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Checking your credit score on a regular basis is a key part of maintaining your financial health. Free credit report services like myLendingTree make tracking your credit score month-to-month easier than ever.
Not only does myLendingTree make tracking your monthly credit score easy, but you’ll also receive insightful tips into how you can improve your credit score and save money. In fact, with the tips and information I learned from myLendingTree, I was able to bring my credit score up 100 points in only 30 days!
Understanding How to Raise Your Credit Score
To sum it up, I was able to bring my credit score up 100 points in less than 30 days by significantly lowering my credit utilization rate.
When you’re working to improve your credit score, it’s very important to understand what determines your credit score. Check out the graph below for a simple breakdown of how credit scores are calculated.
As you’ll see the two biggest factors that make up your credit score are the history of your on time payments and the amounts you owe on your various lines of credit. The second piece is also known as your credit utilization rate.
The most important thing you can do to improve your credit score is make sure that you’re always paying your bills on time. Assuming you’ve got that part under control, the quickest way you can raise your credit score is to improve your credit utilization rate.
Check out our handy infographic on understanding the important of your credit utilization rate!
Two Easy Steps to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
Raising my credit 100 points in less than 30 days was a result of me doing just two things.
1. First, I paid off a significant amount of my credit card debt.
Before I took these two steps, my credit score was in the low 600s. I had only one credit card with a $3,000 credit limit, and I had racked up about $2,500 in charges. That means my credit utilization rate was 83%. Not good!
When I got a nice refund check from my annual tax return, I put $1,500 towards paying down the balance on my credit card. That took me down to only owing $1,000 and made my credit utilization rate just 33%. Still not ideal, but getting better.
2. After that, I followed some good advice and opened up a second credit card account.
I was approved for my new card and granted a $5,000 line of credit. When combined with my other credit card carrying a $3,000 line of credit, this instantly dropped my credit utilization rate down to a very healthy 12.5%.
This meant that the rating on my credit utilization rate went from an “F” to an “A+”. Since this is the second most important factor on your credit report, my score skyrocketed into the 700s virtually overnight!
How You Can Do It Too: Raise Your Credit Score 100 Points!
If you’re trying to raise your credit score, working hard to pay down your credit card balances is a great place to start. This will not only boost your credit score, but it will save you money as you’re able to escape high credit card interest rates.
Balance transfer credit cards are a great way to kick start your savings if you don’t have the cash on hand to make a big payment towards your balance. By offering 0% intro APR of a number of months, every penny of your payment will go towards the principle of your balance during the intro period. This is one of our favorite balance transfer credit cards: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card – 21 Month Intro Offer on BT and Purchases
By opening a second credit card, you’re also likely to improve your credit score just by adding to your total available credit and lowering your credit utilization rate. Even if you’re not in a situation where you need to avoid high interest rates, opening a second or third credit card account may still help you raise your credit score significantly.
Best Credit Cards to Raise Your Credit Score
In reality, all credit cards are equally capable of improving your credit score. But if your goal is to increase your credit utilization rate by paying down your balances, these credit cards offer long 0% intro APR periods and great perks to help you meet your goals.
Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever: If you’re looking for an extra long intro APR, look no further than the Citi Simplicity. This card comes with an impressive intro APR 0%* for 21 months on Purchases* and 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*. That means you’ll have well over a year to pay your balance down virtually interest-free! As the name implies, the Citi Simplicity prides itself on being a simple credit card with no gimmicks. That means you’ll enjoy no annual fee, no penalty rate and no late fees, ever.
Discover it® - 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer: For those who would like to earn rewards on their purchases while they boost their credit score, the Discover it card offers an excellent cash back program as well as an appealing balance transfer offer. Cardholders receive 5% cash back in popular rotating categories each quarter like gas, groceries and Amazon.com plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. And for new card members, Discover offers a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn in your first year!
The Bottom Line
The first step in improving your credit should be educating yourself on how credit scores are calculated and what you can do to make a difference. So if you’ve made it to the bottom of this article, you’re off to a great start!
For those that are new to credit or trying to rebuild, opening another credit card account may be the fastest way to boost your credit score. Of course, it’s very important that you spend responsibly and always make your payments on time. But by opening a new credit card or performing a balance transfer you could lower your credit utilization rate and may even be able to raise your credit score 100 points!