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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Quick Credit Fix Options

by Taylor Kovar

September 6 , 2022

Hi Taylor - Is it possible to improve my credit score in a hurry? I'm trying to get a small loan but only have so-so credit, and wondering if I can get it up by 100-150 points in a few months or if it'll take years and years and I should give up on the loan. Thanks! - Esteban

Hi Esteban
- It's definitely possible. It all depends on what's currently affecting your credit score and how many tools you have at your disposal. I'll throw out some credit score tricks, and you can see if any of them work for you.

1. Credit utilization. This is probably the biggest thing under your control, and it refers to the balances on your current cards/other loans that report to credit bureaus. Essentially, you want your credit use to be no higher than 10 percent of your total limit (and ideally less than 7 percent for credit score purposes). If you can get those balances down, you can see your score jump up in just a month. Probably not a full 100 points, but the credit-to-debt ratio is a huge factor when it comes to your FICO score. Aside from making big payments to lower those balances, you can also request higher limits on your credit cards to put the ratio more in your favor.

2. On-time payments. Missed payments hurt your credit score faster than anything else, but you can recover and recoup. If you paid late on a credit card or other loan, make the payment and then try calling the creditor to see if they'll do you a solid and not report the late payment to the bureau. To avoid this problem in the future, make sure you've got automatic payments set up. It's a little risky, but you can also consider taking out a small P2P loan for the sole purpose of paying off existing balances. This tactic doesn't work for someone drowning in debt, but rather if you have decent income and just need to show your ability to make on-time payments to all your lenders.

3. Get credited as a renter. It doesn't work for everyone, but you can have rent payments reported by your landlord. You can also have utility payments reported to the credit bureaus by those providers. Most people stay focused on credit cards and loans, but it's possible to use other monthly payments as a way to make yourself more appealing. Not every creditor accounts for rent, but it's worth a shot if you're looking to change your score in a hurry.

Don't expect your FICO score to get awesome over night. Bad credit scores like to linger, so you need to stay patient and keep putting in the work. Nevertheless, a multifaceted effort like this has the potential to turn bad credit into passable credit faster than you might expect. Good luck, Esteban!


Taylor Kovar September 6, 2022
More "Go Far With Kovar"



Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.


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