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 six 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. This Guy Added Nearly 300 Points to his Credit Score — See How You Can Raise Yours, Too*
You’ve got big plans. Maybe you’ve got your eye on a new car. Or you’re hoping to buy a house in the next few years. Or you’d even like to start your own business. But here’s the thing: No matter what your goals are, you might not realize how much your credit score is standing in your way.
The good news? A free website called Credit Sesame makes it easy to put your credit score on track to reach your goals. We even talked to one guy, James Cooper, of Atlanta, who used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score nearly 300 points in six months.*** He says they showed him exactly what to do — he was even able to open his first credit card.
What could adding 300 points to your score mean for your goals? It could easily save you thousands of dollars over the life of a car loan or mortgage.
Within 90 seconds, Credit Sesame will give you access to your credit score, any debt-carrying accounts and a handful of personalized tips to improve your score. You’ll even be able to spot any errors holding you back (one in five reports have one).
Make sure your plans don’t get sidelined by bad credit. Sign up for free (it only takes about 90 seconds) and see how much you could improve your score.
3. Stop Paying Your Credit Card Company
If you have credit card debt, you know. The anxiety, the interest rates, the fear you’re never going to escape…
Your credit card is getting rich by ripping you off with insane rates, but there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Credible knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.
Here’s how it works: Credible will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Credible 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.
4. Stop Wasting Money on Overdraft Fees
We’ve all been hit with an overdraft fee at one time or another. It’s like a cruel joke — “Woops; looks like you don’t have any money. Here, now pay this fee!”
It’s a major part of how banks make their money. But a debit card with Chime will let you overdraft up to $200 without any fees. Seriously. Then, the next time you deposit money, Chime puts that money toward repaying what they spotted you — no fees.
All you have to do is take a few minutes to sign up for an account. Then, when you set up a monthly direct deposit of at least $200, you’ll be able to enroll.* It’s super easy — plus, you won’t have to stress about overdrafting anymore.
5. 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.
6. Get Rid of Your Debt
If you’re drowning in credit card debt, you know how hopeless your options can feel. You make your payments every month, but you never seem to make any progress.
Here’s why: Your lenders are ripping you off with insane interest rates. What if you could just… get rid of some of your debt?
A company called Freedom Debt Relief can help you do just that. They’ll talk to your lenders directly to convince them to reduce a big chunk of your debt — and you may avoid bankruptcy or taking out a loan.
It’s free to talk with their experts to see what the best strategy is for you. You’ll need to show why you’re struggling to make your payments and tell them a little about your finances.
Then, they’ll get to work to see just how much of your debt they can get rid of — they’ve already served over 800,000 people and negotiated more than $15 billion in debts.
They’ll negotiate a settlement with your creditor and if you approve the offer they come back with, you’ll start paying it off. But you don’t owe anything unless they negotiate a settlement and you make your first payment toward that settlement.
It’s free to see just how much of your debt you can get rid of.
*High Yield Savings (APY is Annual Percentage Yield). Ask for details. Additional terms, conditions, fees & exclusions may apply. Rates may change without notice. $100 required to open account. There is a $10.00 excess transaction fee for every transaction over six for pre authorized withdrawals, automatic or telephonic transfers, checks, drafts, and debit card or similar transactions from your account per account statement cycle. If the account is closed before interest and/or bonus is credited, accrued interest and/or bonus may be forfeited for that statement cycle. Fees could reduce earnings. Information is as of April 7, 2022.
**National Average APY information as of 04/18/2022, according to the FDIC National Rates and Rate Caps.
Contact Freedom Debt Relief to see if you are eligible for their program
* 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.
*Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by, and debit card issued by, The Bancorp Bank or Stride Bank, N.A.; Members FDIC.
*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.