Methods to Raise Your Credit Score

The main determinants of credit score include:

  • Financial History (Credit History)
  • Utilization of Credit
  • Finance Age
  • Various Forms of Credit (Credit Mix)
  • Number of Questions

Each of these elements affects how your credit score develops. The first two factors typically account for 65% of your credit score, so be sure to pay your bills on time and keep your credit utilization below 30%, or better yet, 10%, and you should gradually start to see an improvement in your credit.

Get a customized free credit report card from Credit Sesame to get started on the path to raising your credit score and learn your starting points right away.


Hello, 2020! There is no better time than now to look toward a promising future as we dust off the year that everyone will be glad to put in the rearview mirror.

An overall positive credit history is crucial to a successful financial future. A good score can open up opportunities for employment, housing, and even the ability to turn on your utilities.

You will learn how to raise your credit score as quickly as you can in this article, but keep in mind that it may still take some time. There are no assurances because everything depends on your particular scenario.

How Much Time Does Credit Repair Take?

It mostly depends on the negative information (such as missed payments, bankruptcies, excessive credit queries, etc.) that is already on your credit report. It may take as little as one month or as much as twelve months. Everything is dependent on your present and past actions.

The factors that caused the negative points on your credit score, such as a delinquent or collection account, can affect how long it takes for things to change. You will, regrettably, have to deal with them until they reach a certain age.

  • For up to two years, inquiries are recorded on your report.
  • Delinquencies may continue for up to 7 years.
  • Bankruptcies may last for 7 to 10 years.

There are no quick fixes when it comes to repairing your credit and raising your credit ratings; it takes time. All you can do is take care of the other things, which we’ve listed in this post and are under your control.

Guidelines for Raising Your Credit Score

Although there is no “quick fix” for low credit scores, there are several things you can do to improve your situation that you can start doing right away. The main ways to raise your credit score are listed below:

1. Carefully repay debt

It will help if you pay off your unpaid collection bill, right? Not always, as we’ll discuss in greater detail below. Sometimes all it does is restart the clock, denting your history all the more. Here, three things to be aware of:

  • The most recent iterations of VantageScore® and FICO® overlook paid collections.
  • Pay down the most recent past-due bills first because they have the biggest negative impact on your credit.
  • Your credit score is harmed more by non-medical collection debt than by medical collections.

Another important aspect of raising your score is to resolve any outstanding collections. Proceed with caution, though, as paying off some accounts that are in collections won’t necessarily raise your credit score and might even shorten the time it takes for that debt to disappear from your report. Make research.

2. Maintain low credit card balances

In general, your credit usage ratio matters almost as much as your payment history. The ratio of total debt to entire credit limit is known as credit usage. Your credit cards may be close to being maxed out or have a very high credit usage rate, or amount outstanding. Your credit utilization ratio, for instance, would be 75% if you had a total credit limit of $4,000 and were carrying $3,000 in debt.

Bring down your balances is the answer. The better the boost, the smaller your ratio. The average percentage of credit used by those with the best credit scores is 10%.

Each credit card’s credit utilization is determined, as well as an aggregate total. Your credit can suffer if you have even one tapped-out card.

3. Verify any errors in your free credit reports.

Anything is not perfect. Mistakes do occur. The most straightforward strategy to raise your score is to repair errors. One out of every five consumers has a mistake on at least one of their credit reports, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Don’t let inaccurate information lead to bad credit when it can be fixed rather easily.

A crucial first step in raising your credit score is to check it frequently. If you don’t know the number, how can you call it up? The figure below shows that those who regularly check their score benefit from doing so.

4. Boost Your Credit Limit

By its very nature, asking banks for higher credit limits on your cards would lower your credit usage percentage, provided your spending patterns stayed the same.

This might be an excellent credit score improvement technique to use because it will help you regardless of your credit score right now. By raising their credit limits and using those increases wisely, even people with great credit can experience a tiny improvement in their score.

Long-Term Credit Improvement Strategies

1. Increase Your Credit Usage

You cannot have good credit and max out your credit cards. You must maintain low ratios. One of our guiding principles is that you should only use your credit card for necessary purchases (emergencies are an exception).

The second most crucial step in enhancing your credit profile is reducing your credit utilization. The most qualified credit applicants and those with the highest scores typically have the lowest credit use rates relative to their total available credit.

Use of credit and its effect on your credit score

The pattern here is fairly obvious: don’t overuse your credit or you run the danger of drastically damaging your credit score. Just contrast individuals with a 753 credit score with an average utilization rate of 1 to 10% with those with a 636 credit score and a utilization rate of 51 to 10%.

Once your credit score falls into the average or low area, it will be more harder for you to apply for new credit or loans.

2. Keep a Balanced Credit Mix

The credit bureaus seek proof that you can responsibly manage a range of credit products. For instance, installment loans with fixed payments include student loans, mortgages, and auto loans, whereas revolving loans with variable payments include credit cards and home equity lines of credit.

Lenders prefer borrowers who have a number of open credit accounts since it shows that you can manage a variety of credit products. Avoid creating too many new accounts at once, though. Multiple credit card applications are viewed adversely by lenders.

