Credit Score FAQs: Can You Raise it?
One of the most frequently asked questions concerning credit scores is, “Can you raise your credit score?”. It’s a testament to just how little people know about this important topic. And that’s not something to be ashamed of. Personal finances are one of those things that people don’t learn about until they need to; it’s something that escapes us as youngsters, creeps into our lives as teenagers and young adults, and then hits hard when we’re 20-somethings dealing with masses of debt.
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But it’s never too late to learn. In this guide, we’ll take answer the most frequently asked questions about credit scores.
Can You Raise Your Credit Score?
Your credit score is constantly changing, altered by every bank account you open and every debt you pay. If it’s below 850, the maximum credit score, then you can raise it.
Generally speaking, whenever you open a new account, default on a debt, miss a payment, or receive a hard inquiry, your score will suffer; whenever you pay debts, meet repayments, and reduce the amount of used credit, it will improve.
Can You Do it in 3 Months?
There is a lot you can do in three months to improve your credit score. In the next section, we’ll discuss some 30-day techniques that you can utilize. All of those techniques apply here as well, but you can also try the following:
- Pay More: Creditors only report once per month, which means that even if you clear your credit card balance every month, it may still adversely impact your score. The best way to get around this is to make two payments each month, breaking that one big payment into two equal ones. You won’t pay any more money, but your credit score will look decidedly better.
- Negotiate Debts: If you have any debts in collection status, then your score may have taken a significant hit. But you can clear these very quickly if you contact the collection agency and settle. Remember, they bought your debts cheaply and their goal is to profit, clear, and move on. Offer them a reduced lump-sum amount to clear debts quickly.
- Be Authorized: If you become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, you’ll benefit from the increased credit limit without taking on any extra debt. Find someone who loves you and trusts you (a partner, a parent), make sure they are not heavily in debt, and let them know that you have no intention of using the card.
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The next time your report is updated, you should notice an immediate improvement.
Can You Do it in 30 Days?
The more time you have, the better, but if you don’t have 3 months then it is possible to make some big changes to your credit score in just 30 days.
- Remove Mistakes: The first thing you should do is request a credit report from each of the three big bureaus. You are entitled to receive at least one per year for free. Scrutinize the reports. Look for inaccuracies, mistakes—anything that is negative and doesn’t belong there. Once you find them, dispute them and this will remove them from your report.
- Pay Down: Next up, it’s time to clear as much of your balance as possible. 30% of your credit score is calculated based on amount owed vs amount available, with 30% or less being the ideal amount. For example, if you have a $100,000 limit and $60,000 of debt, you’re using 60%.
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The lower this figure is, the higher this portion of your score will be. If you have the money, put it towards reducing your debts. It’s not all or nothing—they don’t need to be cleared 100% for your score to benefit.
- Increase Your Limit: Your credit utilization ratio can also be improved by increasing your credit. Don’t open any more accounts, as that will have a negative impact in the short-term. Instead, call your current creditor and ask them to increase your limit.
Does Fingerhut Lower Your Score?
Fingerhut creates a new credit account, which means it registers as a hard inquiry and will reduce your credit score temporarily.
Fingerhut is an online shopping portal that offers installment plans. It can be useful for consumers with poor credit who need to make a few essential purchases, however, not only will it temporarily reduce your score, but the products listed on the site are more expensive than they are elsewhere.
Does Fingerhut Raise Your Score?
If you make payments on time then your score will gradually improve, just like it would with any other credit account. Fingerhut doesn’t offer anything different in this regard, but it is more accepting of users with low credit scores.
Does Affirm Reduce Your Score?
Affirm uses a soft credit check when you apply for a loan, which means it won’t reduce your score or appear on your statement. However, if you proceed with an Affirm loan this may appear on your credit report as they report to the major credit bureaus.
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Does Affirm Raise Your Score?
As with Fingerhut, using Affirm can improve your credit score. It’s designed to help you make essential purchases and to establish installment plans that appear on your credit report. By meeting these repayments you’re proving to future creditors that you can be trusted.
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What Can Raise Your Credit Score?
There are numerous things that can raise your credit score quickly, some of which we’ve discussed in this guide. Take a look below to see how your score is calculated and what you can do to improve it:
- 35% = Payment History: Pay on time, avoid delinquencies.
- 30% = Amount Owed: Keep your available credit high when compared to your total debt.
- 15% = Age of Accounts: Keep credit cards active, even when the debts have been cleared. This will also help with the Amount Owed section above.
- 10% = New Credit: New credit accounts can adversely impact your score, but their impact will lessen over time.
10% = Types of Credit: The more types of credit you have, the better, as lenders want to know that you’re capable of handling multiple types.