Fastest Ways to Raise Credit Scores

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Your credit score, also known as your FICO score, is determined by a formula developed by the Fair Isaac Corporation. Thirty-five percent of your score is comprised of your payment history; 30 percent is determined by the amount you owe; 15 percent is determined by the average age of your credit accounts; 10 percent is determined by the number of inquiries; the final 10 percent is determined by the different types of credit you use. While raising your credit score can take time and dedication, there are several ways to raise your credit score quickly.

Take Advantage of Others' Good Credit

  • The fastest way to raise your credit score is to capitalize, if possible, on the good credit of others. If you have a family member or friend whose credit card has been open for a long time and has a history of on-time payments and/or a high limit with a low balance, you can ask to be listed as an authorized signer. Authorized signers get the full benefit of the credit history associated with the credit card. When this account shows up on your credit report, it can increase your average age of credit (15 percent of your score), help your payment history (35 percent of your score) and decrease your debt-to-credit ratio (30 percent of your score).

Distribute Your Debt and Pay Down Debt

  • Thirty percent of your score is determined by how much you owe. When you are given a loan or credit card, you are offered a maximum amount to borrow. If you borrow the maximum amount, then your debt-to-credit ratio is high and your credit score is lowered as a result. If you distribute debt across several credit cards and/or pay down your debts so you owe less than the amount of money available to you, this will raise your credit score. In other words, charging $50 to each of two credit cards is better for your credit score than charging $100 to one card only. You can distribute debt using balance transfers, although there is usually a fee associated with this, and you should never open new cards to do so since that lowers the average age of credit and counts as an inquiry.

Talk to Your Creditors About Payment History

  • Even a single payment that is 30 days late can lower your credit score significantly, since payment history makes up 35 percent of your credit score. If you are a current customer of a creditor, have a good relationship, and have made no late payments recently, you may wish to call the creditor and ask if they would be willing to remove any late payments from your record. Some creditors do this as a one-time courtesy to customers that usually pay on time but have a single late payment.

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