Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florida. ...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2021

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  • There are at least six ways you can improve your credit
  • Your payment history is 35% of your FICO score
  • Check your credit report regularly to make sure there are no errors with your credit score

Did you know there are 6 fast fixes if you’re worried about your credit? Credit repair companies offer services that may sounds too good to be true. In some cases, they are. Keep in mind, these tips won’t change your credit score overnight, but they’re much faster than other methods based mostly on waiting. You can improve your credit by 100 points.

Our guide explains six ways to build credit fast. We’ll detail how personal loans and credit-builder loans can help you improve your credit score by 100 points.

After you’re done reading about ways to build credit fast, enter your ZIP code in the free comparison tool above to compare multiple loan companies near you.

How Can You Transform Your Credit Score Now?

Is your credit in a bad place? Maybe you have fair credit. Don’t worry we’re here to teach you how to increase credit scores quickly. We found six affordable ways to build credit fast. Let’s get right into it.

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#1 – Pay Your Bills On Time

You can stick it to bad credit by paying your bills on time. Regardless of your payment history, making on time payments now sets you up for success in the future. Late payments will fall off. If you have late payments reflecting on your credit report incorrectly, make sure you also contact your credit card companies to get this corrected. Removing even one late payment can go a long way.

It’s a gradual process, but your credit score increases as you make timely payments.

#2 – Get A Co-Signer or Become An Authorized User on An Established Account

Sometimes you’ll need help. If you find someone who will cosign for you, you can access auto loans, business loans, etc. that you cannot get on your own. Making payments and paying off debts can drive up your credit score.

Similarly, if you have a family member or friend with an established credit account, you can ask them to make you an authorized user on that account. The entire history of that account would then count towards your credit history. This would increase the average lifespan of your accounts and give you more positive payment history. Just make sure they’re adding you to a credit account that will help you.

Be sure to make your payments on time to keep your payment history in the black.

#3 – Make Frequent Payments

When you pay multiple times before the due date, you can pay on the total balance of a loan, line of credit, mortgage, or credit card while improving your credit. You can do this for credit cards, mortgage loans, car payments, etc. Some people prefer to make weekly payments instead of monthly payments. If you do it the right way, you could even pay off your debts early.

We’re all eager to clear our debts. If you can afford it, pay extra money to curtain call loans and credit cards early. An alternative to this is making an extra payment every 6 months or once a year.

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#4 – Use a Secured Credit Card

If your credit score is damaged or limited, you may need a secured credit card. Secured cards require you to make a deposit to get access to the card. These are easier to get than unsecured cards after bankruptcy or if you have another severe credit event on your credit history. Even if you have fair credit, the right card could help you boost your score.

The cash deposit is refundable and serves as collateral until you’ve paid off your credit card debt. You can secure a better credit score if you keep payments current.

#5 – Credit-Builder Loan or Secured Loan

A credit-builder loan is like a secured credit card, but you don’t need to make a deposit. However, your income must meet the finance company’s requirements.

Credit-builder loans are also known as “fresh-start loans.”

If you want a secured loan, you’ll need to give the finance company some collateral.

#6 – Pay Down Your Debts

Pay for the things that you need. Don’t rush into unnecessary debt. Instead, take care of the debt you have and get it to a place where it’s manageable.

More importantly, if you have a balance on credit cards, pay them down. You don’t have to pay them off completely if you cannot afford to. Reducing your overall credit load by even 5% could boost your credit score. Before you know it, your credit will be higher than expected.

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How are credit scores calculated?

According to FICO, credit scores are determined by five different categories. Here’s a list of factors that affect your credit score.

  • Payment history – 35%
  • Amount owed (how you use credit) – 30%
  • Length of credit history – 15%
  • Credit mix – 10%
  • New credit – 10%

The importance of each factor varies for each person. For example, a person who has a poor payment history should focus their efforts on improving how they make payments.

However, you can concentrate on one area or mix it up. You’ll eventually have an opportunity to focus on multiple areas at the same time.

As you get better at paying off debts, you can improve your credit score up to 100 points. Some people pay for assistance from a credit professional who can narrow down your unique opportunities for faster results.

When should I ask for higher credit limits?

If you’ve been practicing good credit habits for at least a year, try requesting a higher credit limit. It won’t hurt your credit if your credit card company says no. The credit card company may just want you to lower your debt ratio before they approve an increase.

A bank, lender, finance company, or credit company will issue higher credit limits when you pay off credit debts quickly or if your overall credit improves.

Keep your credit card open and use it wisely to gain a higher credit limit down the road. Even if you’re only using it to pay for your Hulu subscription or another small fee each month, you don’t want to close an account. It removes that timeline from your average account ages.

Bookmark this page so you’ll have a quick credit education resource you can go to before you make your final decision on a credit card or loan.

Should I dispute credit report errors?

One of the reasons why you should routinely check credit scores and reports is to monitor your activity. If you’ve been making payments that don’t appear on your credit report, make it known right away. Even seemingly small errors like one late payment can have a larger impact than you might expect.

The credit system isn’t perfect, and sometimes it can make a mistake. Contact TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax to iron out the errors and get them taken care of today.

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Ways to Build Credit Fast: What’s the bottom line?

There are several steps to improve your credit score, but the best way is to make timely payments. When you focus on paying off debts, your credit will take a turn for the better.

If you’re just now establishing or building credit, keep your payment history current to prevent any damage to your credit. Also, bring your loan and credit card balances under 49% to improve your credit faster.

Now that you’ve learned how to increase credit scores and ways to build credit fast, use our free online quote tool to start comparing multiple companies and lenders in your area to get a loan today.

Frequently Asked Questions: Six Ways to Build Credit Fast

Before you go, read these answers to some frequently asked questions.

#1 – How long does it take to rebuild my credit score?

You can repair your credit in three to six months. This varies for each person.

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#2 – Is FICO a credit bureau?

The short answer is no. FICO is a data analytics company, and the three major credit bureaus don’t own it.