How to Improve Your Credit Score in 30 Days or Less

 June 25, 2020
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how to improve your credit score in 30 days

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If your credit score isn’t where you need it to be, it can feel like it takes forever to build it back up. If you’re wondering how to improve your credit score in 30 days, rest assured, it is possible.

Yes, it does take time to raise your credit score, but there are steps you can take now to start seeing immediate improvements.

Here are a few ways to raise your credit score in 30 days or less. They may not all be easy, but the payoff is worth it.

How to improve your credit score in 30 days
Avoid pay for delete and late payment adjustments
The road to good credit isn’t short

How to improve your credit score in 30 days

Here are seven specific things to do (or not do) that — all else being equal — should help push your credit score higher. Of course, no two people’s situations are exactly alike, and results may vary, but these steps are all generally credit-positive moves:

1. Never make a late payment
2. Decrease your credit utilization
3. Increase your credit limit
4. Get a balance transfer credit card or peer-to-peer loan
5. Use your old cards so they’re not closed
6. Get a secured credit card
7. Check your credit report for errors and remove them

1. Never make a late payment

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is by avoiding any late payments.

Since your payment history is the most important factor in your score, keeping it in the clear will be helpful to you.

Whether it’s paying your cellphone bill, your utilities or your credit cards each month, make sure your payment is on time, every time.

2. Decrease your credit utilization

Credit utilization refers to the ratio of your balances to your credit limits. It’s the amount of money you owe on revolving debt (such as a credit card) compared to the credit limit available to you.

Overall, your credit utilization ratio should be below 30%. So if your ratio is higher than that, try and decrease it to improve your credit.

For instance, if you make a large payment on your credit card this month, you’ll improve your credit utilization. This, in turn, will improve your credit score.

3. Increase your credit limit

If you can’t reduce your balance low enough to hit a credit utilization ratio of 30%, there’s another way to improve your credit utilization: Increase your credit limit.

After all, your limit is half of the ratio that makes up your credit utilization. You can increase your limits by calling your credit card issuer, then ask to apply for a credit limit increase.

Some credit cards even allow you to apply for a credit limit increase online. Often, you will know right after you apply if the lender approves your credit limit increase.

However, it’s important to keep your spending at the same level and not use that new credit. If you increase your spending along with your available credit limit, you cancel out any credit utilization ratio benefits.

4. Get a balance transfer credit card or peer-to-peer loan

If credit card debt is weighing down your finances and your credit score, consider applying for a balance transfer credit card or a peer-to-peer loan.

You can use both of these tools to pay off your existing credit card (or cards). They usually come with a much lower interest rate, which means you can get out of debt faster.

Still, if you need to raise your credit score in 30 days, only apply if you think you have a chance at approval. That’s because another factor in your score — new credit — could take a hit when you apply. The hit is worth it, though, if you’re approved. You’ll now have improved credit utilization, which is worth far more of your score.

If you receive approval for a balance transfer credit card, keep these two things in mind:

  • Pay more than the minimum. Divide your balance by the number of months you get at no interest. That should be your new minimum to ensure payoff before the promotional rate expires.
  • Don’t close your old credit card. That could result in a drop in your credit score. Keep the card open and only use it if you can pay off the balance every month.

5. Use your old cards so they’re not closed

Speaking of not closing old cards, another tool to raise your credit score in 30 days is to make sure your cards aren’t closed due to inactivity.

The length of your credit history is the third most important factor in your credit score. Lenders want to see you’ve had positive, long-standing relationships with other lenders. That’s why this portion matters so much.

If you’re afraid that using old cards will lead you to debt, use them only for small purchases. Then, pay them off the minute you get home. That way, you can show the transaction history without accruing interest.

6. Get a secured credit card

If you have bad credit and want to increase your debt limits to improve your score, get a secured credit card.

A secured credit card does require a security deposit upfront. However, you could get it back if you close or upgrade the card. Plus, many credit card issuers review their secured cards every six months or so to see if they’re ready for an upgrade.

If your credit is in really bad shape, secured cards are a fairly easy way to rebuild it — assuming you have some cash to put down for the security deposit and you can pay your minimum balances off every month.

