Let's face it, dealing with credit can be a real headache. One minute you feel on top of the world, like you could buy a yacht with your excellent credit score. And the next, you're getting a call from your credit card company or a letter from collections to account reminding you of that one time you forgot to make a payment, and your credit history took a hit.
But don't worry. You're not alone! Many people struggle with managing their credit accounts, and it's not always easy to figure out what steps to take to improve your credit score. That's why we're here to share some credit hacks that will help you boost your credit score.
In this post, we'll explore some practical tips from:
- Why do you need your FICO score
- How to monitor your credit scores
- How to get more available credit
- Top credit score hacks
- How to quickly build credit
- What a good credit mix includes
So by the end of this post, you'll know precisely what to do after you get a copy of your credit report.
Why am I talking about Debt?
My name is Eddy and I've been helping others with credit repair tips and unique ways to save money for a while now. Unfortunately, I know all too well how easy it can be to fall into a financial rut from student loan debt, a car loan, and other living expenses that can quickly add up and leave you feeling overwhelmed.
We partner with awesome companies that offer products that help our readers achieve their goals! If you purchase through our partner links, we get paid for the referral at no additional cost! For more information, visit my disclosure page.
What Are The Best Credit Hacks To Try?
Whether you want to learn how to start a business leveraging credit or improve your credit history and score, these hacks will help.
1. Report Your Rental Payments
If you're one of the millions who rent a home or apartment, you might not realize that you can use your rental payments to improve your credit score. How? Use rent reporting services to report your payment history to the major credit bureaus.
Rent reporting services like Boompay and Experian boost can help you show your positive payment history on your credit report, potentially boosting your credit score fast. This can be especially helpful if you have a limited credit history or are working to rebuild your credit after a financial setback.
So if you're looking for a simple and effective way to improve your credit score, consider using a rent reporting service to report your rental payments to the credit bureaus.
2. Monitor Your Credit Scores
Monitoring your credit scores regularly is essential for maintaining a good credit rating. By checking your credit scores and reports regularly, you can spot errors or inaccuracies and take steps to address them before they negatively impact your creditworthiness.
You can obtain free monthly credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Additionally, you can use a credit monitoring service, such as Credit Karma, Identity Guard, or SmartCredit, which provides regular updates on your credit scores, alerts you to any changes or potential fraud, and offers personalized tips to improve your credit.
If you notice any unauthorized charges or know you've been hacked, you can apply for a fraud alert or credit freeze. This will make that no one can use for any fraudulent loans, and the company pulling your data can't even view your credit file.
By keeping a close eye on your credit scores and reports, you can stay on top of your credit health and make informed decisions about your financial future.
3. Use Credit Building Apps
If you're looking to boost your credit score quickly, credit-building apps can be a great tool to help you get there. One popular option is a credit builder loan, explicitly designed to help you build credit by making on-time payments. Many financial institutions and work offer credit builder loans by putting the loan amount into a savings account you can't access until you've paid the loan in full.
A few pros to this are:
- You can get approved even with bad credit
- It's not considered credit repair
- It's my favorite credit hack for those who need a good credit score
- Most apps report to each credit bureau every month
- Adds a positive tradeline and payment history to your credit accounts
Each on-time payment is reported to the three credit bureaus, which can help boost your credit score. Another type of credit-building app is Stellarfi or Grow Credit, which allows you to add your utility and telecom bill payments to your credit report.
Doing this reflects the monthly payments you already make and shows additional positive payment history. Using credit-building loans, you can take control of your credit health and work towards a better financial future.
4. Ask For A Credit Limit Increase
If you're looking for a quick credit score hack, one factor you should consider is your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you use compared to your total credit limit. If your credit utilization ratio is high, it could bring down your score, so keeping it as low as possible is essential.
One way to do this is by asking your credit card issuer for a credit limit increase. This can be especially helpful if you've been using a high percentage of your available credit, as it can help lower your credit utilization ratio.
When you ask for a credit limit increase, your credit card issuer will likely review your credit history and current credit card limits, so it's essential to have a good track record of on-time payments and responsible credit use. A higher credit limit can give you more financial flexibility and improve your credit score if approved.
5. Dispute Errors on Your Credit Report
It's not uncommon for credit reports to contain errors or inaccuracies, which can negatively impact your credit score. If you spot an error on your credit report, it's important to dispute it as soon as possible.
You can do this by contacting the credit bureau that issued the report and providing them with documentation to support your claim. Alternatively, you can use a credit repair company or credit repair software to help you navigate the dispute process. Credit repair companies can work with the credit bureaus and creditors to dispute errors and negotiate on your behalf.
Credit repair software, however, can help you identify errors on your credit report and provide you with templates for writing dispute letters. While both options can be helpful, it's essential to research. It chooses a reputable company or software program to ensure you get the best possible help in correcting credit report errors.
