Improving your credit score by 100 points is a good goal. Read on to make a plan, but remember to have patience as it can take time to make that much change.
When it comes to your credit score, there’s almost always room for improvement. A credit score boost of 100 points is certainly a big goal. Yet, it should be doable over time if you have a good plan and you’re dedicated to following it.
Of course, it’s also important to maintain realistic expectations when you’re working toward a big credit score change. For some people, a 100-point credit increase could happen quickly. But most people need to practice patience while working toward such a large credit score increase.
Do you want to raise your credit score by 100 points or more? Read on to discover some valuable tips to help you navigate your credit improvement journey.
FICO® Scores and VantageScore credit scores feature a range of 300-850. That means if your current credit score is 750 or below, it is possible to raise your score by 100 points.
Credit scoring models don’t discriminate. In fact, a federal law known as the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) makes it illegal for lenders to use any credit scoring system that does so. As a result, any consumer has the potential to earn a perfect 850 credit score.
Yet, it’s also important to remember that your credit situation is unique, like a fingerprint. Therefore, your path to earning a 100-point credit score increase will differ from the next person’s path. The amount of time you’ll need to try to improve your credit score will vary as well.
Anytime you’re working to improve your credit, it can be helpful to identify why you want a better credit score in the first place. In other words, what is your goal?
Working to increase your credit score isn’t always an easy journey. But if you focus on why you’re trying to improve your credit, it might keep you motivated if the process doesn’t go as smoothly or as quickly as you’d hoped.
One reason you might want to raise your credit score is that a lender or credit card issuer or credit card company turned down your credit application. Being denied credit can cause feelings of frustration or embarrassment. But the fact that you can’t qualify for a financial product that you need or want is even worse.
Want to improve your credit to re-apply for a particular credit card or loan? It helps to learn the lender’s eligibility requirements first.
Although a 100-point credit score increase is always nice, it might not be necessary to satisfy a particular lender’s qualification standards. For example, if you have a 610 credit score and the lender requires a minimum credit score of 670, you would need to improve your score by 60 points for a chance to qualify. (Note that other factors besides your credit will be involved in the application review process too.)
When you understand a lender’s qualification requirements, you’ll have a better idea of the number you want to work toward. Once you reach that initial threshold, there’s no reason to stop working toward an exceptional credit score range.
The desire to qualify for a better credit card is another reason you might desire a credit score increase. Issuers of rewards credit cards and credit cards with better terms often require you to have good to excellent credit to qualify.
Again, a 100-point score increase isn’t a magic number that will help you qualify for any credit card account. FICO considers 670 to be the start of the good credit score range. So, 670 is a good number to shoot for as an initial goal if you want to qualify for a more attractive credit card offer.
Depending on where your credit score is now, you might need to raise your score by 100 points, more than 100 points, or less to achieve your goal. As always, the higher your credit score climbs, the better your approval odds should be.
Your credit score not only determines whether you’re eligible for financing or a credit limit increase, but it can also influence the interest rate a lender charges you. If you’re currently paying high interest rates, a credit score boost could benefit you.
Once you earn a higher credit score, you may be able to qualify for better interest rates on future loans and credit cards. You might also consider refinancing your existing debt or consolidating it with a new lower-rate loan that could possibly save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest.
Learning how to raise your credit score by 100 points has a variety of benefits. A good credit score comes with advantages that are worth working toward. Here are a few examples of the potential benefits of raising your credit score by 100 points.
Raising your credit score by 100 points might unlock many of the benefits above. If your credit needs a significant amount of work, a 100-point increase could still get you closer to those valuable perks.
The journey toward a higher credit score is different for everyone. For some people, a 100-point score increase might happen fast. Others might take months or even years to reach the same goal. People with higher credit scores (above 750) may not be able to achieve a 100-point score increase at all since 850 is the highest score possible.
The following credit score factors could have an influence on the amount of time it takes you to earn a 100-point increase.
It’s worth noting that your credit score starting point may affect your potential for improvement as well. A low credit score has more room to increase. And certain positive actions may help a bad credit score improve quicker than a good credit score. Opening new positive accounts, for example, tends to help thin credit files more than well-established credit files with numerous accounts (though both types of files may benefit).
