Having a good credit score is crucial if you want to get approved for loans such as home and car loans. Keep in mind that even small money habits can affect your credit score. But if you’re already on the right track and within the higher credit score ranges, you don’t need to do much to improve your good record. Just continue with your healthy money habits to better qualify for the best terms on loans or credit cards, making life a lot easier. 

But if you’re looking for ways on how to improve credit score immediately, here are a few tips to help you out. 

cardmapr-nl-s8F8yglbpjo-unsplash Improve your credit score by making frequent payments Photo: CardMapr.nl//Unsplash

1. Make smaller but more frequent payments

Consider making micropayments throughout the month. Set a schedule every payday or every week to pay off a small portion of your credit card debt. Rather than waiting for your credit to inflate, keep your balances low and get a better chance of improving your credit score. 

2. Always pay your bills on time

We cannot stress this enough: pay your bills on time. Your payment history is the main factor that affects your credit score. Late payments have a tendency to be retained on your record for years to come. Late payments leave a dent in your credit score that can negatively affect your chances of getting a loan or the best loan terms. If you do miss a payment, be sure to pay it as quickly as you can and continue paying on time for future bills to offset any blunder. 

ibrahim-boran-3ijHgGTSDi8-unsplash Always check on your credit reports Photo: Ibrahim Boran//Unsplash

3. Check your credit report for any errors

One reason that can affect your credit score is a mistake in your credit report. If you’re looking at how to check your credit score, you can request a credit report check for free on a weekly basis from any of the major credit bureaus such as Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can check for errors on late payments or negative antiquated details and report them to the credit bureau for investigation and dispute it to improve your credit score. It’s vital that you check your credit report constantly to find any problems that can be fixed. 

4. Request for higher credit limits

Another way on how to improve your credit score fast is requesting for higher credit limits while your balance stays the same. By doing so, you immediately lower your credit utilization which, in effect, increases your credit score. But how do you qualify for a higher credit limit? If card issuers see an increase in your income or you’ve had a winning streak of good credit experience by paying on time, paying more frequently and the like, then you have a better chance of getting a bump up on your credit limit. 

5. Don’t close your credit cards

Keep your credit card open and use it periodically to avoid it from being closed by the card issuer. There is a causal relationship between closing your card and it negatively affecting your credit score. This is because by closing a credit card, you lose the card’s limit which you need to reflect a lower balance. When you lose your card’s limit, it can give you a lower credit score once your credit utilization is factored in the calculation. 

jonathan-cooper-FVpJq706coM-unsplash Ask for higher credit limits to positively affect your score Photo: Jonathan Cooper//Unsplash

6. Learn to diversify

Diversifying your credit means not limiting yourself to just credit cards or loans. Think about what type of credit you don’t have and add it to your portfolio to mix it up a bit. Consider having both loans and credit cards under installment accounts and revolving credit for diversification and improve your chances of getting a better credit score. However, don’t simply take out a loan just to mix up your credit if you can’t afford it. As mentioned, late payments and failure to pay your bills will easily drag down your credit score.

7. Consider a secured credit card

If you’re wondering how to build credit or just increase your credit score, use a secured credit card. A secured credit card is supported by a cash deposit that is paid upfront. The amount of money you deposit will determine your credit limit and is usually the same. Although, you will still need to continue paying your bills on time to drastically raise your credit score. It’s also important to keep in mind when choosing a secured credit card to pick one that reports to all the major credit bureaus so you can easily request your credit report as needed.

8. Examine a debt consolidation

Consider paying off your multiple outstanding debts through a debt consolidation loan from your bank or credit union. This way, you’re only paying off one debt and have the chance to get a lower interest rate on your loan and pay off your debt more quickly. This way, you improve your credit utilization ratio which results in an improved credit score. 

Credit Karma Credit Karma helps you check if you have money in state governments Photo: creditkarma.com

It's vital that you check your credit report constantly if you want to build your credit or improve your credit score. Get help from Credit Karma. Credit Karma helps you check if you have any money in state governments. 

When a business owes you money but can’t send it to you, they may turn it over to the state.  Then each state holds on to that money and keeps a detailed list of who it belongs to. If some of it is yours, you can file a claim to get it back.

Find out if you have unclaimed money with Credit Karma! It’s absolutely free to use and can help you improve your credit score. Check out Credit Karma here.