6. Make multiple payments throughout the month
You can use a credit score hack to make multiple payments throughout the month on your credit card bill, which will boost your credit scores. Doing this can help keep your credit card balance low and reduce your credit utilization ratio.
The credit utilization ratio is an essential factor that lenders look at when determining your creditworthiness. If you're using a high percentage of your available credit, it can suggest to lenders that you may be at risk of defaulting on your credit card payments.
Making multiple monthly payments can help keep your credit card balance in check and lower your credit utilization ratio. This can also help you avoid interest charges and will help with credit limits. While it may take some extra effort to keep track of your payments, it's a simple and effective way to improve your credit health and boost your credit score over time.
7. Get A Cosigner
If you're struggling to qualify for a loan or credit card due to a low FICO score, one credit hack you can try is to get a cosigner. A cosigner agrees to take responsibility for the loan or credit card if you cannot make payments.
They're essentially vouching for your creditworthiness and can help you qualify for better rates and terms. This can be especially helpful if you're a student or young adult with a limited credit history. For example, if you're applying for a student loan but don't have a strong credit score, a parent or relative with good credit could co-sign the loan.
Just be sure to make all payments on time and in full, as any missed payments could negatively impact both your credit and your cosigner's credit. While getting a cosigner is not always necessary or appropriate, it can be a valuable strategy to consider if you struggle to get approved for credit.
If you're looking for a credit score hack that can help you improve your credit score quickly and without taking on new credit, consider piggybacking. Piggybacking involves becoming an authorized user on someone else's credit card account. As an authorized user, you'll be able to benefit from the primary cardholder's good credit history and positive payment behavior.
With this, you won't need to worry about getting a secured credit card or taking on revolving credit accounts. This can help boost your credit score, especially if the primary cardholder has a long and positive credit history. However, it's important to note that not all credit card issuers report authorized user activity to the credit bureaus, so you'll need to research to find a card that does.
Additionally, it's crucial to have a strong level of trust and communication with the primary cardholder, as any missed payments or high balances could negatively impact both of your credit scores. While piggybacking is not a solution for everyone, it can be a helpful strategy to consider if you're looking to boost your credit score quickly without taking on new credit.
9. Avoid Closing Old Credit Cards
One crucial credit tip is to avoid closing old credit cards. This is because the length of your credit history accounts for a significant portion of your credit score. Closing old accounts can shorten your credit history and negatively impact your credit file.
Additionally, closing a credit card can reduce your available credit, increasing your credit utilization ratio and lowering your score. Furthermore, a credit card with a positive history of on-time payments and low balances can boost your credit score.
It's generally a good idea to keep your old credit cards open and active, even if you're not using them regularly. If you're concerned about fees or other issues with the credit card company, consider contacting them to see if there are any options for improving the account or switching to a different card without closing the account altogether.
10. Setup Automatic payments
A straightforward credit hack to help build your credit is to set up autopay for your credit accounts. This can help ensure that your bills are always paid on time, which is crucial in determining your credit score.
With automatic bill pay, you can schedule payments on a specific date each month, so you don't have to worry about missing a payment or incurring a late fee. In addition to the convenience factor, setting up automatic payments can also help boost your credit score by ensuring that your payment history is consistently positive.
Late or missed payments can significantly negatively impact your credit report, so by setting up automatic payments, you can avoid these issues and improve your credit score over time. However, it's still important to monitor your credit report regularly and ensure that all payments are reported accurately.
By combining automatic bill pay with other credit hacks, such as keeping your credit utilization low and maintaining a diverse mix of credit accounts, you can work towards achieving a strong and healthy credit score.
11. Chase 5/24 Rule
If you're interested in applying for credit cards, it's essential to be aware of the various rules and policies set by credit card companies. One such rule is the Chase 5/24 rule, which applies to many of Chase's best credit cards.
Essentially, the rule states that if you have opened five or more credit card accounts in the past 24 months (regardless of whether they're with Chase or not), you will be automatically denied for many of their best credit cards. This rule will discourage credit card churning and protect the company's interests even if you have a perfect credit score.
However, it's important to note that the rule only applies to personal credit inquiries, not business credit, so you may still be eligible for business credit cards even if you exceed the 5/24 limit. If you're interested in applying for a Chase credit card, it's a good idea to check your credit report and ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements.
Additionally, please review the terms and conditions of the card and compare it with other options to ensure it's the right fit for your financial needs.
12. Work With A Credit Repair Company
You can also work with a credit repair service that can review all of your credit reports and assist in resolving any errors that are negatively affecting your score. A credit repair service can also work with you to develop a plan for improving your overall credit and even help you dispute any incorrect items on your report.
However, it's important to know that some services may require an upfront fee or a monthly subscription and there is no guarantee of success. I used to own my own credit repair business and you want to make sure they work with you through every process including following up on disputes.