Credit Mix and Change That Results Timeframe

Types of Credit (open, unsecured, secured, revolving, installment)

Typical Impact to Score

How Long It Takes to See Changes

Two Types

10 – 15 Points

1 – 2 Months

Three Types

10 – 15 Points

1 – 2 Months

Four Types

15 – 20 Points

1 – 2 Months

Five Types

12 – 20 Points

1 – 2 Months

Even though your credit mix doesn’t have the most influence on your credit score, diversifying your sources of credit can still help you improve your credit standing.

The typical time it takes for credit scores to rise (Credit Mix Impact)

Credit Score Factors

0-3 Months

3-6 Months

6-12 Months

12+ Months

Payment History

+20 Points

+36 Points

+48 Points

+60 Points

Credit Utilization

+15 Points

+29 Points

+41 Points

+55 Points

Length of Credit History

+5 Points

+7 Points

+12 Points

+20 Points

Credit Mix

+10 Points

+11 Points

+12 Points

+14 Points

New Credit

+10 Points

+9 Points

+7 Points

+6 Points

3. Recurring Bill Payments

Your payment history is the most important component of your score. Your credit score can be quickly lowered by late payments. Each payment is beneficial, but even one late payment can reverse any forward progress. If you forget to pay on time, do it right away because lenders normally don’t record late payments until 30 days after the due date.

You cannot afford to disregard this since it typically contributes for roughly 35% of your final score. Instead, give paying your bills top priority. Make a schedule if you have to. If you require a calendar just for this, go for it. You must do everything it takes to put yourself on a rigid payment plan.

4. Leverage payments on your car, house, utilities, and cell phone

Rebuilding your credit score can be aided by paying your payments on time each and every time. We advise using a credit card to pay your bills so that the credit bureaus have a record of your on-time payments rather than your checking account or cash for things like your mortgage, vehicle loan, utilities, and mobile phone.

Individuals are unable to self-report to the three major credit reporting agencies, in contrast to a small corporation. There are, however, services provided by outside parties that can submit the information on your behalf. But if you consistently make on-time credit card payments, you might not need to do that. Within 45–60 days for your credit report, your credit card issuers will automatically send that information to the credit bureaus.

5. Only open new credit accounts when necessary.

A hard inquiry, also known as a hard draw, will most likely be initiated when you apply for a new credit card. Hard inquiries are recorded on your credit report and may lower your credit score. For instance, your credit score may be reduced by 50 points if you made four hard inquiries in a 90-day period. The duration of hard queries on your credit report is two years.

In addition, if you have a lot of hard queries on your credit record, lenders can worry and think you’re a high-risk borrower. You should refrain from submitting numerous card applications simultaneously or quickly. As a general guideline, you should wait roughly six months before applying for another line of credit.

6. Avoid closing accounts for unused credit cards.

Although keeping unused credit cards may seem contradictory, you shouldn’t generally close them just because they aren’t being used. The lender can see that you have a lengthier credit history if you have older cards. This becomes crucial if you’re requesting a loan of any kind, whether it’s a mortgage.

15% of your credit score is often determined by the age of your credit. In general, you shouldn’t close out-of-date accounts or ones you’ve paid off as you’ll accrue points in this area over time.

Additionally, closing a credit card account may result in an increase in credit utilization, which could damage your credit score.

7. Do not apply for numerous credit products.

Every credit inquiry, which occurs with every credit application, can lower your score by a few points. Soft inquiries, such as employment checks, self-checks, and queries to determine your eligibility for promotional offers, have no negative effects on your credit score. Hard inquiries are those that happen as a result of a new credit application. As was mentioned before, you should try to limit the number of hard enquiries you field in a brief period of time.

FAQ about credit scores

A credit score is what?

A credit score is a number, typically between 300 and 850, given by one or all of the three credit bureaus to represent a consumer’s credit rating. It is largely based on the consumer’s credit history, which includes information such as their total debt, history of loan repayment, number of open accounts, and other factors. The more appealing a credit score is to lenders, the higher it must be. Credit scores are used by lenders to determine the likelihood that a borrower would make timely loan repayments.

Payment history is the single most significant factor that affects your FICO credit score, as you can see from the figure below. Utilization of credit comes next, and the two together make up the majority of your score. Although you shouldn’t discount the other forces at play, keep in mind that these are the main players in this situation. Although they can change, the factor weights for Vantage and Experian scores are often the same.

Factors included in the calculation of the FICO Scoring Model

Credit Factors

Credit Score Weight

Payment History


Credit Utilization


Credit Age


Different Types of Credit


Number of Inquiries


The Importance of Your Credit Score

There is simply no time to waste while trying to repair your credit. When it comes time to use your credit for major life events like a car loan, mortgage, insurance, and many others, a low credit score might not seem like a huge concern. Americans with poor credit may not be permitted to borrow money for these expenses and/or may pay interest rates that are significantly higher than those of those with good credit. Your ability to establish and raise your credit score will be easier for you to do the sooner you start working on it.

Advantages of a High Credit Score

Your chances of achieving your financial objectives will increase when your credit score rises since you will often pay cheaper interest rates and find it simpler to get credit. Additionally, it becomes more difficult to be approved for credit cards, receive inexpensive insurance rates, and other things the lower your credit score is. Increase the use of your credit score.

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