’ll send your account into overdraft, which won’t do wonders for your score.
2. Pay Your Debts in Collections
When you can’t pay on a loan, it will eventually go into collections. You’ll know when that happens because the collector will contact you at least once a week to get the money.
You can tell the collector to leave you alone, but it’s better to take care of the debt. If you ignore it, it will hurt your credit score. You may even have to deal with a lawsuit.
Try to pay the debt off in full or open negotiations. You may be able to consolidate the debt with one of your other loans to get the collection agency off your back.
3. Take Out a Credit Builder Loan
If you’re trying to boost credit in a hurry, take out a credit builder loan. You’ll have to make fixed payments on the loan for a certain number of months. Every time you pay the bill on time, the lender will report it to the credit bureaus.
The money will sit in a savings account with your name on it. At the end of the loan term, you’ll be able to use it to your heart’s content. It’s a win-win!
4. Become an Authorized User
Talk to a family member or friend about becoming an authorized user on their credit card. You’ll have permission to use the card for purchases. When you or your loved one makes payments on the card, it will give you positive points on your credit.
It’s important that you choose a loved one that you can trust. If they let the card fall by the wayside, you’ll suffer for it.
You should also be sure to pay the primary user for your purchases. Don’t expect them to take care of the things that you buy with the card.
5. Get a Secured Credit Card
With secured credit cards, you control your limit. You give the bank a set amount of money (usually between 200 and 300 dollars) and they give you a card.
You can use it like you would any other credit card. The deposit protects the bank in the event that you use the money without paying it back.
If you do make the payments, the bank will report your good deed to the credit bureaus. They may also be willing to upgrade your secured credit card to an unsecured one.
You can go to https://www.moneyunder30.com/credit-cards to learn more about credit cards. For now, we’re going to move on to credit reports.
6. Check Your Credit Report
You should always stay on top of your credit report. Requesting a copy of it is free. When you get it, check it over for any inaccuracies.
If you see something that you don’t recognize, you can dispute the problem and possibly get it taken off. If your request is successful, your credit score will go up at least a few points.
7. Don’t Close Your Old Credit Card Accounts
After paying off a credit card that you’re not using anymore, the obvious next step is to close it for good, right? You would be wrong about that.
Your score benefits from long credit histories and limits. If you close the card, it will cut a chunk off your history, which might hurt your score. Besides, it takes years for cards to depart from your report.
The only time you want to close the account is if the card has a huge annual fee that you’re having issues paying. Even then, you might be able to negotiate with the issuer to get a smaller fee.
8. Try to Avoid Opening New Lines of Credit
When you apply for a new credit card or housing loan, the lender will do a hard check on your credit. It won’t make your score dip down by a lot, but it will impact it.
Well, one or two hard checks won’t hurt you, anyway. If you apply for several loans at once, however, that’s going to do some damage. You might end up getting declined because of the number of hard checks on your account.
9. Keep Tabs on Your Credit Score
If you don’t keep a watchful eye over your credit score, you’re not going to notice when something’s wrong with it. Do yourself a favor and check your score at least once a week.
If you notice any issues, handle them as soon as you can. This way, they can fall off your score and stop dragging you down.
10. Protect Your Sensitive Information
Those who don’t keep their information guarded leave themselves vulnerable to thieves. Use a different password for all of your accounts. If you have problems with keeping up with them all, write them down in a notebook and put it in a safe place.
Try your best to avoid making purchases on a public Wi-Fi network. Anyone can pop in and see what you’re doing. If you like using your laptop in your local coffee shop, invest in a VPN.
This way, nobody will gain access to your bank and take your credit for a ride.
11. Make Some Life Changes
The less money you spend during the month, the more cash you’ll have to put toward your expenses. There are many ways you can cut down.
Trade up to a cheaper cellphone company. You can buy a nice phone and get on one of those affordable pay-by-month plans. Cut out your cable company and invest in a few streaming services.
Close your gym membership. You can get as much of a workout right at home. Go on a walk every morning before work.
Instead of stopping by a coffee shop every day, make your own at home. The same goes for your lunch. If you live close enough to the office, ride your bike instead of taking your car.
12. Talk to a Counselor
If you’re bad at budgeting or don’t know where to begin with making a budget so you can start tackling your debt, talk to a credit counselor.
A lot of times you can get a free consultation to talk about the first steps you should take to hack away at your monthly expenses. They can also help you come up with a management plan.
Be careful to avoid scams. Stay away from counselors that say they can repair your credit or erase information from your report for a fee. No company can legally do away with your debt info.
13. Add Your Rent Into the Mix
Do you pride yourself on making your rent payments on time? Why not add them to your credit report. Doing so is easy. All you have to do is sign up for RentTracker or some other service.
Some of these services will charge you a fee, but you can reduce the impact by getting your property manager involved. They might be willing to take care of things.
How to Raise Credit and Live Debt Free
Without a good credit score, you won’t be able to take out a loan for a house or car. Even going to a furniture store to lease a couch will prove a challenge. The good news is that there are several ways for you to raise your score and take control of your debt.
Get started with these tips on how to raise credit and for more financial advice, feel free to explore the rest of our website.