Quick Fixes for Your Credit Score
Quick Fixes for Your Credit Score

Your credit health is kind of like your physical health--there's no fast lane to a perfect credit score or perfect health; it's a long-term journey. But just as you can make healthy diet and exercise choices today, you can do the same for your credit.

Here are a few things you can try right now to boost your credit health.

Task: Ask for a higher credit limit.

Benefit: Lowers your credit card utilization.
Time: 10 minutes
Tactic: Calling up your credit card company might seem like a daunting task, but if it could help your credit health, shouldn't you do it? Most companies review credit limits on an every-six-months basis. If it's been a while since you've received a credit limit increase, you can try requesting one.

First of all, know that this tactic will likely only work if you've had an excellent record with your credit card company. Find your creditor's phone number on your latest statement or by searching online. Call them up and get an agent on the phone. Once you're talking to someone, tell them how good of a customer you've been, how you've always made your payments on time, and how you've enjoyed using the card. After this initial framework, tell them that you'd like to request a credit limit increase.

Watch out for: Sometimes, credit limit increase requests can come with a new hard inquiry to your credit. Make sure to ask first if this will happen so that you know what to expect and if you'd still like to go through with your request.

Task: Write a "Goodwill adjustment letter" for a past late payment.

Benefit: Removes a late payment from an otherwise good-looking credit report.
Time: 15 minutes
Tactic: If you've recently made a late bill payment when you're ordinarily on top of things, asking to have that one, small black mark removed could work for you. In your letter, you'll make a case for why the delinquency should be removed. Show what a loyal customer you've been and how much you've improved your financial situation since this one mistake. Model your letter after this example and wait about 30 days before following up, if you haven't heard anything.

Watch out for: Remember that your credit card company doesn't have to remove the delinquency, so be prepared for that instance.

Task: Make a plan to pay down your credit card debt at a faster rate.

Benefit: Lowers your credit card utilization.
Time: 30 minutes to an hour
Tactic: If you tend to carry balances on your credit cards from month to month, work out a plan to pay down your debts faster so you can get your credit card utilization rate to lower than 30 percent--that's the rate that credit experts recommend.

First, see where you stand by checking out your current rate in your Credit Report Card. Then, see your rate on individual cards in your My Accounts section. For the cards reporting more than 30 percent, work on those first. If you've only been making the minimum payments on those cards, increase that repayment rate so you can steadily decrease your utilization rate.

Watch out for: While you're working on lowering your balances, avoid using your credit cards with high utilization rates by leaving them behind when you leave the house. Otherwise, you'll just reverse all of your hard repayment work.

Task: Transfer your credit card balances.

Benefit: Lowers your credit card utilization and increases your total number of accounts.
Time: 15 minutes (then 7-10 days, typically)
Tactic: When you have lots of different credit cards with varying balances to repay, making multiple payments each month can seem tricky. There are several cards that offer introductory balance transfer rates, meaning if you transfer all or some of your other cards' balances, you won't pay any interest on those balances for a year or two (depending on the card). For instance, with the Discover It, you'll have 18 months to pay down your transferred balances interest-free. You'll also decrease your credit card utilization in the process. See more balance transfer cards.

Watch out for: In most cases, if you don't pay off your balance transfer completely during the introductory period, you'll have to pay interest on the entire transferred amount when that period is up. So this tactic is good for you if you're really ready to tackle your credit card debt.

Task: Get rid of credit report errors.

Benefit: Gives you a more accurate credit score.
Time: 1 hour (then up to 30 days)
Tactic: While some credit report errors don't affect your credit score at all (like inaccuracies in your personal information), others can severely impact your ability to get approved for credit (like inaccurate derogatory marks). Bottom line: Cleaning up your credit report should be a top priority. Use the step-by-step guide in How to Dispute an Error on Your Credit Report to help you through the process of cleaning up your reports.

Watch out for: While some credit repair companies will tell you they can remove all negative information from your credit report through this process, that's simply not true. Accurate negative items on your report cannot be removed. Before you hire a company to help you dispute your credit report errors, read through our blog post on How to Spot a Credit Repair Scam.


