Building your credit score takes time. A solid history of paying your debts as agreed and generally being responsible with credit helps you positively impact your score—hopefully driving it into good or excellent territory. And while there’s not a guaranteed method for improving your score overnight, there are some things you can do to fast-track positive trends for your score.
Five ways to build your credit as quickly as possible include:
- Getting added as an authorized user to a friend or family member’s credit card account.
- Getting inaccurate negative items removed from your credit reports.
- Paying down debt, especially on revolving credit accounts.
- Getting a personal loan and paying it as agreed.
- Signing up for Experian Boost™.
Find out more about each of these tactics below.
1. Get Added as an Authorized User
Many tips for improving your credit involve positive ways to manage your existing debt. But if you have little credit history or a low credit score, it can be difficult to get credit to begin with. One way around this is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account.
This is how it works:
- A person with an existing credit card account in good standing adds you as an authorized user. Authorized users typically get a card for the account and can make purchases using the account.
- You don’t have to make any purchases, and your friend or family member doesn’t even have to give you the card.
- When that person makes timely payments on their credit card account, the positive payment information is also reported on your credit report.
- Hopefully, this positive credit history helps to boost your score.
Credit card companies, however, do not always report on authorized users so do your research before you try this tip for building your credit score.
2. Dispute Incorrect Negative Items
Negative items, such as late payments or collections accounts, really drag down your credit score. But why are you taking the hit if those items aren’t even correct?
Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you have the right to a credit report that’s free of these types of errors. The Federal Trade Commission provides information about your rights under this law and how you can order your free credit report to check for errors and then dispute them if found. You can also reference the Wise Loan guide on reading your credit report to help with this task.
It can take 30-45 days to get negative items removed from your credit score, as there needs to be an investigation. But if your dispute is successful, that can be a fast way to potentially raise your score.
3. Pay down Your Debt
Managing your debt well is a critical part of supporting a long-term good credit score. One common tip for handling your debt responsibly is to pay it off or down on a regular basis. This is especially true with something like revolving credit; carrying a high balance against your credit limit long-term can lead to a lower credit score.
If you’ve found yourself in this boat, though, it’s not too late to make a difference. Paying down debt can often help boost your credit score. If you pay down a sizable chunk of revolving debt, you may see a fairly fast uptick in your score.
The amount of credit limit you’re using is called credit utilization. According to Experian, this can account for around 30% of your credit score, so it’s a pretty big deal. Experian also recommends keeping utilization below 30% if possible, as this is best for your credit score. So, if you can figure out how to pay down your revolving debt to that point, you may see an increase in your score.
4. Take out a Personal Loan
In some cases, your score suffers because you don’t have enough of a history for the model to score you higher. Or, perhaps you only have revolving credit, such as credit card debt. Lenders like to see that you can responsibly manage multiple types of debt. Having at least one installment loan account on your credit history can be a good idea for improving your score.
And you don’t need a great credit score to qualify for such a loan. Wise Loan offers short-term personal loans that don’t require great credit. We also report to the credit bureaus, which means paying back your personal loan from Wise Loan on time and as you agreed can help improve your credit history over time too.
5. Sign up for Experian Boost™
In some cases, you may want to wait until you’re able to increase your credit score before you apply for a loan or credit card. Experian Boost is a great tool for doing this. Here’s what you need to know:
- Experian Boost lets you turn on-time payments you’re already making into positive history on your credit profile. That includes payments to utilities and streaming services.
- On average, people instantly raise their FICO® Score by 13 points with Experian Boost.* Depending on where you stand, that can be enough to get you into the desirable good credit range.
- 90% of people with thin credit files see an increase in their score when they use this product.** A thin credit file means you don’t have many accounts listed—usually fewer than five. Experian Boost helps you get more tradelines on your report so there’s more for the credit scoring model to work with.
- 70% of people with low credit scores—those under 680—get a fast boost to their credit score by using this product.**
Sign up for Experian Boost to make a positive impact on your credit today!**
- *Average boost of 13 points based on Experian data. See website or app store for details.
- **Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders
use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.