30 Best Ways to Raise Your Credit Score Fast and Free

Last Update: September 14, 2023 Credit Report

Do you know that it doesn’t have to be hard to increase your credit score? Here are 30 ways that you can get an excellent score and get the interest rates you need!

Get Your Free Credit Report from AnnualCreditReport

This is the first thing you need to do to start analyzing your credit history and making sure you’re ready to take your credit into your own hands. If you want to get your FICO score, go to MyFICO.

Pay Off Any Past Due Payments

Don’t let a payment go 90 days late: it can hurt your score very badly!

Make All Payments on Time

You’re given a grace period between your statement date and your due date. Know your due date, and make sure you send your payment 5 days before that date.

Always to Pay above The Minimum Balance

By paying more than the minimum balance, you prove that you are responsible enough to pay down your loans and credit quicker than you are told to.

Increase Your Payment Amounts on Old Loans

By paying down your loans faster, you show that you can handle more credit and take out a responsible level of credit. The faster you pay down your loans, the better, and you will see your score go up.

Pay Off New Loans Quickly

This goes back to the general rule about paying loans down fast. It’s okay to get new loans and to hold a balance, but you want to clear your different balances as much as possible.

Use Less of Your Available Balance

Less than 20% is best, but those with an 800+ credit score often report that their actual utilization can be as low as 1%. If your limit is so low that utilization % is a problem, then…

Ask for Credit Limit Increases Once Every Year, on Your Lowest Account

This is an easy way to decrease your utilization percentage. However, doing this effectively requires that you keep your same habits and don’t use credit irresponsibly.

Don’t Close Credit Card Accounts

The average age of credit accounts and the oldest credit account are factors that go into your credit score. The longer your credit history, the better, but it also shows responsibility to keep a credit account open for a long time. If you open a credit account at 18, you’ll have a 22-year old account at the age of 40 and likely a high credit score to boot.

Open New Credit Accounts Every Few Years

This is a strategic ‘fast track’ to an 800+ credit score. In addition to taking out new loans, paying them down, and increasing your limits, opening new accounts (although it will dock your score in the short term) will prove to the bureaus that you can take out many different types of credit responsibly. It also decreases your utilization percentage. Don’t open new accounts too fast, though! The average age of accounts is still important.

Run a Very Small Total Balance on Your Credit Accounts Month by Month

Aim for a remaining balance of less than 5% of your total credit allotment. This way, you show that you can use credit for long periods responsibly.

Get a Credit Card that You Use Daily and Pay The Total Balance off in Full Every Month

You show that you can utilize credit often and yet still be using it properly.

Wait a Little Time before Applying for New Loans after Getting a Loan or a Credit Card

Each inquiry will dock your credit score. Trying to open up many loans at once may indicate that you are overextending yourself. However, there is a trick to avoid this negative effect, especially when loan shopping.

Cluster Your Loan Inquiries in a Few Week Period

This is a trick that many people use to make sure that they can get the best rates. Do it quickly, though!

Use a Credit Monitoring Service

Services such as MyFICO are excellent for tracking your credit report changes and protecting yourself from those who want to ruin your credit.

Check Your Credit Report for Errors

If you find errors in your credit score, you should report them instantly to all credit bureaus. This is the fastest way to boost your credit score. And it is 100% legit.

Dispute Any Errors on Your Credit Report with The Bureau that Reported it

If an error is found and then struck off your record, your credit score could go up INSTANTLY. Why? There could have been a big sore thumb on your credit, bringing your score down.

If You Have Items in Collections, Call The Company and Get Out of Them

Pay off what’s due, and prioritize it over other debts! If you know you paid, dispute it with your credit bureau.

If You Have Items in Collections on Your Credit Report, Call Your Bureau and Get Out of Them

Often, items in collections that are paid off remain on your report. You can call your credit bureau to strike them, so long as they can confirm that you did, in fact, pay it off.

Avoid Payday Loans

These are a trap, and if you have bad credit, they might seem attractive. Please do NOT use them! By steering clear payday loans, you protect your credit from harm due to predatory lending policies and a high risk of collections.

If You Have a Very Low Credit Score or No Credit History, Get a Retail Store Card and Pay The Balance off on Time

Most retail stores offer credit or charge cards that will approve anyone with an income: bad credit or no credit. It’s harder to get a loan with no credit than with bad credit, so if you need to start a history, start with a store card!

If You Have a Very Low Credit Score or No Credit History, Get a Secured Credit Card and Pay The Balance off on Time

Like the last tip, this is perfect for those who just experienced bankruptcy or had to deal with a lot in collections or those who just started their credit history.

Leave Most Debt on Your Credit Report

Only get items that went in collections struck from your report. If you have a mortgage or auto loan on your record, this implies responsibility.

Become an Authorized User on a Parent or Significant Other Credit Card

This requires someone you trust and someone who trusts you. If you’re authorized to use someone’s high-limit credit card, it can be shown that you can be trusted with money.

Report Your Credit Card Lost or Stolen

If it’s not actually lost, this is a grey area trick, but it’s 100% the best thing to do if you ever get your card lost or stolen. This causes balances (and card age) to transfer to a new account.

Avoid Hard Inquiries to a Minimum

Hard inquiries are when someone takes a peek at your credit history with the intent of letting you borrow money or an asset. This can happen when you open a new bank account or get a loan or rent a car. It must be noted that some inquiries of the same type will be treated as hard (where there is an effect on your score) and some soft (where there is no effect).

Balance Transfer

Balance transfers are when the balance and the card’s history are transferred to a new card, like a rewards card. This is a great way to change your ‘daily use’ card to give points or Air Miles.

Lower Your Total Debt-to-Credit Ratio by Paying Off Large Outstanding Loans

By monitoring your debt-to-credit ratio, you can see where you stand when it comes to your debt.

Use All of Your Credit Cards Strategically

Some cards can be reserved for grocery and gas, others can be reserved for travel, and some can be reserved for clothes. By having multiple cards that give different rewards, you are keeping a diverse credit usage record.

Check Your Credit Score

MyFICO allows you to track trends in your credit score and see what happened month by month. Those services can help you maintain good credit without spending too much time worrying about it.



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