How To Add 120 Points To Your Credit Score Even When Times Are Tough

Jerry and Vivienne Morgan stand in front of their home in New Port Richey, Fla. on March 14, 2018. Carmen Mandato/The Penny Hoarder
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Keeping your credit score in check when times are tough can be difficult.

You know how important it’ll be when you make big financial decisions down the road, but you just might be struggling to stay above that 700 bump right now.

Jerry Morgan has been there. In 2008, the house Jerry and his wife, Vivienne, had lived in for 10 years fell into the foreclosure process. Around the same time, Vivienne lost her job.

“No one plans on being in that situation,” Jerry said. “We just kind of kept going and stayed focused and looked forward to tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, their credit scores steadily dropped. For nearly 10 years, Jerry simply didn’t check his. “Frankly, with the experiences we have gone through, I was embarrassed to even check,” he says.

Finally, in 2017, after they were approved for a mortgage modification, he took a look — it was around 500. For context, the VantageScore model considers a score below 549 “very poor.”

That’s when Jerry Morgan signed up for Credit Sesame. It took 90 seconds, and he immediately got access to personalized advice that’d help him improve his score.

Within six months, he his score increased nearly 120 points.

How Jerry Gave His Credit Score a 120-Point Boost in 6 Months

Once Jerry felt as though he was on steady ground again, he gained the courage to check his score through Credit Sesame.

He was surprised he didn’t feel immediately overwhelmed when he logged in. No, his credit score wasn’t great, but Credit Sesame gave him a very clear breakdown of what he needed to do to increase his score.

In fact, it graded Jerry on factors that affected his credit score — A though F, just like a report card. Using this insight, he could see his credit utilization rate was too high, for example. But Credit Sesame didn’t stop there: It gave him advice on how to fix it.

He also bought a new car in 2017, and Credit Sesame showed him the new credit account actually helped improve his score. As long as he stayed on top of his payments, his credit score would continue to reap the benefits.

Moving Forward After Foreclosure and Job Loss

When we last spoke with Jerry, he didn’t have a specific credit score goal in mind — he just wanted to continue to increase his financial well-being after being dealt a difficult hand.

“My score now stands at 620, which, it still has a ways to go, but it’s headed in a much better direction,” he said.  “We will be continuing to follow Credit Sesame’s suggestions.”

Overall, he feels more financially savvy and confident now that he has a handle on his credit score.

If you’re curious about your credit score — and want to received free personalized advice on how to improve it — sign up for Credit Sesame. It takes about 90 seconds, and you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge.