The Q Life

The Q Life

The Q Life

Two women on the laptop with a credit card - Getty Images / Valeriy G

Just because you don’t have the best credit, that doesn’t mean you have to give up on improving it. There are actually some pretty easy and quick ways to bring up your credit score. Even if you already have good credit, there’s always room for improvement. I recently learned that paying off a big debut, such as a car or house, can actually bring down your credit score. That surprised me, but the reasoning makes sense.

What Paying Off Debut Does to Your Credit Score

It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true. Paying off a big debt can actually ding your credit score and make it lower. “Paying off debt might lower your credit scores if removing the debt affects certain factors such as your credit mix, the length of your credit history or your credit utilization ratio,” states. “Paying off your only line of installment credit reduces your credit mix and may ultimately decrease your credit scores.” Also, closing or paying off a credit card could also make sure scores drop. That’s “because your total available credit is lowered when you close a line of credit, which could result in a higher credit utilization ratio,” they state. That said, it’s not all doom and gloom. adds that often times, paying off debut helps your credit score. That’s especially true if you’re someone who has too much debut. That’s also true if you already have a low credit score.

So, let’s say you’re in a situation where you really want to improve your credit score. Thankfully, there are some simple ways to do so. There are some more complex ways, too. We’ll get into those, as well. But, even a few small changes can make a big difference. Here are some quick ways to try to improve that coveted credit rating.

  • 1. Get a Higher Credit Limit (or Open a New Credit Card)

    If your credit limit increases and your balance remains the same, that will lower your credit utilization. It can improve your credit. This is one of the quickest ways to improve your credit score. Moreover, if your income increases or you have more years of positive credit experience, your credit can go up, too. So, try to not max out your credit. You could even open a new credit card and not touch it, just to help lower that credit utilization even more.

    A woman smiling with money

    Getty Images / Deagreez

  • 2. Autopay is Your Friend

    Missing payments can obviously really lower your credit rating. It’s a mistake you don’t want to make. So, sign up for an autopay option. This might not the be quickest way to improve your credit, but over time, it can really help, especially if you find yourself missing payments once in a while.

    A woman writing a credit report

    Getty Images / Ivan Balvan

  • 3. Get to Know Your Credit

    Before your really improve your credit, you have to see where you are the weakest. So, check your credit history, and study it. Find a copy of your credit report from each of the three major national credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Then, look the reports over to see what’s bringing down your score or helping it. Improve on those negative areas.

    Several credit reports

    Getty Images / Gam1983

  • 4. Limit Those Hard Inquiries

    When you open a line of credit or apply for a variety of other things, such as a loan or apartment rental, you have have to get a hard inquiry done on your account. But, each hard inquiry can bring down your credit scores a little bit. Over time, that can build up. So, try not to open too many accounts at once. These hard inquires are a minor factor, but they still count.

    A man writing

    Getty Images / Pheelings Media

  • 5. Pay More Often

    We usually pay off debts, such as a house payment or credit card payment, once a month. Instead, try splitting that payment into every two weeks. That could help you save on interest. But, it could also help lower your account balances and credit utilization ratio. That, in turn, could raise your scores.

    A woman smiling with money

    Getty Images / DeanDrobot

  • 6. Become an Authorized User

    This is among the biggest ways to improve your credit score. If you have a relative or even friend with a credit card account and high limit, plus a good history of paying on time, ask them if they would consider adding you as an authorized user. If they’re uncomfortable and you using their card, they actually don’t even have to let you use the card of give you their account number. Just the act of adding you to the account will improve your credit. It could improve it a lot.

    A woman with a credit card

    Getty Images / Jacob Wackerhausen

  • 7. Dispute Credit Report Errors

    I have personally found credit records to be pretty accurate. But, today, there are so many fraud cases out there, that you really have to be vigilant. If you have a mistake on one of your credit reports, it could really hurt your credit. So, dispute that error. If you win, that can quickly improve your credit.

    A man looking upset with his credit card

    Getty Images / Liubomyr Vorona

  • In the End, Don't Get Discouraged

    While these tips could help raise your credit score, and hopefully quickly, getting stellar credit doesn’t happen overnight. There’s no magic bullet to wake up with an 850 credit score. So, try these tips and do your best to keep your credit perfect, or at least near perfect. Over time, it will all add up. You’ll hopefully see a meaningful, and long-lasting change.

    811 credit score

    Getty Images / Andrey Popov

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