How to know your credit score and how to improve it

One of the vital indicators of your financial health is your credit score. It provides lenders with a quick snapshot of your credit usage behavior. 

Good credit scores boost your chances of getting approval for new loans or your lines of credit will increase as your score rises.

You can check your credit score on the dashboards provided by many banks and credit card firms.

If you have already done so and you’re interested in learning how to raise your credit score. The good news is that it is feasible with effort and patience, regardless of your credit position.

There are strategies to raise your credit score if it is below average; some yield results more quickly than others. Continue reading to learn how to improve your credit score fast.

How to know your credit score

1. Free credit scoring websites

Visiting a free credit scoring website is one of the finest ways to check your credit score for free. Usually updated weekly or monthly, these websites grant you access to your credit report and score. Registration for the update is free. However, other websites charge a monthly fee for more sophisticated features.

2. Your credit card provider

Many credit card companies allow cardholders to check their credit ratings. These tools give you access to your score history and observe what most recently changed. 

Customers may also predict how their scores will respond to factors like on-time payments, increased credit limits, and taking out a mortgage with some providers. But remember that to obtain your score, most providers need cardholders to opt into the service, so be careful to register.

3. Nonprofit credit counselor

Credit counselor service is one that helps customers get out of debt. This may entail giving guidance on money management, developing a budget, negotiating with creditors, developing better money management practices, and assisting borrowers in coming up with a strategy for repaying their debt.

Nonprofit credit counselors are also a secure and dependable means of knowing your credit score and improving your finances.  

How to improve your credit score

Here are some quick ways to improve your credit:

  • Review your credit score.
  • Don’t miss payments.
  • Pay down your revolving credit balances.
  • Check your credit report for errors.
  • Keep your credit utilization rate low.

1. Review your credit records

Checking your credit score from the three major national consumer reporting agencies is an excellent first step in raising your credit score.

Examine if there are any errors or indications of fraud or identity theft before seeing whether you have any overdue balances or accounts that have been placed in collections. 

The best course of action is to pay as many past-due debts as possible to start by dealing with this unfavorable information.

2. Don’t miss payments

One of the units used in calculating your credit score is your payment history, and a long track record of on-time payments will help you attain good credit scores. 

To do this, you must watch that you don’t miss any credit card payments by more than 29 days; payments at least 30 days overdue can lower your credit scores.

If you’re careful not to overdraw your bank account, setting up automated payments for the minimal amount needed can help you avoid forgetting to make a payment. Contact your credit card company immediately to discuss hardship options if you have problems paying a debt.

Even though making on-time payments might not improve your credit, at least, not missing repayments will.

3. Pay down your revolving credit card debt

You should pay more than the minimum amount each month if you have the money to do so. Because it helps keep your credit utilization rate low, making progress on your outstanding debt can significantly affect your credit score.

It’s best if you can pay off your monthly balance as quickly as possible. Additionally, you can pay off your balance in many monthly installments to keep it low and simplify keeping track of your spending. 

And while paying off even a percentage of your debt is beneficial, doing it in total will have the most prominent and fastest impact on your credit score.

4. Check your credit report for errors

Examining your credit record for any mistakes that could hurt your score is one strategy to raise it quickly. If you are successful in disputing them and getting them eliminated, your score can go up.

It’s essential to review credit reports because approximately 25% of people have a mistake—some common faults to look out for include falsified or cloned accounts and misrepresented payments.

5. Keep your credit utilization rate low

The average credit limit that you are now using is referred to as your credit usage. It ranks as the second most significant component in determining a FICO Score, behind payment history.

Paying up your credit card balances in full each month is the most straightforward approach to controlling your credit utilization. A decent rule of thumb is to maintain your total outstanding balance at 30% or less of your overall credit limit if you can’t consistently achieve so. 

The next step is reducing that to 10% or less; this is recommended to improve your credit score. Requesting a credit limit increase is another approach to lower your credit utilization percentage. If your debt doesn’t rise with your credit limit increase, it can benefit your credit utilization.

The majority of credit card issuers let you submit an online request for a credit limit increase; all you’ll need to do is update your annual household income. In less than a minute, you might get your increased limit approved. A credit limit increase can also be requested over the phone.

Conclusion

Raising your credit score is vital, especially if you want to get one of the top rewards on credit cards or apply for a loan to buy a tangible item like a new car or house. 

When you start making changes to improve your score, it may take a few weeks or even months before noticing a difference. That’s why it requires patience and determination.

Also, note that to get some of those negative points off your credit report, you could even need the assistance of one of the top credit repair businesses. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s a good credit score?

Credit bureaus use significantly varied scales to determine what constitutes a good or negative credit score. FICO typically defines an excellent score as falling between 670 and 739, while a fair score is between 580 and 669. Scores between 740 and 799 are perfect, and scores of 800 or more are considered extraordinary.

How frequently should your credit score be checked?

Regularly checking your credit report for inaccuracies is a good idea, but to avoid harming your score, make sure only to make light inquiries. Check with your bank to see if you can sign up for their service so you may receive alerts whenever your credit score changes; many banks offer free credit monitoring to their customers.

How often does a credit score change?

The score might fluctuate daily because it is a dynamic representation of a person’s financial history. Your credit score will typically be updated if you make a new payment, your account balance changes, a further credit inquiry, or your outstanding debt level changes. 

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Anthony Adewuyi

Anthony Adewuyi

Anthony is a Content Writer with MakeMoney.ng. He is passionate about Finance, Business, and Tech related topics. He is a Digital Entrepreneur with vast experience in Data Analytics and Advanced Google Analytics

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