Credit scores are numerical expressions of your creditworthiness and are based on your credit files and reports. These scores are used by creditors to gauge your likelihood of repaying any debt owed, along with interest. The scores also determine the rate of interest at which credit will be provided, and if you have an excellent score, you may also get loans at a lower rate of interest as lenders consider you to be a reliable borrower.
Sometimes, you may find yourself in a financial bind and need to look for ways to improve your credit scores to get a loan at a better interest rate. Usually, improving credit scores takes time and requires patience, consistency, and financial discipline. At the same time, even small changes in your habits can go a long way in improving the scores and your credit history in the long run. The following tried and tested methods are highly effective if you’re wondering how to improve a bad credit score:
- Make micropayments
Make small payments constantly instead of waiting for the end of the month to make a single large payment toward repaying debt. It even bodes well to use a credit card as a debit card, and you can do this by using the credit card for a transaction and then paying it off online almost immediately. This will keep the credit utilization rate extremely low, and this is a major factor in calculating credit scores. You can also track the changes and their effects on your credit score periodically.
- Acquire a higher credit limit
If the sole purpose of getting a higher credit limit is to get an improved credit score, it is advisable to get a higher limit. However, you should maintain the same balance in the account as it is an indicator to creditors that you do not abuse your ability to take loans. This is also subject to the fact that higher credit can be achieved without incurring a “hard” credit inquiry (which can lead to a temporary downfall in credit scores).
- Dispute fallacies in credit reports
Everyone is entitled to access their credit reports for free once a year, so you must go through your credit reports carefully, flag any discrepancies, and report them to help improve credit scores quickly. Payments made on time are sometimes marked off as a late payment, and the information in credit reports may sometimes be too old to be listed, and getting these mistakes fixed can raise your score.
- Become an authorized user
You can increase your credit limit and also request someone else to add you to their credit card. The person in question does not have to be obliged to provide the credit card or account number for use. Merely becoming an authorized user on a card helps build your credit score if the primary user makes timely repayments. When wondering how to improve a bad credit score, this is an effective way to build a good score.
- Don’t close accounts
You may think that closing any extra credit cards may help improve your score, but it does more harm than good. If you close a card, you are liable to lose that specific card’s limit, which means you now have the same amount of debt against a lower credit limit. This means your credit score worsens instead of improving. Instead, it is better to pay off the debt but keep the card open and not use it when you’re looking for an answer to the question of “how to improve a bad credit score?”. This lowers the credit utilization rate and improves your score.