Lockdown life has taught me how to save again. Which in the current climate, is a very good skill to have. What it’s also taught me is how poor my credit score is. I’ve been doing a lot of research on how to boost my score. Many think you have to spend in order for it to improve – opening up multiple credit cards and then making payments to up the score. Well, the good news is, this is not the only way. In fact, you can raise your credit score without a credit card, sometimes even for free. Ahead, we show you how.
Work With What You Have
A history of on-time payments demonstrates that you are a reliable borrower and will yield you a good credit score. Which means now is the time to make that payment on the student loans, your car, and anything else that still needs paying off. The key here is consistency. If you’re financially strained in the pandemic, speak to your loan provider. Oftentimes they are willing to temporarily lower your payment amount as long as they receive some money from you.
Reach Out to Your Network
Unless you’re swimming in cash, you’ll need credit at some point in your life. Whether you’re buying a home, car or other expensive items, your credit score will be the first thing they check. If you have recurring monthly bills – like rent, utilities, cable or a mobile phone – call those providers and request they report your account activity to the three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Of course, don’t do this if you haven’t been responsible with timely payments. Assuming that you have been though, the history can significantly impact your score for the better. As a warning, companies are not required to report to the bureaus so if they politely decline your request – if they decline, try the below option.
Tag Team a Credit Card
When my siblings and I turned 16, our parents put our names as authorized users on our timeshare and all credit cards. We were never able to use them but they did it because it helped our credit. Unfortunately, I’ve tarnished mine a bit but I appreciate their early start. Authorized user status is a great way to begin building credit. As an authorized user, you are listed under the primary cardholder and succumb to the “what’s mine, is yours,” philosophy. All credit card activity done by the primary cardholder, is also done by you. It allows you to piggyback on their good habits without ever having to use the card.