Let’s be clear about something one thing first - there isn’t anything you can do to make major changes to your credit score in a very short period of time. Your score takes into account a whole history of payment and other factor that can’t be undone by any quick fix. But every point counts, and while a credit quick fix might not really exist, a quick credit pick-me-up sure does. So if you’re looking to perk up your credit score, here are three things you can do in just five minutes.
Review Your Report
One of the quickest, easiest things you can do to improve our credit score is to make sure everything on your credit report is ok. Check out a site like CreditKarma.com to see your credit score, and if anything looks low or there are any alerts you don’t recognize, pull your credit reports from all three credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion). This is something that can be done for free once a year from annualcreditreport.com. Go over each one one of them and make sure you recognize all of the accounts. If there’s anything that looks suspicious to you, report it to each credit bureau showing the error. Each bureau has instructions on their website for how to fix a credit reporting error.
Don’t forget to follow up and see if any additional action is required after the bureaus have processed your request. Once any disputes have been sorted out, monitor your credit score through a secure, reliable source to make sure it doesn’t take an unexpected turn.
Set Up Auto Pay
One of the biggest factors contributing to your credit score is your payment history. A strong on time payment history takes months or even years to build, but you can ensure that you get to that goal in a matter of minutes by setting up automatic payments for your major bills. Most banks and/or billers have auto pay options so that you can just link to your bank account and have the bill amount drafted every month.This spares you the task of having to remember and get everything in on time, and it prioritizes your most important expenses to make sure that they’re taken care of automatically, before you inadvertently spend money you had budgeted for a payment on something else (and hey, who hasn’t made that mistake once or twice).
Auto pay doesn’t have to be on your bills’ due dates, either. You can set it for times like payday when you know you’re getting money in. Just so long as it’s the payday before the bill is due, you’re good as gold. Check with your bank to see how to set up auto pay for you.
Stop Looking For New Credit Cards and Loans
It’s true that increasing your credit limit by adding on a card will also decrease your credit utilization and thus improve your score, but odds are that if you’re looking for a card or loan for this purpose, you’re going to try with more than one company and that can do some short-term damage. These will incur inquiries into your credit history which will ding your score. They won’t stay on that long, but if you’ve got short term credit considerations like needing a house or a car quick, these kinds of inquiries could bring you down. The easiest way to make sure they don’t get you is simply to not have the inquiries on your credit score in the first place.