How to Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points in 90 Days
Note: this article does not guarantee you will be able to boost your credit score by 100 points in 90 days, but it will give you a good idea of what is possible if you take your time to clean up your credit report and apply for the proper credit lines.
Having a way to raise your credit score by 100 points would be pretty great, right? Well, it’s not for everyone. If your credit is bad or poor, then this article is for you. If you have a good credit score then you’re probably not going to find this information to be of much value.
Before you even start with this project you will need to have a few things ready. I cannot stress enough about how much patience you will need with this, so be prepared and understand that this will take at least 90 days for most cases, although it’s possible that you could see success come much quicker. It truly depends on your situation, as the worst credit reports and scores will be the ones that jump the quickest.
Do note that I will be linking to other articles that I’ve written regarding cleaning up credit, or even learning about how credit works. You do not have to click on them, but the more educated you become the more success you will see in the near future. Trust me, credit isn’t that difficult to understand!
Cleaning Your Credit Report
The first thing you’ll need to do is go to AnnualCreditReport.com and pull your credit report. This website is a free resource for all U.S. residents, as consumers are legally obligated to a yearly credit report from each credit bureau. Do note that these are once per year, so be sure that you save each report as you go through them (one at a time!), as you will not be able to come back later to view them. Save them.
Each credit report will ask you personal questions that are a bit tricky. Some may have trick questions that do not apply to you, just to see if you’re actually you. Answer them carefully!
Now that you have each credit report you will need to go through them carefully, each at a time. These reports will show information such as your name, social security number, addresses (current and past), employers, etc. Be sure that this information is accurate, or else you’ll need to contact the credit bureau to correct that information immediately. Highlight any errors you see.
Next it’s time to look over each account to ensure that this information is accurate. Look closely to make sure that these do belong to you and that they are reported accurately. Understand that you will need to dispute errors quickly. We will go over this in a bit.
Once you have gone over all of the credit reports you will need to get started on writing your own credit report dispute letter.
To do this you will need to hand write each letter to be sure that you get past the bureaus “guard dogs” that look for letters downloaded from the internet. Yes, it’s real.
If you have a bunch of errors I suggest you take an extra bit of time to read this article on removing negative items, as it’s going to help a lot.
When you write your dispute letters you will need to be sure to do the following: (each credit bureau needs their own letter if each have inaccuracies)
1. Write down your name and address
2. Write down the Credit Bureaus address
3. Todays date
4. To whom it may concern (intro to the letter)
5. Explanation of what it is that you’re wanting them to correct
6. List the accounts in question
7. Write down your Social Security Number
8. Stick the letter in an envelope and take it to the USPS to send out as Certified Mail (with Return Receipt)
9. Give each credit bureau 30 days from the time the letter is delivered. They have 30 days to give you a reply. It’s the law.
Once you receive a reply from each bureau, be sure to read it carefully. Did they correct the inaccuracies? All of them? If not, then you need to go through this process again for those that they did not fix. Now, if you feel that they ‘ignored’ your requests and left those negative items on your report, or they didn’t correct any mistakes, then you can send them a MoV letter. This letter will ask them to explain to you how they came about their conclusion.
The MOV letter will usually help you by forcing them to look over the facts again. It’s not 100%, but it helps.
If they still leave the information on your report(s) and you feel that this is not being taken seriously, you can then report the situation here. Hopefully this fixes the situation, but it may take some extra time.
This part of the project will always be the most stressful, as you will have to be patient and expect to be prepared to ride it out. There may be cases that will take a lot more time than usual, but there may be some cases that are quicker than usual. It really depends on the situation. Just be patient.
IMPORTANT: There may be some accounts that do belong to you that you need to pay off. Your goal is to contact the collection agency to try to get a good deal on the payoff and then come to an agreement that they remove the item from your credit report so that you do not have to suffer the consequences any longer. Make sure to get them to agree to this before making any payment arrangement and stay on the case until it’s off.
If the agency decides to leave you hanging, then you now have proof that you made payment so you can simply contact the bureau(s) to remove the items, with proof of payment. Be sure to get some sort of receipt from the collection agency or creditor!
Applying for New Accounts
Now that you’ve cleaned up your credit report a bit, it’s time to start building new credit so that you can start boosting your score a bit. Getting new credit cards with bad credit can be extremely difficult, so it’s best to just focus on where you’re at. I always recommend that you look at your credit score before applying. If you’re at 690 or above now, then I believe you could be qualified for a Discover Card. These cards are not overly difficult to get qualified for, but it’s not a sure thing. ONLY apply if you’re above that mark, just to be on the safe side.
If you’re below that mark then you will want to stick with secured credit cards. You can get these through your local credit union or you can get them through Capital One. Either way, you can start out with a few hundred bucks and go from there. Having multiple credit cards (secured or not) will improve your credit if you use them correctly.
1. DO NOT spend more than you can pay off each month. If you do you will fail to boost your credit quickly. Purchase candy for a kid, or buy a few waters on a hot day, but don’t go out shopping if you cannot afford to pay back that money each billing cycle. If you purchase $40.85 in gas, make sure you pay back $40.85 for the next billing cycle. This improves your credit score over time and builds a good payment history. It also keeps you from being stuck in a bad situation if you can’t afford to make a payment suddenly due to unforeseen circumstances, like losing your job.
2. Keep your credit utilization below 20%, regardless of the type of credit card(s) you have. Doing this shows that you take your credit serious and when it comes time to make bigger purchases you will not have high utilization rates that could backfire. If you have a $1000 card, don’t have a balance above $200.
You can also try applying for Retail or Gas cards once your credit starts picking up a bit, as these are usually easier to acquire than most credit cards.
Once your credit score starts to climb above 700 you should apply for other credit cards, but keep those steps in mind as they will always…ALWAYS matter, no matter how great your credit is.
Monitoring Your Credit Report
There’s too many great monitoring services that exist these days to make excuses about this. I, personally, use several apps that are 100% free and easy to use. CreditKarma and CreditSesame both have great services that allow you to constantly monitor your credit to prevent yourself from becoming an identity theft victim.
By keeping a close eye on your credit score you will learn new things and build a good habit. Credit health matters in our society, so be sure to keep yours as healthy as possible!
After 90 days you should be able to see a major improvement in your credit score. The 100 points in 90 days was my idea, as I myself have used these tips to boost my score over 110 points in the same amount of time (within 90 days). Of course, there are other factors such as money. If you do not have cash to pay off creditors or you are low on cash to get a secured credit card.
If you ever have issues getting items removed from your credit and you are sure they do not belong to you, always try again with new letter(s) and then move onto Method of Verification letters if and when you need them.
I hope this article helps you in your quest to boost your credit score. Please leave any comments below in the comments section!