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How to Raise My Credit Score 40 Points Fast

Sarah Edwards | February 26, 2024

Sarah Edwards
Legal Expert
Sarah Edwards, BS

Sarah Harris is a professional researcher and writer specializing in legal content. An Emerson College alumna, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from the prestigious Boston institution.

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: Here are six ways to raise your credit score 40 points fast: check for errors on your report, remove late payments, reduce credit card debt, become an authorized user, make payments twice a month, and build credit with your credit card.

With a high credit score, you'll be eligible for the most favorable rates and terms when applying for a mortgage or other bank loan. But what if your credit isn't that great?

Your credit score matters when applying for a loan, when applying for an apartment, and in some cases, when applying for a job. If you're concerned about less-than-stellar credit, we're here to help you out with some quick ways to raise your credit score by 40 points.

How is my credit score calculated?

Your credit score basically serves as your financial report card. It's built on your past credit history and lets lenders know how much they can trust you to repay a loan in the future.

The most commonly used credit score is known as the FICO score and ranges from 300 to 800. Here's how that breaks down:

Credit Score Scale

Scale Score
Excellent 740 or more
Good 700 to 739
Fair 630 to 699
Poor 629 or less

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, FICO has used more than 60 different scoring models since 2011. Not only is there no common formula, but the formula itself is a well-guarded secret. You'd have an easier time getting the recipe for Coca-Cola than FICO's credit score equation.

Still, your score is influenced by a small constellation of factors, including:

  • Payment history (35%)
  • Amounts owed (30%)
  • Length of credit history (15%)
  • New credit (10%)
  • Credit mix (10%)

To improve your credit score, you'll need to address as many of these categories as possible.

Six ways to raise your credit score by 40 points

Raising your credit score by 40 points can make a big difference. Imagine that you buy a house for $305,000. You put down 20%, which means your mortgage loan totals $244,000 (the 2022 national average). With a credit score of 685, you'll qualify for an APR of 4.546%, spending $203,000 in interest over the course of a 30-year loan.

But if you bump your credit score up to 725, you'll qualify for an APR of 4.369% and spend $194,000 in interest, a difference of $9,000. That saves you $300 a year over a 30-year term, enough to supplement your summer vacation savings.

Here are six ways to quickly raise your credit score by 40 points:

1. Check for errors on your credit report

One of the fastest ways to improve your credit score is to remove errors on your credit report. These errors can negatively impact your credit score, which means that correcting them can give your score a much-needed boost.

You are entitled to a free credit report once a year from the three major credit bureaus:

Some third-party providers offer credit monitoring, which alerts you to suspicious activity and lets you respond immediately to fraudulent charges.

Monitoring addresses the problem directly, but it can still take some time before the error completely disappears from your credit history. Checking your credit report regularly can help you identify these issues rapidly and protect your record from errors.

According to a report from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), nearly 1 out of 100 (0.93%) of consumers had an error that cost them 25 points or more on their credit report. But if you dispute a large error, you could improve your score by as much as 100 points, depending on how low your score was prior to the dispute.

2. Remove a late payment

Late payments can reduce your credit score by as much as 125 points. In some cases, you may have paid a bill by the due date, but your creditor did not record the payment until after the deadline passed.

These situations are frustrating but fixable. Contact your creditor, and explain the situation. As long as you're not a frequent offender, they may extend grace and change the status of your past payments. You can also ask about setting up automatic payments to show you're committed to keeping up with monthly payments.

Assuming you can eliminate the late payment, you can avoid this deduction and raise your score by as much as 125 points.

3. Reduce your credit card debt

Remember, 30% of your credit score is based on the amount of debt that you carry. Cut your credit card debt, and you can expect to see your credit score rise in 30 to 60 days.

While there's no absolute rule about this, it's generally better to keep your credit card usage within 30% of your credit limit. This rule means that if your credit limit is $1,000, you'll want to keep your outstanding balance below $300.

How this affects your score depends on how many total credit card accounts you have and your credit utilization rate on each one. But if you can reduce your total debt, a 40-point increase is not unreasonable.

4. Become an authorized user on someone else's account

A quick way to boost your credit is to become an authorized user on someone else's account. If you have a family member or close friend with strong credit, you can become an authorized user on their credit card account. This can affect your score dramatically, especially if your score is low and the other user's is high, raising your score by as much as 100 points or more.

The catch, of course, is that if the primary user forgets to make payments or accumulates a large balance, it could negatively impact your credit score. And if your credit score is already low, this could impact you more than the primary user.

5. Pay twice a month

Paying your bills on time will increase your credit score, though this can take time. But one way to save on interest charges is to pay twice a month. Instead of waiting until the deadline to make one big payment, make smaller payments every two weeks.

This approach will help you hit the deadlines, and it will also keep your principal balance below 30% of your credit utilization. Both of these factors can favorably impact your score, in some cases as much as 125 points.

6. Build credit with a credit card

If you follow the other advice on this list, you can actually use a credit card to build credit. How? Use a credit card to pay for your regular expenses, such as rent/mortgage or car payments. Setting up autopay ensures that you make these payments on time.

As long as you stay on top of your credit card balance, this data will add to your positive payment history, which can raise your credit score and also help mitigate late payments and other financial blemishes. There's no limit to how much this can boost your credit, though this method is the slowest and is unlikely to give you a 40-point boost in only a month or two.

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FAQs about how to improve credit

How do I raise my credit score by 50 points?

Let’s recap. Here are six ways to raise your credit score by 50 points:

  • Check for errors on your report.
  • Remove late payments.
  • Reduce credit card debt.
  • Become an authorized user.
  • Make payments twice a month.
  • Build credit with your credit card.

How can I boost my credit score fast?

The fastest way to boost your credit is to check for errors on your report and dispute them. If any false or fraudulent marks are currently showing on your report, disputing them is a fast way to boost your credit.

If you’re struggling with poor credit, and there are no errors on your report, one way to boost your score quickly is to make biweekly payments on your accounts. This will show that you are managing your money carefully and make it seem like your credit utilization is less.

How quickly can you raise your credit score?

You can raise your credit score in a matter of a few weeks with consistent payments, less credit utilization, and removing any incorrect information on your report.

However, building a strong credit score is a long-term process. It requires consistently practicing good credit habits over time. While you might see some improvements in a few months, especially by reducing credit utilization and correcting errors, it could take a while to increase your score significantly. The same can be said for building business credit. Remember, each credit history is unique, so the exact time it takes to raise your score varies from person to person.

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