If Your Credit Score Is Under 700, Make These 6 Moves ASAP
You really try to be responsible with your money.
But, no matter what you do, your credit score never seems to make it over that 700 hump.
Yup — you’ve got some algorithm spitting out a three-digit number that’s basically controlling your entire life. We get it: It’s frustrating.
Don’t give up just yet, though! These five moves just might be the kickstart you need to finally get your credit score moving in the right direction.
Best of all? You can do all these things by the end of this week.
1. Write a Love Letter
…to your creditors.
If you generally have a pretty solid credit history, save for a few missteps, then sending a well-executed goodwill letter to those you owe could help get you back in good graces with them and improve your credit score.
You’ll want your letter to cover the following bases:
- Explain why and how long you’ve been a loyal customer of the creditor.
- Take responsibility for the mistakes that led to the blemishes on your credit history.
- Describe the steps you’re taking to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
- Appeal to their sense of empathy. Show that you want forgiveness but also that you are determined to do better going forward. Show them you deserve this!
- Keep your letter clear and to the point.
Don’t forget to include important information, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want removed from your credit history. Once you’ve written your goodwill letter, address it using the information on the creditor’s website.
2. Let This Site Show You Exactly How to Improve Your Score
Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different and for different reasons. One person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have an error on their report. Another person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have a bill in collections.
That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?
Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.
Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.*
Then there are people like Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana who, in using Credit Sesame, found a major error on her report. The site helped her fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score nearly 200 points.*
Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 700 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.
3. Ask This Website to Help Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it.
While you’re stressing out over your debt, your credit card company is getting rich off those insane interest rates. But a website called Fiona could help you pay off that bill as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Fiona can match you with a low-interest loan you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have. The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
If your credit score is at least 620, Fiona can help you borrow up to $250,000 (no collateral needed) with fixed rates starting at 2.49% and terms from 6 to 144 months.
Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.
All that credit card debt — and the anxiety that comes with it — could be gone by tomorrow.
4. Raise Your Credit Scores — Instantly
Improving your credit scores can take a lot of time and effort, and for what? Where do you even start?
We found a way you could potentially add points to your credit scores right now — which could make more of a difference than you think.
Credit scores are split into five categories: very poor, fair, good, very good, or exceptional. Getting tipped over the edge into the next-highest bracket can save you thousands of dollars on a mortgage or car loan. It also can help you qualify for a better credit card — one that gives you points or cash back.
Experian® — you know them from your free credit report — has a free feature called Experian Boost™* that gives you credit for the phone and utility bills you’re already paying to your Experian Credit Report. This helps show lenders you have a history of making on-time payments — an important factor in credit-score calculations. In fact, users who saw a FICO® Score increase with Experian Boost added an average of 13 points to their FICO Score** instantly.
You might be thinking: What will 13 points even do for me? But the difference between a “fair” and “good” credit score is ONE point, and that can make all the difference.
Here’s how it works: When you create your free account, you’ll link up the bank account you use to pay your phone and utility monthly bills. Experian Boost then looks for bill payments that wouldn’t otherwise be reported to the credit bureau, such as cell phone and utility bills, and adds them to your Experian Credit Report. (Your info stays completely private and encrypted, by the way.)
By reporting these on-time payments, Experian has already added more than 39 million points to people’s credit scores — see if you can add points to your credit scores today.
5. Let This Company Help You Get Out of Debt — Without a Loan
It can play out like a horror movie. You get tripped up by a huge auto repair bill or sudden job loss, and then you fall face-first into credit card debt.
It can feel like you’ll never be able to crawl your way out of this hole. Even worse, it can feel like you have limited options: consolidation loans you might not qualify for. A major settlement. Bankruptcy.
But there’s a better option: a nonprofit company called InCharge Debt Solutions helps people with credit card debt lower their interest rates and get out of debt faster.
Joining their debt management program can help you secure a lower monthly payment that you can afford, based on your budget. And your interest rate could be lowered somewhere between zero and 9%.
Unlike debt consolidation, this isn’t a loan, so your credit score isn’t a factor. And unlike debt settlement, you don’t run the risk of destroying your credit score or getting sued for not paying your lenders. In fact, as you establish a solid history of regular on-time payments through the program, you could actually build your credit.
It takes just a few minutes to call and see if InCharge’s debt management program is the best solution for you.
6. See the Credit Score Your Lenders Actually See — And Learn How to Improve Your Credit Profile
It happens all too often. People check their free credit score online, but when they actually go to do something with it — like apply for a credit card, buy a car or a house — they get a rude awakening.
The score that matters to their lender doesn’t match what they saw online.
That’s because lenders don’t use free credit scores (and neither should you). Luckily, ExtraCredit® from Credit.com shows you what the lenders see with 28 different FICO® Scores, including auto- and mortgage-specific scores.
On top of this, ExtraCredit can help you build your credit history by reporting your rent and utility payments.
Your membership includes tools and resources to help you know what areas to work on to improve your credit profile — plus ExtraCredit will guard your credit with a $1 million identity theft protection policy. There’s even a team available to help you restore your identity if it gets compromised.
So if you’re ready to see what the lenders see and want to see what areas you need to work on to start working on your credit profile, take two minutes to sign up for ExtraCredit.
* Like Cooper and Buitureria, 60% of Credit Sesame members see an increase in their credit score; 50% see at least a 10-point increase, and 20% see at least a 50-point increase after 180 days.
Credit Sesame does not guarantee any of these results, and some may even see a decrease in their credit score. Any score improvement is the result of many factors, including paying bills on time, keeping credit balances low, avoiding unnecessary inquiries, appropriate financial planning and developing better credit habits.
*Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.
** Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more at Experian.com.