Having a good credit score can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars for the typical auto loan or credit card. For a business owner, however, having a good credit score can add up to tens of thousands of dollars in interest rate savings on long term loans.
A personal credit score can be just as important as a business credit score when applying for a business loan. In this article, we will focus on boosting your personal credit by 60 points in 60 days. To get started, here is the perceived risk by lenders for different credit score bands to underwrite an unsecured business loan:
If you don’t know your business or personal credit score, schedule a free credit consultation by clicking here.
4 quick tips to boost your personal credit score by 60 points in 60 days
Tip #1: Report Your Rent
You think the only way to build credit history is by accessing credit? Wrong! If you rent a property, there is a very good chance that your property manager is NOT reporting your rent to the credit bureaus. We’ve seen Camino Financial members begin to report their rent with upward swings above 50 points in a few weeks!!
The trick here is to be PROACTIVE in reporting your rent directly to the credit bureaus. The cheapest way to do it is reaching out to your property manager and credit bureaus to report rent. The fastest way to do it is by working with rent reporting agencies that already work with the credit bureaus. Check this link to Experian’s website with references on how you can report your rent.
Tip #2: Get a Secured Credit Card
A secured credit card is not the same thing as a prepaid debit card. A secure credit card is a credit card you open with a bank or credit card provider, requiring a refundable security deposit usually starting at $200. Annualized Percentage Rates (APRs) vary with these credit cards from 9.99% to 18.95%. This is an effective way to build credit especially when you don’t have a credit history or have bad credit. For those who have a credit history, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card that does NOT require an initial deposit.
See here a list of secured credit cards.
In all cases, the following are some tricks to building credit via a credit card:
- Keep your credit tradelines open as long as possible
The credit bureaus reward creditors for having credit lines available over a long period of time. This demonstrates that you have a track record of maintaining a long-lasting relationship with a creditor, rather than run into delinquencies where you are forced to close accounts with creditors.
- Don’t EVER exceed 50% of credit capacity and try to stay below 30%
Now that you have a credit card, you may be thinking: time to buy stuff on credit. Not necessarily. You should use your credit card but always try to pay off the balance at the end of the month to build credit.
As a rule of thumb, you should NEVER exceed 50% of the credit card limit. The moment you start exceeding this credit limit, then holding a credit card will actually hurt your credit rather than help you build it.
We recommend staying within 5% to 30% of your credit card limit. This will help you build credit and get your score up, sometimes very quickly if this is the first time you’ve established a credit history.
- Don’t open a ton of lines at the same time
Now you’re excited and you’re off to open a ton of credit cards. NO!! The credit bureaus will penalize your credit score if you request credit from too many creditors within a short period of time. If you want to take advice, start with one credit card and build from there 🙂
Tip #3: Purchase Electronics with Installment Payments
The next tip is to purchase an electronic device (or another hard good) on an installment basis. I don’t recommend this for people who already have a credit history, but it can be a great way to build credit when you don’t have a history.
Clarification: I am not saying you should open a credit card at the point of purchase. My recommendation is to payoff purchased electronics in installment payments. Purchasing on a credit card can hurt your credit if it means you need to exceed 30% of the credit limit (remember my tip above?). However, paying an installment loan builds your credit. So make sure that whatever you are purchasing has installment payments, and the retailer reports these payments to the credit bureau.
Tip #4: Consolidate Credit Card Debt into an Installment Loan
If you are on the boat of already having credit cards and exceeding your 50% credit card limits, then you need to evaluate options to consolidate credit card debt into a single installment loan.
Finding lenders that are comfortable refinancing out your credit card debt is easier said than done, but you can review a few options below:
- Bank or credit union
- Online lenders such as Payoff
- Other loan options from lending marketplaces such as Lending Tree
If you follow these easy tips, you’ll boost your credit score in a record time and you’ll be well on your way to achieve your financial goals for you or for your business. I hope you found them useful!