13. Start A Business
One of the best credit hacks is starting an online business or local business that can help you leverage credit. Not only will creating a business help to diversify your income and build assets, but it can also help you achieve financial independence.
I used to live paycheck-to-paycheck and my credit score was not where I wanted it to be. But then I started my business and everything changed for.
When you open a business, be sure to keep all of the financial documents that are associated with it organized and up-to-date. This will make it easier for you when you want to take out a business or traditional loan, as lenders can quickly review and assess the health of your small business.
You'll then learn with a company that you can do write-offs for certain purchases, and with business credit, you will have a larger credit limit.
14. Consolidate Debt
If you're struggling with multiple sources of debt, consolidating your debts can be a smart financial move depending on your situation.
Debt consolidation involves combining your debts into a single loan or credit account, typically with a lower interest rate or more manageable payment terms. This can help you pay off your debts more quickly and save on interest charges.
Some familiar sources of debt that can be consolidated include credit card debt and student loan debt. Before consolidating your debts, it's essential to take stock of how much debt you have and what types of debt you're dealing with.
Additionally, it's worth noting that poor credit can make it more challenging to qualify for debt consolidation loans or credit accounts. However, options such as secured loans or debt management programs are still available, so it's essential to research and explore your options.
Ultimately, consolidating your debt can be a great way to take control of your finances and work towards a debt-free future.
15. Don't Pay Collection Accounts
One major credit hack is not immediately paying off your collection accounts and old debts. Paying off collections doesn't improve your credit score, as the debt has already been listed as damaging to your credit report.
Instead, focus on paying down debt with high-interest rates or revolving accounts such as credit cards. If you have a collection account still listed as open and current, consider negotiating with the creditor to lower the amount or settle the debt for less than what is owed. This may help, and the credit reporting agency will show it as paid.
16. Transfer Your Balances to a New Card
A balance transfer card may be a good option if you're struggling with high-interest revolving credit and want to save money on interest charges.
Balance transfer cards allow you to transfer the balance of one or more credit cards to a new card with a lower interest rate. This can help you pay your debt more quickly and save on interest charges. When considering a balance transfer card, it's essential to look at the credit line, fees, and interest rates associated with the card.
Some cards offer a 0% introductory interest rate for a specific time, which is a great way to save money if you have a budgeting plan to pay off your balance before the promotional period ends.
Additionally, it's essential to be aware that opening a new credit account can temporarily lower your credit score due to a hard inquiry, so it's crucial to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of this option carefully. A balance transfer card can be valuable in your debt payoff plan with the right strategy and careful consideration.
17. Be Mindful Of Your Credit Utilization Ratio
A credit tip is to be mindful of your credit utilization rate, which indicates the amount of available credit you use. This is calculated by dividing your total credit card balances by your total credit limits. A lower utilization rate is generally better for your score, as it tells lenders you can responsibly manage multiple accounts and use credit within moderation.
18. Use Your Tax Refund To Pay Off Credit Card Debt
One of the top credit score hacks is using your tax refund to pay off the bad debt you owe. This doesn't mean you should search for brand-new auto loans or a shiny new toy. However, if you have unpaid credit card debt, it’s a good idea to use your tax return to help prevent late payments and keep your credit file healthy.
19. Check Your FICO Scores
Have you ever noticed there is more than one type of credit score? This would be your vantage and FICO scoring model, the two most popular scores lenders use to determine your creditworthiness.
Your FICO score will be the most critical metric when applying for or working with a mortgage lender. Check your FICO scores every other month, making sure it stays within an acceptable range. This will help you make intelligent decisions when applying for any loan or even a new credit card.
What Are Credit Score Hacks?
Credit hacks are founded by people who love leveraging credit and want to maximize their potential with credit cards. They often look for ways to keep the debt at a minimum while still taking advantage of the rewards and benefits of a card. Credit hacks also include searching for:
- A better credit score
- Getting a credit limit increase
- How to lower the credit utilization ratio
- How to build credit
- finding the perfect credit mix
- Getting an installment loan
With that said, there are many ways to hack your credit score.
No, you can lie about your credit score, and there are laws put in place by the federal trade commission that can catch you and punish you for false information.
You can increase your score fast by asking for a credit limit increase, having an authorized user added to your account, disputing incorrect information on your credit report, paying off debt, and making all payments on time. Additionally, you can use a credit score simulator tool to get an idea of how changes to the components of your credit score affect the outcome. This will help you take strategic steps to improve your score quickly.
The best thing to do is to have a credit specialist or business do a rapid rescore. Rapid rescoring is a process that can remove negative items from your credit report in as little as 48 hours, boosting your score and making it easier to get approved for loans or lines of credit. Additionally, the same steps outlined in the previous answer can help raise your score by 500 points over time.
Now that you know the best credit hacks to raise your score fast, you can get a free credit report and get to work. This will help you take strategic steps to improve your score quickly. Good luck!