Note that many student loan lenders and servicers are offering relief options during the coronavirus outbreak, so be sure to also check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 annualcreditreport.com. Even more important, if you find anything that is inaccurate or fraudulent, dispute it immediately and have it removed.
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.
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 2021!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|5.99% – 18.85%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|4.37% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.94% – 35.97%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|99.00% – 199.00%2||$500 - $4,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%3||$5,000 - $40,000|
|7.99% – 29.99%4||$7,500 - $40,000|
|7.99% – 20.88%5||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%6||$2,000 - $36,500|
|10.68% – 35.89%7||$1,000 - $40,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.
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.
3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
5 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
6 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
7 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
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 www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
*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 APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% 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 $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. 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. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.