7. Check your credit report for errors and remove them

According to the Federal Trade Commission, one in five people had errors in at least one of their credit reports. This can be anything from reporting late payments that weren’t late to including fraudulent accounts in the report, which all can impact your credit score negatively.

That’s why it’s important to regularly check your credit reports. You can request one free report a year from each of the credit bureaus through Even more important, if you find anything that is inaccurate or fraudulent, dispute it immediately and have it removed.

Avoid pay for delete and late payment adjustments

There are some suggestions for how to improve your credit score in 30 days that, while they look interesting, are less than reputable.

Pay for delete and late payment adjustments are two credit cleanup methods where borrowers ask debt collectors to report information that may not be entirely true to the credit reporting bureaus.

Pay for delete is a process in which a borrower offers to pay the debt they owe only if the creditor will remove the negative account history from their credit report.

Late payment adjustments — also known as goodwill letters — are letters written by borrowers to lenders asking them not to report late payments.

Both these methods might be a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), which requires fair and accurate credit reporting.

According to the FCRA “unfair credit reporting methods undermine the public confidence, which is essential to the continued functioning of the banking system.”

Accounts in collections and late payments stay on your credit report for seven years. If you pay off an account in collections, it should be reported as “paid collection.” If it’s not, ask your debt collectors to send a letter stating that the debt has been paid in full.

Even if your creditors follow through with pay for delete or late payment adjustments, there’s no guarantee it will occur in 30 days.

The road to good credit isn’t short

While a quick boost to your credit score is nice and sometimes necessary, don’t get stuck on what you can do in one month. Building and maintaining good credit is something you’ll work on for life.

Luckily, it’s not that hard to do. Just make sure you have the breathing room in your finances to make on-time payments. Also, avoid accruing balances that exceed 30% of your total credit limits. Keep following these best practices and you’ll master ways on how to improve your credit score in 30 days in no time.

And if your debt is holding you back from the credit score you want, here’s how you can make this year the year you become debt-free.

Christina Majaski contributed to this report.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2022!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
7.99% – 23.43%1$5,000 - $100,000

Visit SoFi

4.37% – 35.99%$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upstart

7.46% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000

Visit Upgrade

99.00% – 199.00%2$500 - $4,000

Visit OppLoans

5.99% – 24.99%3$5,000 - $40,000

Visit Happy Money

7.99% – 20.88%4$5,000 - $50,000

Visit Citizens

7.99% – 35.99%5$2,000 - $36,500

Visit LendingPoint

10.68% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000

Visit LendingClub

9.95% – 35.99%7$2,000 - $35,000

Visit Avant

1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5. Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Happy Money.

Happy Money Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Rates and offer subject to change. All accounts, loans and services subject to individual approval.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

Applications submitted on this website may be funded by one of several lenders, including: FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered bank, Member FDIC; Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC; Midland States Bank, Member FDIC; and LendingPoint, a licensed lender in certain states. Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 7% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. Loans are offered from $2,000 to $36,500, at rates ranging from 7.99% to 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 72 months. Minimum loan amounts apply in Georgia, $3,500; Colorado, $3,001; and Hawaii, $1,500. For a well-qualified customer, a $10,000 loan for a period of 48 months with an APR of 24.34% and origination fee of 7% will have a payment of $327.89 per month. (Actual terms and rate depend on credit history, income, and other factors.) The $15,575.04 total amount due under the loan terms provided as an example in this disclaimer includes the origination fee financed in addition to the loan amount. Customers may have the option to deduct the origination fee from the disbursed loan amount if desired. If the origination fee is added to the financed amount, interest is charged on the full principal amount. The total amount due is the total amount of the loan you will have paid after you have made all payments as scheduled.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 9.56% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 13.11%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $192.37. The total amount repayable will be $6,925.32. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 2% to 6% (average is 4.86% as of 7/1/2019 – 9/30/2019). In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,001 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.

7 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.

**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.

Based on the responses from 7,302 customers in a survey of 140,258 newly funded customers, conducted from August 1, 2018 – August 1, 2019, 95.11% of customers stated that they were either extremely satisfied or satisfied with Avant. 4/5 Customers would recommend us. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.46%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s bank partners. Information on Upgrade’s bank partners can be found at .