Categories

Improve Credit

You Don’t Need the Luck of the Irish to Get a Good Credit Score

Leprechauns can't make mischief with your credit scores, and finding a four leaf clover won't magically help them escalate. In truth, the numbers produced by such credit scoring companies as FICO and VantageScore are entirely up to you to create and maintain. If you want that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—scores of 700 on up—you'll get them without the help or hindrance of lore. That's because credit scores are based on the information listed on your credit reports, which house your personal borrowing and payment activity. Therefore, to get legendary scores, you'll have to take realistic action. Here's what you need to do.

  • Clean your credit. Check your credit reports to make make sure that everything listed is correct and timely. Inaccuracies such as fraudulent accounts or negative information that should have aged off (collection accounts older than seven years, for example) might be pulling your scores down. If so, this is often an easy fix. File a dispute with the credit reporting agency, which will prompt an investigation. Wait about 30 days, and the information should be expunged from your reports. Then check your scores to see how the removal impacted the numbers.
  • Add plenty of positives. If you haven't used credit much or at all, you have a thin credit file, which makes it very difficult to develop a good credit score. To thicken up your file and possibly improve your credit score, consider using Experian Boost to add your phone and utility bills to your credit report. This will give credit scorers positive data to compute and may help you qualify for a credit card or loan. And if you get those and use them well, your scores will really start to take shape.
  • Send payments early. Because payment history is the most weighted factor in any credit scoring system, consistently paying bills on time is a guaranteed way to hike up those digits. There's no reason to wait until the last moment, though. Arrange for the money to be in the lenders' hands at least a few days before the due date. This way you can be sure that the payment will be reflected on your credit report as on time, every time. Consider enrolling in automatic bill pay so you leave nothing to chance.
  • Charge and repay. Using at least one credit card regularly and responsibly is the fastest route to a great credit score. By charging a little each month and paying the debt off in full, you'll be proving that you're a master of your financial domain.
  • Drive down balances. Already hold a lot of consumer debt? Take control over the situation and pay it down. Owing too much money (especially as compared to your credit lines) will cause your scores to sink because it affects your credit utilization ratio. The antidote is to stop borrowing until your debt is substantially under the charging limit. Rather than paying the bare minimum, send the most you can afford. As your balances decrease, your scores will increase.
  • Piggyback on a mate's plastic. If you're just beginning to establish credit or your credit report could use another perfectly managed account, consider becoming an authorized user on someone else's credit card. It will show up on your credit report as well as the owner's. As long as that person uses the card frequently, pays on time and maintains a low or no balance, your scores will benefit. When those scores are high enough, you can apply for a card of your own and handle it the same way. Then you can thank your friend profusely and remove yourself from his account.
  • Clear collections. If you're among the 71 million U.S. adults who have debts in collections, you might be aware of how badly they're affecting your credit scores. Collection accounts are considered the most serious of delinquencies. Thankfully, you can do something about it. Satisfy those debts. When you do and they're reported as paid, the latest versions of the credit scoring models won't include them in their calculations. Consequently, if you pay them off, your scores will likely spike. Mind that the accounts will still show up on your reports for seven years, but the older they get, the less important they become.
  • Apply prudently. Of course you have to apply for a credit account to get one, but be mindful about the process. All applications will show up as hard inquiries on your credit reports, and an overabundance of them in a short period of time looks like you're financially desperate. Although inquiries are a relatively minor credit scoring factor, too many will shave off points. Go slowly. Only pursue the loans and credit cards that you will qualify for and that you truly need.

Clearly none of these credit scoring improvement techniques require any mystical good fortune, Irish or otherwise. Only you control your credit destiny. When you do, you celebrate with a toast: May your troubles be less and your blessings be more. And nothing but happiness come through your door.


Want to instantly increase your credit score? Experian Boost helps by giving you credit for the utility and mobile phone bills you're already paying. Until now, those payments did not positively impact your score.

