There’s no getting around the fact that building solid credit is an ongoing journey and one where quick fixes don’t really have much place. It’s true that patience, commitment and consistency are key, but it’s just as true that some tactics create results a little more quickly than others. Want even better news? You’ve got plenty of accessible options for getting your score to a better place, as efficiently as possible.
1. Become an Authorized User
Here’s an easy one. If you share financial responsibilities — or at least a healthy amount of mutual trust — with a close family member or partner, ask to be added to one of their credit cards as an authorized user. If the credit card in question has desirable credit features like a low credit utilization ratio, on-time payments or a longstanding account history, Forbes notes that you could see fast growth.
2. Increase Your Credit Limit
At first glance this one may seem at odds with responsible financial habits, but the concept is simple: The higher your credit limit, the lower your credit utilization rate — and that last part is absolutely crucial to building and maintaining a good credit score. The caveat here is that you’ve got to resist the temptation to spend the new credit once you get that limit increase.
3. Make Multiple Monthly Payments
Debt.org has a straightforward recommendation here. If you’re able to, pay your debt-related bills every two weeks rather than once a month, or more than once per regular billing cycle. In addition to ensuring that your credit score gets updated expediently with every billing cycle, this tactic also hits on that ever-important credit utilization percentage, making it a relatively efficient way to get your credit score in good shape.
4. Address Errors
According to CNBC in late 2020, roughly 25% of Americans have at least one error on their credit reports, commonly including things like duplicate accounts or misreported payments. So while it may be a bit tedious to check your report for mistakes and dispute those mistakes with each respective credit bureau, the odds of an error are high enough that it’s worth a shot. If you do end up resolving an error, you should see a bump in your score fairly quickly upon correction.
5. Consolidate Debt
If you’re juggling multiple credit card balances, this one’s for you. While you may be chipping away at each balance every month, it could be better to consolidate your debt into one credit line. While it does entail opening a new line of credit to pay them off, you’d be decreasing your total number of open credit lines, and you may also benefit from a lower interest rate that allows you to pay off debt sooner.
6. Gamify the Process
From mancala all the way up to Animal Crossing, there’s no denying that humans love games. With ScoreMaster’s intuitive dashboard, you can see your potential score increases based on spending and paying back revolving debt, as well as optimal times to apply for credit and loans — it’s a little like a skill tree in Skyrim, except when you level up on ScoreMaster, your credit score levels up in real life, too.