We can’t deny the fact that we need good credit. Excellent credit, actually. Having excellent credit can save us money on loan and credit card interest, and can get us that killer APR on a brand new car or house. But doesn’t repairing messy credit history take years? How can we fix our credit in less than a year or even a month?
Getting your finances in order can be difficult when your money is busy covering expensive interest fees, higher revolving payments, or even hefty down payments.
There is light at the end of the long tunnel of building your credit, and no, it’s not a train. Is it possible to improve your credit in less than 30 days? Here are some action steps you can accomplish now to repair your credit quickly:
5 life-hacks to improve your credit and end the expensive cycle of bad credit
Get to know your credit report. It’s the technological age, so there is no excuse not to know your credit score and what the “Big 3” credit agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) are saying about you. Downloading your credit report is easy and free with Credit Karma, or Credit Sesame, and allows you to see your credit report in detail. Who knew you had an old department store credit card you forgot to pay or a medical visit bill that’s now destroying your credit score? Take a good look, fix any errors, and dust off any issues bringing you down. Look at you, already fixing your credit and stuff.
Pay your bills twice a month. Don’t wait until the due date to send in a loan or credit card payment, especially accounts with high balances. Micropayments are the sure way you are approaching paying off debt like a savvy professional. Most banks and credit card issuers allow credit holders to pay with a free app, or online, so you can access your account and make multiple payments for free. Simply break up your monthly payment in half, and pay it twice before the due date - aim for paying a little more when you can. Since credit scores are based on credit activity, micropayments indicate you are proactive and using plastic like a boss.
Get a credit partner. Asking your parents or friends to be your credit partner is the same as asking Dad to co-sign on a new car. The one with the V6 engine, candy apple red. It’s a big deal, but it can really boost your score quickly. Your credit partner has to first authorize you as a user on an existing credit card account. The process takes paperwork, DocuSign, and a lot of other red tape, because they now assume the responsibility for what you charge on the credit card. Yeah, it’s that big of a deal. The key here is to keep a low balance on the card, so consider not using it. In fact, it might be a good idea to not even have a duplicate card, as you’ll be less tempted to use it.
Approach your credit partner with a legit strategy and always communicate and you are sure to see a credit score improvement.
Get a small loan. We all know you have to make money to get money, and sometimes getting out of debt requires a little extra cash. Remember that old department store credit card you thought was an amazing idea? Now it’s haunting your credit report like the Ghost of Christmas Past. But how are you going to clean up your credit when the only extra money you have is the $5 bill Grandma sent you for your birthday? A small loan may be useful in paying off all that bad debt. Calculate your debt and borrow the amount you need - don’t worry so much about the less than attractive interest rate - when your credit score goes up, you can refinance any remaining balances and interest and pay off the small loan quickly. There a number of personal loan companies, like LoanMe that can help provide a loan to cover your credit card debt. There are no prepayment penalties, and with one solid monthly payment each month, you can count down the days until you're credit card debt-free. The biggest perk is that as soon as you pay off all of that credit card debt, your utilization ratios improve, thereby improving your credit score right away.
Open a new account with a high limit. Your credit is always evaluated by credit activity. Congratulations, you paid off that one credit card a few years back, and your credit might have become stagnant and in need of revival. Consider opening up a credit card with a small credit limit and charging your essentials, such as gas and groceries on the card. Don’t fall back to square one and neglect your payments, and always monitor your credit activity with Credit Karma, Experian Boost, Credit Sesame, or any other credit monitoring applications of your choosing. Get started!