This service is completely free and can boost your credit scores fast by using your own positive payment history. It can also help those with poor or limited credit situations. Other services such as credit repair may cost you up to thousands and only help remove inaccuracies from your credit report.

How Good Is Your Credit Score?

300 credit score301 credit score302 credit score303 credit score304 credit score305 credit score306 credit score307 credit score308 credit score309 credit score310 credit score311 credit score312 credit score313 credit score314 credit score315 credit score316 credit score317 credit score318 credit score319 credit score320 credit score321 credit score322 credit score323 credit score324 credit score325 credit score326 credit score327 credit score328 credit score329 credit score330 credit score331 credit score332 credit score333 credit score334 credit score335 credit score336 credit score337 credit score338 credit score339 credit score340 credit score341 credit score342 credit score343 credit score344 credit score345 credit score346 credit score347 credit score348 credit score349 credit score350 credit score351 credit score352 credit score353 credit score354 credit score355 credit score356 credit score357 credit score358 credit score359 credit score360 credit score361 credit score362 credit score363 credit score364 credit score365 credit score366 credit score367 credit score368 credit score369 credit score370 credit score371 credit score372 credit score373 credit score374 credit score375 credit score376 credit score377 credit score378 credit score379 credit score380 credit score381 credit score382 credit score383 credit score384 credit score385 credit score386 credit score387 credit score388 credit score389 credit score390 credit score391 credit score392 credit score393 credit score394 credit score395 credit score396 credit score397 credit score398 credit score399 credit score400 credit score401 credit score402 credit score403 credit score404 credit score405 credit score406 credit score407 credit score408 credit score409 credit score410 credit score411 credit score412 credit score413 credit score414 credit score415 credit score416 credit score417 credit score418 credit score419 credit score420 credit score421 credit score422 credit score423 credit score424 credit score425 credit score426 credit score427 credit score428 credit score429 credit score430 credit score431 credit score432 credit score433 credit score434 credit score435 credit score436 credit score437 credit score438 credit score439 credit score440 credit score441 credit score442 credit score443 credit score444 credit score445 credit score446 credit score447 credit score448 credit score449 credit score450 credit score451 credit score452 credit score453 credit score454 credit score455 credit score456 credit score457 credit score458 credit score459 credit score460 credit score461 credit score462 credit score463 credit score464 credit score465 credit score466 credit score467 credit score468 credit score469 credit score470 credit score471 credit score472 credit score473 credit score474 credit score475 credit score476 credit score477 credit score478 credit score479 credit score480 credit score481 credit score482 credit score483 credit score484 credit score485 credit score486 credit score487 credit score488 credit score489 credit score490 credit score491 credit score492 credit score493 credit score494 credit score495 credit score496 credit score497 credit score498 credit score499 credit score500 credit score501 credit score502 credit score503 credit score504 credit score505 credit score506 credit score507 credit score508 credit score509 credit score510 credit score511 credit score512 credit score513 credit score514 credit score515 credit score516 credit score517 credit score518 credit score519 credit score520 credit score521 credit score522 credit score523 credit score524 credit score525 credit score526 credit score527 credit score528 credit score529 credit score530 credit score531 credit score532 credit score533 credit score534 credit score535 credit score536 credit score537 credit score538 credit score539 credit score540 credit score541 credit score542 credit score543 credit score544 credit score545 credit score546 credit score547 credit score548 credit score549 credit score550 credit score551 credit score552 credit score553 credit score554 credit score555 credit score556 credit score557 credit score558 credit score559 credit score560 credit score561 credit score562 credit score563 credit score564 credit score565 credit score566 credit score567 credit score568 credit score569 credit score570 credit score571 credit score572 credit score573 credit score574 credit score575 credit score576 credit score577 credit score578 credit score579 credit score
Resources
Sign up for helpful tips, special offers and more!
You're signed up!
Our system is undergoing maintenance and will be available again soon.