You try very hard to handle your Money well.
No matter what you do, your credit score never seems to exceed 700.
Yes, some algorithm is giving you a three-digit number that pretty much runs your whole life. We understand that it’s annoying.
But don’t give up just yet! These six steps could give your credit score the boost it needs to start going in the right direction.
What’s best? All of these things are doable by the end of this week.
1. Write a good Letter
If other than a few mistakes, you have a pretty good credit card history, sending a well-written letter of goodwill to those you owe could help you get back on good terms with them and improve your credit score.
- It would be best if you made sure the following things are in your letter:
- Tell the creditor why you’ve been a loyal customer and for how long.
- Take responsibility for the things you did wrong that hurt your credit score.
- Please tell us what you’re doing to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
- Use their ability to feel empathy. Show that you want to be forgiven but are also determined to do better in the future. Show them you’re worth it!
- Keep your letter straightforward.
Don’t forget to include essential details, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want to take off your credit report. After you’ve written your goodwill letter, use the information on the creditor’s website to send it to them.
2. This guy raised his credit score by almost 300 points. See how you can do the same.
You’ve got big plans. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a new car. Or you hope to buy a house in the next few years. You might want to start your own business. But here’s the thing: no matter your goals, you might not realize how much your credit score is getting in the way.
The good news is? Credit Sesame is a free website that makes it easy to get your credit score on track to reach your goals. We talked to one guy, who used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score by nearly 300 points in six months.
* He says they showed him exactly what to do, and he could even open his first credit card.
What could getting 300 more points do for your goals? It could save you a lot of Money over the life of a mortgage or car loan.
Within 90 seconds, Credit Sesame will show you your credit score, any accounts with debt, and a few personalized tips on improving your Score. You’ll be able to find any mistakes that are holding you back (one in five reports has one).
Make sure that bad credit doesn’t get into your plans. Sign up for free (it takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your Score.
3. Don’t pay your credit card company
You know if you have credit card debt. The worry, the high-interest rates, and the fear that you’ll never get out.
Your credit card company is making a lot of Money off of you by charging you crazy interest rates, but other, more excellent companies will help you out. A website called Credible knows which ones are the best and can put you together with one as soon as tomorrow.
How it works is that Credible will find you a loan to pay off your credit card bill. Use that loan to pay off your debts, and then pay back the loan with monthly payments. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt much faster. Plus, I don’t have to pay my credit card this month.
You won’t have to wait in line or call a bank to believe credible. And if you worry that you won’t qualify, you can check online for free. It only takes two minutes, but it could save you a lot of Money. Worth every penny.
4. Don’t waste Money on overdraft charges
Overdraft fees have happened to all of us at some point. It’s like a cruel joke: “Oops, it looks like you don’t have any Money. Here, pay this fee now!”
It’s one of the main ways banks make Money. But if you have a Chime debit card, you can exceed your limit by up to $200 without being charged. Seriously. Then, the next time you put Money into your Chime account, that Money goes toward paying back what they lent you. There are no fees for this.
To make an account, all you have to do is take a few minutes. Then, you can sign up if you set up a direct deposit of at least $200 per month.* It’s effortless, and you’ll no longer have to worry about overdrafts.
5. Instantly Raise Your Credit Scores
It can take a lot of time and work to improve your credit score, but for what? Where do you even start?
We found a way that you might be able to add points to your credit score right now, which might be more important than you think.
There are five credit scores: terrible, fair, reasonable, sound, and exceptional. You can save thousands of dollars on a mortgage or car loan if you move up to the next highest tax bracket. It can also help you get a better credit card, like one that gives you cash back or points.
You know Experian from your free credit report. They have a free service called Experian BoostTM* that adds credit to your Experian Credit Report for the phone and utility bills you already pay. This shows lenders that you have a history of making payments on time, which is a big part of your credit score. Experian Boost users whose FICO Score went up added an average of 13 points to their FICO Score** immediately if they saw their FICO Score go up.
You might wonder what 13 points will do for you. But one point is all that separates a “fair” credit score from a “good” one, and that can make all the difference.
It works: When you set up your free account, you’ll link it to the bank account you use to pay your monthly phone and utility bills. Experian Boost then looks for bill payments, like cell phone and utility bills, that wouldn’t usually be reported to the credit bureau and adds them to your Experian Credit Report. (Your info stays wholly private and encrypted, by the way.)
By reporting these on-time payments, Experian has already raised people’s credit scores by more than 39 million points. Check your credit scores today to see if you can do the same.
6. Pay off your debts.
If you have too much credit card debt, you know how hopeless it can feel to have no way out. You make your payments every month, but you never seem to make any progress.
This is why: Your lenders are cheating you out of Money by charging you crazy interest rates. What if you could get some of your debt paid off?
A company called Freedom Debt Relief can help you do just that. They’ll talk to your creditors and try to get them to cut a big chunk of your debt. If they agree, you might not have to file for bankruptcy or get a loan.
You can talk with their experts for free to find out what the best plan is for you. You’ll need to show why you’re struggling to make your payments and tell them a little about your finances.
Then, they’ll get to work to see how much of your debt they can get rid of. They’ve already helped more than 800,000 people and negotiated more than $15 billion in debts.
They’ll negotiate a settlement with your creditor, and if you approve the offer they come back with, you’ll start paying it off. But you don’t have to pay anything until they work out a settlement and you make your first payment toward it.
Checking how much of your debt you can get rid of is free.
High-Return Savings (APY is Annual Percentage Yield). Ask for information. There may be some additional rules, fees, and restrictions. Prices can change at any time. You need $100 to open an account. There is a $10.00 fee for every transaction from your account that is more than six. This includes pre-authorized withdrawals, automatic or phone transfers, checks, draughts, debit card transactions, and other similar transactions. If the account is closed before interest and bonus are credited, it may forfeit accrued interest and bonus for that statement cycle. Fees could reduce earnings. As of April 7, 2022, this is what we know.
The FDIC National Rates and Rate Caps list the national average APY as of April 18, 2022.
Contact Freedom Debt Relief to find out if their program is right for you.
*Like Cooper and Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see their credit score go up; 50% see an increase of at least 10 points, and 20% see an increase of at least 50 points after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not promise that any of these will happen, and some people may even see their credit score decline. Many things can help your Score go up, like paying your bills on time, keeping your credit balances low, avoiding additional inquiries, making sound financial plans, and getting into better credit habits.
*Chime is not a bank but a company that makes technology for Money. The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A., members of the FDIC, offer banking services and give out debit cards.
*Results may differ. Some people might not see their scores or approval odds going up. Not all lenders use Experian credit reports, and not all use Experian Boost scores.
**Your credit score is based on the FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurance company may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8 or even a different kind of credit score. Go to Experian.com to find out more.