Earning a good credit rating is worth the effort. Landlords and potential employers review your credit report and review 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 take a long time. And if your score is lower than you would like it to be, it may seem like it will be months or years before you increase it substantially.
The good news, however, is that there might be quick ways to increase your score. In fact, here are two of the fastest ways you can try that can have a big impact quickly.
1. Get added as an authorized user
If you have a friend or family member with good credit who is willing to help, leveraging their positive credit history might be the fastest way to boost your own score.
To help you boost your credit score quickly, a loved one might add you to one of their credit cards as an authorized user. Ideally, you would want 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 file and the card’s entire credit history will appear as if it were your own. It can significantly boost your score if it makes your credit report look more established and convinces lenders that you’ve made many payments on time.
As an authorized user, you will also be authorized to use the credit card, but you will have no obligation to make any payments. Ideally, you won’t charge the card anything at all – and your friend or family member who adds you to the card doesn’t even have to give you access if they don’t want to. But for the duration you’re named as an authorized user on the map, it can give your score a quick and sometimes substantial boost.
2. Ask creditors to remove credit report black marks
Another great way to quickly boost your credit score is to remove the information that’s lowering it.
If you were more than 30 days late making a payment, your credit card company or lender is likely reporting this negative information to the credit bureaus. Even a single late payment can lower your credit score by a substantial amount, so deleting this information could have a big impact.
Lenders do not have to remove accurate negative information, and disputing accurate negative information is unlikely to succeed, as the credit bureaus would investigate if you disputed the late payment record, and would likely find it legitimate and refuse to delete it.
But you can ask your credit card company to voluntarily stop reporting negative information. You can call your card company and speak with customer service or send a “goodwill” letter asking for the late payment record to be deleted. It’s not guaranteed to work, but if you’ve been a good customer who usually pays on time, many card companies and lenders may be willing to work with you.
If you manage to get through either of these two steps, they can have a huge impact on your credit report very quickly. It’s worth a try.
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