Paying down your credit utilization rate might also help you more if you have bad credit versus good credit. FICO provides a simulated example of several consumers who paid down their credit card balances by 25%. The person with the lowest starting FICO credit score (607) had an estimated increase of 8-28 points. Still, the person with the highest starting credit score (793) only experienced a 2-22 point estimated increase for the same action.
It’s not impossible to raise your credit score by 100 points in 30 days, but it is unusual. If your goal is to increase your credit score fast, here are three tips that might help you.
In fact, 30% of your FICO Score is based on factors like credit utilization, the number of accounts with balances on your credit reports, and similar details. Paying down high credit utilization rates has the potential to improve your credit score quickly.
Dispute credit reporting errors. Negative credit errors can damage your credit score—sometimes by a significant amount. However, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) allows you to dispute incorrect items on your credit report. If a credit bureau investigates your dispute and removes the offending account(s) from your report, there’s a chance you might see your credit score improve rapidly.
Become an authorized user. When a loved one adds you as an authorized user onto a well-managed credit card, it has the potential to boost your credit score. A credit score increase isn’t guaranteed here, of course, but it may be more likely if the credit card has flawless payment history and a low credit utilization rate.
The three strategies above certainly aren’t the only way for improving and building credit. They simply represent actionable ways that certain people might earn a credit score boost in a short period of time.
If you’re working toward a credit improvement goal, it can help to identify the factors that are holding you back and know what debt to pay off first to raise your credit score. You can accomplish this by reading your three credit reports from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
Once you have your reports, make sure they’re accurate and dispute any errors. You may also want to develop a plan to pay down your credit card debt, if needed.
Finally, it may be helpful to add some positive credit history to your credit reports as well. And if you’re strategic about the types of accounts you open, even better.
Ten percent of your FICO Score comes from the mixture of account types on your credit report. Having a diverse credit mix is better for your score than having just one type of account in your credit history.
Having installment accounts on your credit report (i.e., auto loan, personal loan, student loans, credit builder loan, etc.) can be a good starting point—as long as you pay on time. But you may be missing out on additional credit score points you could earn by adding revolving accounts to your credit mix.
If you decide that you’re ready to open a credit card, it’s wise to apply for accounts you’re likely to qualify for based on your credit rating. With bad credit or no credit, a secured credit card may be a good place to start.
Like the scenario above, adding an installment loan to a credit report that only features credit cards might be a wise move. By opening a new type of account, you may add diversity to your credit report mixture.
Yet opening a traditional installment loan for the sole purpose of improving your credit mixture presents a problem. Unlike credit cards, a traditional installment loan automatically causes you to go into debt.
However, there is a way to add an installment loan to your credit report without taking on debt in the process — at least not in the conventional sense. Consider opening a credit builder loan.
With most credit builder loans, the lender will hold your loan proceeds in a Certificate of Deposit (CD) or savings account. After you make all of your monthly installments to pay off the loan, you’ll receive the funds (minus interest and fees) to use as you please. You can then use those funds as you wish, perhaps even to establish (or add to) an emergency fund to protect your finances and credit in the future.
With no active credit accounts, there’s a chance you might not have a FICO Score at all. The minimum requirements to qualify for a FICO Score are as follows:
In this situation, your credit might benefit from adding an installment account, revolving account, or both to your credit report. So, a credit builder card and a credit builder loan could be worth considering here.
Whether you’re aiming to improve your credit score by 100 points or some other number, the general principals are the same. Good credit management habits are the key to earning and maintaining a good credit score.
Opening new credit accounts won’t benefit you if you have a late payment. Payment history accounts for 35% of your FICO Score. At the same time, adding new positive accounts to your credit report won’t erase old, negative items. But the addition of well-managed accounts might help you offset some of the damage those old credit blemishes are causing.
It’s also critical to pay close attention to your credit utilization ratio. When you pay your credit card balances off monthly, it not only can save you money in interest, it may also help you improve or maintain your credit score.
Michelle L. Black is a leading credit expert with over 17 years of experience in the credit industry. She’s an expert on credit reporting, credit scoring, identity theft, budgeting and debt eradication. See Michelle on Linkedin and Twitter.
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