|by Brooke Kaelin|
Today, I want to address the question that I get very often from friends and readers, which is how to improve your credit score fast. I get these questions from friends who do not have great scores, but are looking to either a car or house within a few months. They are normally looking for a quick formula to give their score a boost.
Unfortunately, there really is no quick boost or magic formula. But I remember the time when I had no credit and how it took me about six months to get regular unsecured credit card offers in my mail. This was what I did.
1. I simply paid all my bills on time. Yes, pay in full. There were a couple of months where I carried a balance. But this was due more to the fact that I misread my bills than anything else.
2. I only used one credit card
3. On the months that I carried a balance, I did not even come close to reaching my credit limits.
4. I made sure I paid all my non-credit card bills on time. This is important because I had a couple of close calls with regards to “unintentional late payments”. For example, when I moved house and changed my address, the doctor that I saw sent me my bills but I did not pay because I never received it in my new address! The bill was nearly sent to bill collection. Make sure these things do not happen or your credit score could take a hit.
5. Lastly, get your credit report and credit score. Check for errors and correct them if you find one. You may also want to consider a package like uze Orman’s FICO Kit, which gives you advice and tips on improving your existing score. What I did was rather basic and simple, and maybe some expert advice from Suze might just get your score up slightly quicker.
But my opinion is that there is no magic formula. You simply have to watch your report for errors, pay your bills on time, have a plan to reduce your debt if you have any. Do these things and your credit score WILL improve.