There is no fast way to build a solid credit score.
While no one outside of the creators of the FICO score know the algorithm, we can weight one piece of credit history over another. And, currently, “time” is something that we know accounts for over half of the FICO scoring model.
What are the weighted pieces of your credit score?
- 35% is payment history
- 30% is the amount you owe
- 15% is length of credit history
- 10% is new credit accounts
- 10% is types of credit used
With that said, there are some ways to speed things up
This is actually quite simple to do.
First, pay done all debts. Meaning, every loan and credit card needs to be paid down as much and as soon as possible. The closer to zero-balance you can place yourself, the better.
The other thing to do is to pick up a secure credit card. Make sure this is not on a platform you already are participating within. Meaning, if you already have a Discover card and a Visa, get a secured Mastercard.
Then use it for every single small cash purchase that you were going to already make. Have a club membership? Put it on your card. Do you go for a weekly fill-up every Monday morning at Sheetz? Put it on your card.
Don’t max your card out. But make ongoing payments with it over time. And pay those balances off every single month.
But speed and ‘good credit score’ don’t really go together
True – speed and good credit scores do not go hand in hand. In fact, when we look at the weights of what makes a good credit score, more mature accounts, that have a solid, positive look over years means a better credit score.
The other thing to do, and once again this is not a quick action to boost your credit score, but getting a small car loan or personal loan can increase your credit score as well. Open, ongoing and paid accounts, over a long period of time, will boost your credit score over anything fast.
Is it better to pay off your whole credit card balance, the minimum, or somewhere in between?
The very best thing that you can do is to pay off your credit card balance in full each month.
But, this isn’t always possible.
If you need to carry a balance, get it as low as possible. And, to not have a negative impact on your credit score, keep this balance below 30% of your maximum on the card.
What about the minimum?
If you pay the minimum, you are in essence simply paying the credit card company the interest on what you owe – and nothing more.
Not only will this mean you pay more in the long run, but your balance will never get closer to zero.