How to Raise Credit Score by 200 Points

Are you looking to increase your credit score? Here are the best tips on how to raise your credit score by 200 points. Let’s begin!

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1. Know what your current credit score is

If you want to raise your credit score by 200 points, the first thing you should do is to get to know your credit score.

What is a credit score?

A credit score is a three-digit number typically between 300 and 850. It is designed to represent your credit risk, or how likely you will pay your bills on time. 

Credit scores are calculated using the information in your credit reports. The information can include your payment history, the amount of debt you have, and the length of your credit history. You can read more about credit scores in my other blog post here.

Higher scores mean you have demonstrated responsible credit behaviour in the past, which may make potential lenders and creditors more confident when evaluating a credit request.

Having a good credit score is critically important in our personal finance journey. Whether you are looking to apply for a mortgage for your first home, loans to start your business, or a credit card without a deposit, you will most likely need a good credit score to demonstrate to the lenders that you will be able to pay the debts back.

Where to get your credit score?

Here are two free ways to get your credit report.

Credit Sesame

With credit sesame, you can:

  • Get your free credit score, free credit report card, and free credit monitoring alerts
  • Check what’s impacting your credit score and the steps you can take to improve it
  • Get a no-fee Sesame Cash debit account and earn cash as your score improves—up to $100 in 30 days!

Borrowell

If you are in Canada and can’t join Credit Sesame above since it’s US only, don’t worry! We have Borrowell for Canadians. In under 3 minutes, you can easily join over a million Canadians and get the tools you need to help understand, manage and master your credit.

Sign up for Borrowell here and get your Equifax credit score and report, for FREE!

2. Use a secured credit card

The next tip on how to improve your credit score is to use a secured credit card. Other than requiring a cash security deposit, a secured credit card works just like a regular credit card. Thanks to the deposit that protects the issuers of these cards from losing money, they are easier for people to qualify for, and are perfect for people looking to improve their credit scores or establish a credit history.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is one such card. It is a full-featured credit card with a revolving credit line based on a refundable security deposit. You can choose your deposit from as low as $200 to $3000. The card reports to all three credit bureaus (Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® ), so you can improve your credit score to help establish or re-establish new credit history.

Here are some key benefits to this secured credit card:

  • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval
  • Quick and complete online application; no credit inquiry required!
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Credit line secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200-3000 submitted with the application

The card is good for car rental, hotels, groceries, anywhere credit cards are accepted!

Group One Freedom Platinum Card

Group One Freedom Platinum Card is another credit card intended for people with less than perfect credit. The company doesn’t check your credit report, so even if you have bad credit or no credit history at all, you are still eligible to receive up to a credit line of up to $750 with Group One Platinum.

3. Use a credit card with a more lenient approval policy

How can you raise your credit score by 200 points when you don’t have an established history to get a credit card? Other than secured credit cards like the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card mentioned above, credit cards with a more lenient acceptance policy can be your answer.

Evolve card is one that stood out to me during my research. No application is denied because of bad or limited credit history. You can get a $1,000 credit line when you apply.

Key features of the Evolve card are the following:

  • It is designed for people with little to no credit
  • No monthly fees
  • $1,000 credit line
  • 0% financing when purchasing products through Evolve’s online store
  • 24/7 roadside assistance, legal assistance, and daily discount offers.
Sign up for the Evolve card today! Note that you must be at least 18 years old to apply.

4. Dispute incorrect items on your credit report

What to do after you receive your free credit report from either Credit Sesame or Borrowell? You want to look at it, obviously.

Your attention will probably first be drawn to the specific number that indicates your credit score. However, your score report gives you much more information than that. You will also see all the line items that impact your credit score.

If you spot any mistakes or fraudulent information, you will want to correct them.

By law, you are allowed to dispute inaccurate information on your credit report, and there is no fee for filing a dispute.

You may submit your dispute to the business that provided the information to the credit reporting agency and/or to the credit reporting agency that included the information on your credit report. In either case, you will be notified of the decision after the investigation is complete.

5. Get help from a credit repair expert

If you need some support disputing inaccurate information, or if you are looking for additional help fixing your credit score, you may want to reach out to a credit repair expert. You can either find a credit repair company, or use an online platform like Credit Versio.

The Credit Versio platform gives you the tools to quickly and easily create dispute letters that are more effective than the most premium credit repair services available. Their software takes your 3 bureau credit reports and converts them into an actionable interface with all the tools necessary to really see significant results and improvements.

With Credit Versio, you do need to pay for your credit monitoring subscription at $19.95/month. However, you will no longer have to pay hundreds of dollars that you would typically have to pay for a credit repair service.

Want to fix your credit and increase your credit score fast and easy? Sign up for Credit Versio today!

6. Keep the accounts that you already have

Although less is often better than more, if you already have opened multiple credit cards, do not close them. This is because a key determinant for a good credit score is low utilization.

Here’s an example:

Suppose you have three credit cards, each with a $2000 credit limit. You regularly use $1000 a month. Your credit utilization ratio is calculated as:

1000/(2000 x 3) = 16.7%

If you close one credit card, your utilization ratio becomes:

1000/(2000×2) = 25%

Because we want to keep our utilization ratio as low as possible, in this instance, having three cards on hand is better than having just two.

Of course, the above scenario is based on the assumption that you keep your spending constant at $1000 regardless of how many cards you have. If you find it’s too much of a temptation to keep multiple credit cards, then go ahead the cancel the ones you do not use!

7. Get more credit cards

Other than keeping your existing cards, you can also open more credit cards to decrease your utilization ratio. Of course, this is a good strategy only if you are disciplined enough not to use the new credit cards you get!

8. Pay down your credit card balances

This one is a no-brainer if you are looking to improve your credit score by 200 points. You want to pay down your credit card balances, starting with the ones that charge the highest interests!

The benefits for paying down your credit card balances are multi-fold:

  • You do not need to pay as much interest on the money borrowed
  • You can decrease your credit utilization ratio, which will help with your credit score
  • Once you pay off the balance on your high-interest credit cards, you can use the money towards paying down your lower-interest debt with a method known as the debt snowball.

You should always aim for paying off the full balance of your credit card every month instead of just the minimum payment.

9. Always make credit card payments on time

This tip goes hand in hand with paying down your credit card balance. Even if you can’t pay the full balance each month (you should really avoid this as much as possible), you should still pay as much as you can on time. This helps demonstrate to the credit bureaus that you are staying on top of your finances, and can help improve your credit score.

Never fall behind on your payments.

How long does it take to increase your credit score?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer on how long it will take you to increase your credit score. This is because it could depend on a variety of factors, such as the length of time you’ve had credit, your current credit score, and the nature of the events that negatively impacted your credit score in the past. After all, it will be easier to raise your credit score after a 30-day late payment than a bankruptcy.

I did, however, found a nice chart below from Bankrate that shows the average credit score recovery time for several common events:

EventAverage credit score recovery time
Bankruptcy6+ years
Home foreclosure3 years
Missed/defaulted payment18 months
Late mortgage payment (30 to 90 days)9 months
Closing credit card account3 months
Maxed credit card account3 months
Applying for a new credit card3 months
Source: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-a-credit-score-up/

Keep in mind, however, that the numbers are merely averages. However, I am sure that if you diligently follow the tips above, you can certainly raise your credit score by 200 points in the foreseeable future!


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