Credit Cards

These are the 2 fastest ways to increase your credit score

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Improving your credit score doesn’t have to take months or years.

Key points

  • Your credit score is important when you take out a loan, rent a property or buy insurance.
  • It can take a long time to get a good credit score, especially if you currently have a low score.
  • There are some quick ways to significantly increase your credit score, including taking steps to try to remove negative information from your report.

Getting a good credit score pays off. Landlords and potential employers review your credit history and analyze your score, as do lenders and many other companies you hope to do business with, such as utility providers.

Unfortunately, many of the steps you’ll need to take to build credit can be time consuming. And if your score is lower than you’d like it to be, it can feel like months or years before you raise it substantially.

The good news, though, is that there might be some quick ways to boost your score. In fact, here are two of the quickest ways you can try that can make a big impact fast.

1. Add yourself as an authorized user

If you have a friend or family member with good credit who is willing to help you, leveraging your positive credit history could be the fastest way to boost your own score.

To help boost your credit score quickly, a loved one could add you to one of their credit cards as an authorized user. Ideally, you’d like to be added as an authorized user on a credit card with a long history of positive payments, a large line of credit, and a low credit card balance.

The credit card on which you have been added as an authorized user will appear on your credit report and all credit history on the card will appear as if it were yours. This can boost your score a lot if it makes your credit history look more established and convinces lenders that you’ve made lots of payments on time.

As an authorized user, you will also be able to use the credit card, but you will not have any obligation to make payments. Ideally, you won’t actually load anything onto the card, and your friend or family member adding you to the card doesn’t even need to give you access if you don’t want to. But for as long as you’re named as an authorized user on the card, it can give your score a quick and sometimes substantial boost.

2. Ask creditors to remove black marks from your credit report

Another great way to quickly increase your credit score is to remove the information that is lowering it.

If you are more than 30 days late on a payment, it is likely that your credit card company or lender is reporting this negative information to the credit bureaus. Even one late payment can lower your credit score by a substantial amount, so removing that information could have a big impact.

Lenders do not have to remove accurate negative information, and disputing accurate negative information is unlikely to be successful, since the credit bureaus would investigate if you disputed the late payment record, and would likely find it legitimate and refuse to remove it.

But you can ask your credit card company to voluntarily stop reporting negative information. You can call your card company and speak to customer service or send a “goodwill” letter requesting that the late payment record be removed. This isn’t guaranteed to work, but if you’ve been a good customer who mostly pays on time, many card companies and lenders may be willing to work with you.

If you are successful in taking one or both of these two steps, they can have a huge impact on your credit record very quickly. It’s worth a try.

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