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Helpful to 125 out of 132 people

Last year in October my husband lost his job. With this happening right before all the holidays and me being recently employed for only three months after graduating college put us behind on all our bills, mortgage, Insurance payments etc..... I made the mistake of taking out three different payday loans to cover all our bills and cover christmas for our children. With repaying at 495% interest on those loans, which none of the principle part of my payments to the loans was being applied to, sunk me even deeper into debt. I started with a 720 credit score and due to defaulting on the loans, my home, which is now foreclosed and being removed off my property on January 1st 2014 (Mobile Home),  my credit score is 550. I just new I would not qualify for any loan with that score and my history but I applied for approval on a new mobile home and qualified through what is called a chatel loan for people with very poor credit. The place I went to purchase the home from is ran by real estate agents and brokers, they offered to help build my credit with my down payment of $675 promising at least a 30 to 60 point increase on my credit score. They recommended I dispute all the negative items listed on my report to the companies reporting them. The companies then have thirty days to respond to the dispute. If they dont, the negative report has to be removed from your credit history. You keep doing the disputes over and over and eventually you may not get the 30day required responce. Also a secured credit card helps jump up your credit score. The recomendation is to only charge 20 to 30 dollars on the card and pay off that balance immediatly and not wait to pay the minimum on the due date. this significantly increases the points on your score. I just started 6 weeks ago and went from a 550 to a 584. Hope this helps:)

Comment by
ustjrtm

2 Contributions
125 People Helped
Helpful to 3 out of 9 people

i was told to keep the bal at 30% then wait till it goes through statement then pay it all off. and to repeat every month . is that so?
 

Reply by
marinagalvan

1 Contribution
3 People Helped
Helpful to 119 out of 143 people

I actually work in customer service for a major credit card company and I just want to make a comment on this article. The article states: 

"Call them up and get an agent on the phone. Once you're talking to someone, tell them how good of a customer you've been, how you've always made your payments on time, and how you've enjoyed using the card. After this initial framework, tell them that you'd like to request a credit limit increase."

This is actually pointless and can make the call kind of awkward. The representative really has nothing to do with whether your credit line increase is approved or denied. This is actually all automated. The representative enters your financail information into the computer and the computer is either A. Automatically approve you or B. Send you a letter of "Adverse Action" telling you were denied and give you the reason. 

Really this is how most things are done at credit card companies. Including being approved for a credit card, credit line increases, and even fee reversals (such as late fees-based on previous fee reversals and how profitable the account is). 

Comment by
aplang

4 Contributions
158 People Helped
Helpful to 22 out of 27 people

but it is always nice to be pleasant to whom ever you deal with in life.

Reply by
LabRockett

2 Contributions
40 People Helped
Helpful to 7 out of 11 people

I have actually gotten a temporary credit increase using this tactic when I needed to rent a car at the last minute. I spoke with an agent, told him why I needed the card, and agreed to deposit the funds to cover the increase as if it were a "pre-paid" card. I'd only been a customer for one year, so maybe it was just the fabulous credit  card company. That's one of the few cards I truly regret screwing up on. 

Reply by
Punstressak

2 Contributions
8 People Helped

I do understand this.It happened to me when I had open heart surgery and couldnot work.They got argry at me because I couldnot tell them when I was going to pay..My credit score is lower now since I have that and doctor collections on here but I am in hopes that these companys know if you are a good pay master and you are not dead but tiring very hard to work or get some kind of help that they would work with you...seems to me.

Reply by
sbwrs

1 Contribution
0 People Helped
Helpful to 6 out of 14 people

What about reconsideration letters?

Reply by
ArtemisMinerva

1 Contribution
6 People Helped
Helpful to 40 out of 48 people

No such thing as a "Quick Fix" when it comes to Credit History or Credit Score.  It is all about time and effort.

Top Contributor

Comment by
icuhowie

1202 Contributions
450 People Helped
Helpful to 18 out of 21 people

It would be nice when you applied for the annual free credit report and you automatically get to dispute equifax online,they let you know if the other 2 reporting agencys got your request for the free report,now I have to wait and hope.

Comment by
Caddypaul

1 Contribution
18 People Helped
Helpful to 37 out of 47 people

Most likely, any response you get to a letter of reconsideration is going to be the same answer just worded differently. I honestly have mixed feelings about where I work. I do love my company but I don't like how cold it can be sometimes. Credit card companies are actually quite cold. And when I say cold, I don't mean that the people that actually work there are cold but the way the system is set up is cold. Big credit card companies are not like your small town bank. Nothing is really personal. The people who work there are really more like script readers. All the answers you get are cut and dry, there is no exception (unless you go up the chain of command-the further you go the more you can get done...sometimes..) 

