Easy Hacks to Up Your Credit Score

credit score

Losing points from your credit scores is all too easy — and getting them back is hard. But if you know how credit scoring works, you can hack the process to rehabilitate your numbers faster. Here are four effective strategies to do just that.

Pay your credit cards twice each month. Even if you pay your balances in full every month, using up too much of your available credit at any given time can hurt your scores. You can lessen the damage by making two payments each month: one just before the card’s statement closing date and another just before the due date. The first payment typically reduces the balance that’s reported to the credit bureaus, while the second assures that you don’t wind up paying interest or incurring a late fee on any remaining charges.

Dispute old, small collection accounts. The latest version of the leading credit scoring formula, the FICO 8, already ignores collection accounts where the original balance was less than $100. Not all lenders use this formula, though, so you might see an increase in your scores if you dispute that $50 parking ticket you forgot to pay or the $75 medical bill that slipped through the cracks of your insurer’s reimbursement system. The collection agencies that report these minor bills may not bother to respond to the credit bureaus’ investigation attempts, especially as the accounts approach the seven-year mark, where they’d have to be dropped from your credit reports anyway.

Get added as an authorized user on someone else’s account. Another person’s good history with their credit card could be imported into your credit bureau files to help burnish your scores. Plus, the other person doesn’t have to give you access to the account — you can be an authorized user in name only. Some card companies will allow this importing only if you’re a relative, so check in advance.

Pay off your credit cards with a personal loan. Paying down your credit card balances widens the gap between your available credit and the amount you’re using, which is great for your scores. If you can’t pay your cards off immediately, consider moving the balances to a three-year personal loan. Balances on such installment loans don’t affect your scores as strongly as balances on credit cards. Check with your local credit union first, since these member-owned financial institutions tend to offer the best rates and terms on personal loans.

Liz Weston is an award-winning journalist and author of several money books, including the best-selling Your Credit Score. She writes about personal finance at her site AskLizWeston. You can like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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Join the Discussion

6 Responses to “Easy Hacks to Up Your Credit Score”

  1. Craig Cooper

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  3. Natalie Jacobs

    I really had a bad credit score couple of weeks ago and i needed to get a loan from the bank, i now came accross a link in a blog [email protected]l.com and was basically professional. he told me to pay a couple hundred of dollars. I paid but i kept my hands crossed because of how other repair companies drained my pockets i was really impressed with his service. If you need any help with credit then good luck.

  4. Beatrice Anthony

    There have been so many breaches I have lost count. The Credit Card Industry security standards are not tough enough. I don’t trust the estimated numbers for affected individuals either, I suspect they’re financially incentivized to minimize them. The only reason it’s safe to use a credit card is because the agreement says you’re not liable for fraud as long as you promptly report it. Which requires watching your statements like a hawk. If you’re unable/unwilling to do that, you should not use credit cards, since the industry seems unable/unwilling to keep the darn payment networks secure

  5. Evie E

    My husband and I purchased and paid off a Time Share years ago. We never used it and for years paid maintenance fees. Because the Time Share was getting so run down we stopped paying maintenance fees. We tried renting and selling our week, to no avail. In 2009 the fees went to collection and appeared on my credit report (my husband died in 2003). I called the collection company and arranged to pay on the bill, which I’ve been doing faithfully each month. Is there anyway out of this?

  6. Kelvin Gates

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