Become an Authorized Signer
- One of the fastest ways to improve your credit score is to take advantage of someone else's good credit. If possible, you should find someone who has a credit card that has a low balance and a high credit limit, and/or has been open for a while with a record of on-time payments. When you are listed as an authorized signer, the credit history from that card shows up as part of your credit history. This means that you can increase the age of your credit if the card is an old card (age of credit history makes up 15% of your score). If the card has a low balance and a high limit, it can have a positive impact on your debt-to-credit ratio (30% of your score). If the card has a good payment history, this can help improve your payment history (35% of your score). This can make a dramatic difference in your score, if someone trusts you enough to name you as an authorized signer.
Pay down debt or raise your credit limits
- Your debt-to-credit ratio makes up 30% of your credit score. The closer you are to the limits on your credit cards, the lower this portion of your score will be. By paying down debt, you can have a positive impact on your debt-to-credit ratio. If your creditors are willing to raise your credit score without doing a credit check, this can also have a positive effect on your credit limit because although you will still owe the same amount, you will have more available credit. You should not ask, however, for a credit line increase if the creditor will need to check your credit report in order to grant the increase because this can lower your score by showing up as an inquiry on your credit report (10% of your score).
Negotiate with creditors to remove late payments
- If you are a good customer with a relatively good payment record, some credit card companies will remove a single late payment from your credit report if you call and speak with a supervisor. This is done in some cases as a courtesy, especially if the late payment was in the past. If creditors will not remove late payments, you can still improve your payment history by making sure you make on time payments. The older a late payment is, the less of a negative impact it has on your score, so ensuring you pay on time now will begin to raise your score as time passes.