How to Quickly Raise Your Credit Score
How I raised my Credit Score a 100 Points in a Year
Near the beginning of my time in college, I was bored at work in the on-campus library and decided to pick out a book to read. I stumbled upon Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Every successful person I know or have heard of cites this book as a significant turning point in their lives. For me, it ignited a passion for personal finance and real estate investing. Suddenly, I took my credit score and financial future more seriously. I started to question everything I have been told about money and started digging for the truth.
I know everyone is not as obsessed with the intricacies of calculating credit as me, so let me give you the spark notes.
Your credit score is calculated based on distinct categories.
1.Length of Credit
There are a few other factors, but those two compose 70% of your score.
Now, I was 18 going on 19 and had no credit at all. I was scared of credit cards because of what I had heard and witnessed and thought if I got one, I would immediately be in debt. Looking back, credit cards can be an extremely valuable tool and ended up being the catalyst for my financial opportunities. When I was starting, though, I had no idea which card to get, and I could not qualify for most because of my lack of credit.
I went for the Discover-it credit card because they offer cash back on every purchase, and at the end of the first year, they matched what I had earned. As a bonus, they do not require a super high score to get started and no deposit. Being a student, they also offered me a 20 dollar statement credit for having good grades. Their customer service is pleasant, and I also use them for my high-interest savings account. For me, it was the best option, but you can find tailored suggestions through services like Mint.
Advice for Utilizing your Credit Card
Be careful with your spending
Your revolving credit utilization makes up 30% of your credit score. As a general rule of thumb, for every thousand dollars In credit you receive, spend up to 300 dollars. This will keep that aspect of your credit healthy, and it will reflect in your score.
Take it Slow
It will take time to prove that you can use the card responsibly, do not feel like it needs to happen immediately. I was not able to see an update on my score for at least six months. Be patient and consider downloading an app like Credit Karma or Mint to track your score and ensure there are no mistakes.
Another thing to keep in mind when building credit is to integrate more cards slowly. This can be a double-edged sword because though you want to have a diverse credit history, you do not want to overwhelm yourself with too many things to track. Besides, adding too many at once will lower your score because each line of credit you apply for adds a hard inquiry to your credit, and in turn, reduces it.
Be patient if your score is not perfect immediately, the majority of Americans are upwards of 5,000 dollars in credit card debt, and it will take time to prove that you are going to use it responsibly.
Slowly integrate new cards but do not do it all at once to limit hard inquiries. Feel free to use credit apps like Credit Karma, though, because they do not lower your score and offer helpful tips to improve it.
NEVER MISS A BILL
This is, by far, the most important tip. Even if you do not have enough to pay the balance off entirely, pay the minimum amount, and you will still be improving your credit. Your payment history accounts for 35% of your credit score, and you must be meticulous in paying on time.
If you can master these simple strategies, you will be on your way to having a perfect score. Credit cards have sign up bonuses that allow people to travel for free and rack up tons of cash back. Responsible intentional spending can change your life, and it is vital for your financial future.