While everyone understands the value of improving your credit scores, there is no single strategy to improving it quickly. If you want to raise your credit score by more than 100 points, you have to understand what is causing your credit scores to be lower in the first place.
Here are three strategies that may help to point you in the right direction in your quest toward credit score improvement and help you raise your credit score.
Pay off credit card balances
Credit card balances can have a significant negative impact on a consumer’s credit scores, and are a good place to start to raise your credit score.
Nearly 30% of the points in your FICO and VantageScore credit scores are based on the amount of debt on your credit reports. Most of that 30% is driven by your credit card debt. If a consumer is in the habit of running up large credit card balances then their credit scores are going to suffer.
Paying off credit card balances is without a doubt the most actionable way to considerably raise your credit score in a short period of time. Even if you cannot afford to write a big check and simply pay off your credit cards, you’re still going to benefit by paying it down as much as you can. And if you want to get a little creative, you may be able to use a loan to pay off the credit card.
Taking out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt might be something for to consider to help raise your credit score.
A personal loan from a bank will be an installment debt, a less risky type of loan for the creditor and one that does not penalize your credit scores much at all. Of course, if you do pay off your credit card debt with an installment loan then be sure not to charge your card balances up again in the future.
Ask for “good will removal” of a late payment
You might be surprised to learn that a single late payment could potentially cause a 100 point score drop for someone with a credit score of 750 or higher.
The reason why a consumer with such stellar credit scores could see such a huge score decrease after just one late payment is because credit scores take the path of least resistance, like water. It’s easier for a consumer with a high score to experience a 100 point score drop than it is for a consumer with a low score to experience a score drop of the same magnitude.
While it’s a long shot, it’s possible for a customer to convince his creditor to remove a late payment from his credit reports. When a creditor removes an accurate late payment for a customer it is known as a “good will removal.”
Good will removals are not always granted but if a customer has an otherwise flawless payment record with a creditor then the likelihood will be much higher. Whether or not it works, it certainly will not hurt the consumer to ask.
Correct an error to raise your credit score
The Federal Trade Commission suggests that 10 to 21 percent of consumers have errors on their credit reports. Fixing them can help raise your credit score.
There’s a chance that an error on your credit report may be behind your lower credit scores. You can identify errors by pulling your credit reports for free at annualcreditreport.com.
If you find an error you can dispute the account with the credit reporting agencies. If the error is confirmed and deleted by the credit reporting agencies, and the item was causing the lower scores, then they should improve and improve considerably.