You can’t raise your credit score by 200 points overnight, but you could see a significant improvement in just a few months if you make some positive changes in your spending habits and make each monthly payment on time.
Steps to Take to Raise Your Credit Score
It takes time to improve a credit score. Although you typically aren’t going to see an increase of 200 points in a month, you can start by aiming for smaller increases in points and building a positive payment history. In time, these five steps can help you significantly improve your credit score:
- Evaluate why your credit score is low – Why is your credit score the number it is? Is it because you’re new to credit, or you missed a monthly payment or two? Knowing where you need to make some changes is the first step toward raising your credit score.
- Check your credit score and credit reports – Next, check your credit score and get your credit reports. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. You can request a copy by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. For your credit scores, FICO is the most common scoring model lenders use. Check if your bank, credit union, or credit card provider offers a free FICO score check, or you can get it for a small fee from the credit bureaus or www.myFICO.com.
- Pay off any debt – If you have any debt such as credit card balances or any bills in collections, pay these off as soon as you can. Your credit utilization makes up 30 percent of your FICO credit score, making it the second largest factor in determining what it is. If you max out your credit cards and don’t reduce your other debts, your credit score isn’t going to improve as quickly or as much as it could.
- Make payments on time – Payment history is the biggest factor in determining your FICO credit score, making up 35 percent of it. The more bills your pay on time each month, the higher your credit score can be. If you end up missing a payment or two, you could see a drop in your score of 20 to 100 points.
- Consider adding credit – This may seem counterintuitive, but adding a line of credit, either revolving or installment, can help raise your credit score. Credit mix makes up 10 percent of your credit score, and lenders like to see that you’re able to handle multiple types of credit. The key is to make sure you can financially handle multiple lines of credit and pay them regularly each month. If you can’t, then it’s not worth the additional financial burden.
Considering a Subprime Auto Loan?
If you need a car, and you’re looking to raise your credit score by 200 points over time, a subprime auto loan could be just what you need. These types of loans are offered by special finance dealerships that work with subprime lenders, and are tailored to consumers struggling with credit. Instead of focusing heavily on your credit score, these lenders look at your income, employment, and residency to determine an approval.
When you’re ready to finance a vehicle and help raise your credit score, Auto Credit Express wants to be your guide. We work with a large network of special finance dealers that have the lending resources available to help people in many types of credit situations. We can get the process of connecting you to a local dealership started after you fill out our no-obligation car loan request form.