How I Raised My Credit Score 114 POINTS In Less Than 45 Days
When I was younger, I had absolutely no clue how my credit scores would impact my life. In college, I lived a carefree life, acquiring student loan after student loan. But now at the age of 30, I see just how much the staggering debt can affect your life. If you aren’t careful, student loans and other types of debt and collection accounts can easily derail your life and leave you financial straits.
When it’s time to make significant purchases, like a home or vehicle, the tasks may be more difficult than they should be. But with everything, there’s a silver lining. In my case, the challenges I’ve faced have taught me many life lessons and I’m happy that I’m able to share information that may help someone else. After years of bad credit and ridiculous interest rates, things are finally coming together. The turning point came when I managed to raise my credit score a whopping 115 points in less than 45 days.
Here’s how I did it:
The Credit Reports
- Check your credit score. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, for those who have no clue where to start, it may not be so simple. I, personally, use Credit Karma to monitor my credit for free. Credit Karma uses the Vantage Score system to calculate credit scores for Transunion and Equifax. While many people have noted that their scores varied on other sites, it’s probably due to the scoring model. But nevertheless, it’s an excellent start to give you an idea of where you are in the credit game.
- If you have derogatory marks on your report, don’t panic. There are ways to resolve many of these issues. You can opt to dispute some of the items on your own credit report. This is the cheapest way to get the job done. But in my case, I really didn’t have the time to dispute all of the items on my report myself due to work, parenting, and other obligations. (I also know my strengths and weaknesses. So leaving the task to an expert worked for me.)
- So, I used an excellent repair specialist who gets the job done. Last year, I tried working with Lexington Law, but unfortunately, things didn’t go as I hoped. So, I moved on to another credit specialist who has helped me to make drastic changes with my reports. CJ The Credit Fixer is very knowledgable and his communication efforts are amazing. He’s prompt with his responses, very knowledgeable and has no problem sharing information that will help you get on the right track. In addition to credit repair, he also offers another product to help that will allow you to take advantage of better interest rates and credit approval options once your credit repair is complete. But in the meantime, there’s more.
Secured Credit Cards:
It’s usually only recommended that you obtain one credit card to begin boosting your credit scores, but I decided to obtain two. I figured what harm could it do. I felt motivated so I gave it a shot. I applied for the Open Sky card and the Capital One Secured Card. Both cards require deposits to cover the available credit you’ll be given, but to me, it’s worth the investment.
Benefits Of Two Over One:
With both cards, you can secure credit limits between $200 and $3,000. But I wouldn’t tie thousands of dollars up with a secured card. I opted for $200 on both cards because it’s only a small investment for one particular purpose. I only spend $60.00 a month and I make multiple payments each month. At the end of the month, I leave a $5.00 to $10.00 balance on each card. (Not using available credit is just as bad as maxing it out. You’re trying to create a history of proper money management skills.) Leaving a balance keeps my utilization low and it proves that I do use my cards without abusing them. Since it’s recommended that you use less than 30% of all available credit, leaving such a small balance ensures I’m using less than 10% a month. (Sidenote** People with excellent credit use less than 6% of what they have available.)
Understanding Credit Reporting:
In addition to understanding credit utilization, you need to know when each card reports to the credit bureaus. While some report on the last calendar day of the month, there are others (like Capital One) that report based on the closing date of your billing statement. The date could be any day of the month so it’s up to you to find out what date that is and make sure your payments are made accordingly. I try to make sure all payments are made at least 5 days before the billing statement closes for a particular month. Another factor to consider with payment timing is how long it takes for payment processing.
Once again, this is another aspect of the process that varies from bank to bank. (A complete headache, I know. But it’s well worth the results.) For example, Capital One payments process fairly quickly but Open Sky is a totally different story. It could take up to eight days for payments to post to your account. So, make sure you take timing into consideration and pay as many bills as you can on time. (It can be a real pain in the ass, but once again, it’s worth it.)
If any bills have to be paid late, I’d suggest letting it be something that’s not reported on your credit. But if you’re patient and you stay focused, you’ll get the job done! I’m still on the path to improvement but it only motivates me to read more so that I can share with others. Good luck!
**Disclaimer: Credit score increases may vary from person to person. There is no way to guarantee everyone will have the same results but it has been proven that secured credit cards can drastically improve your scores.**