If you want that small town feeling, go with a local bank or credit union. But, I also want to give you a tip. MANY small banks and credit unions hire these large companies to manager their credit cards. For example, my company manages credit card accounts for about 1,200 different financial institutions. So, READ THE FINE PRINT and see who is going to actually be managing the account. Make sure it really is indeed your bank/CU. (You may be able to just ask a teller or banker.)

Comment by
aplang

4 Contributions
158 People Helped
Helpful to 29 out of 40 people

regarding the task to transfer credit card balances - Warning -  the balance transfer fee - often is significant.  Many times credit unions have credit card balance transfer programs with no transfer fee. 

Comment by
876

1 Contribution
29 People Helped
Helpful to 22 out of 34 people

Hey guys! Here is an easy solution to many of your problems! Call Credit Pros 1-877-235-0324 they can help. Only pay for items they fix on your credit! Plus they also offer "free" advise!!! It's a win win solution!!! You can get the help and resources you need, plus free information to stop any creditors from taking advantage of you the next time around! Good luck my friends!!!

Top Contributor

Comment by
redguy411

270 Contributions
461 People Helped
Helpful to 4 out of 6 people

Helpful to 0 out of 0 peopleI have a student loan and one major credit card. Since I joined Credit Karma one year ago, my score has inscreased by only about 50 points. My score has not gone up or down since February. Is there something I can do to have my score increase more frequently and at a faster rate? I pay extra on my studen loans and I keep my credit card utilization under 20% each month. Any advice would be appreciated!

Comment by
LyricB

2 Contributions
4 People Helped
Helpful to 8 out of 9 people

get more cards use once a month pay off next payday or quicker online use card instead of cash but treat it as if you wrote a check so you have money on hand 

Reply by
les97801

1 Contribution
8 People Helped
Helpful to 5 out of 8 people

I have some old credit cards that a in collections on my credit. But the thing is I've been sick and am now disabled. I have. Apsalutly no income, I live with my 89 yo mother who is also sick. But I want my credit back. When and if I get social security, I would love to get my own place. I'm in my late fifths and I use to have good credit...anyone out there have any advice for someone like me.

cherylann150@gmail.com

Comment by
cherylannmc

1 Contribution
5 People Helped
Helpful to 6 out of 7 people

you need to stay put. your mom needs you

Reply by
jrios1950

1 Contribution
6 People Helped
Helpful to 8 out of 13 people

I make two, sometimes three payments on both my credit cards every month and my credit score never changes. I only owe $1300.00 total in credit card payments when I charge up to the limit of both cards; one has an $1100.00 limit and the other has a $500.00 limit. I never let them get up to, or over their limits. Even though I make so many payments, and, right now the $1100.00 card is at a $400.00 balance and the $500.00 card is paid off, Credit Karma does not even show it!! So how do you like that!! This has been no help to me at all...

Comment by
54Tinkerbell

1 Contribution
8 People Helped
Helpful to 22 out of 23 people

One thing i have noticed it takes more than a month, I have heard up to three, for changes to your credit to affect your score. Also, you do not want to leave any credit cards paid off and have no activity on them. CreditKarma recommends 30% balance or less. Example: If you have 2 credit cards and say one is limited to $300, and the other $700, you have a total of $1000 available credit. You should charge $90 on the $300 card and $210 on the $700, and pay them off when you get the bill, only once a month, not multiple payments. Do this every month, the balance will show consistently no higher than the 30%, you will have 0 finance charges ( for most cards ), and most likely within 3 or 4 months you should see a good jump in your score. Of course I consider a good jump to be at least 30 points.

Reply by
Juststarted072013

2 Contributions
22 People Helped
Helpful to 2 out of 4 people

  • (30%) of your Credit Score is based on outstanding debt. How much do you owe on car or home loans? How many credit cards do you have that are at their credit limits? The more cards you have at their limits, the lower your score will be...The rule of thumb is to keep your card balances at (25%) or less of their limits. Maybe ask for credit line increase.

Reply by
QuestFor800

1 Contribution
2 People Helped
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