How to Boost Your Low Credit Score
It’s one thing when your low credit score is due to a lifetime of bad habits. It’s another thing entirely when a few events knock your score down. Giving a boost to a low credit score is relatively simple – anyone can do it, if they’re willing.
If your credit is just “dinged up,” there are three quick solutions to improve it.
1. Get Your Credit Balances Down
We often see investors and contractors put all renovation costs of a job on their credit cards – especially for BRRRR projects. They use more and more of their credit, which drags their score lower and lower.
This is a tempting yet dangerous pattern as a BRRRR investor. You put your money into the property from your credit card, which you expect to get back with your refinance. But if your credit score is too low, the refinance might not go as planned. With bad credit, you won’t be able to get the refinancing loan as easily or for as much money as you expected. This will make it harder to pay off the card balances you built up during the rehab.
A tip to get around this problem is to go private. If you can get a private loan that won’t show up on your credit, you can use that money to pay down your balances.
A better score will give you better rates for your long-term, credit-based financing. A lower credit score could make your loan rate a point or two higher, which could snowball into you paying an extra $50,000 to $70,000 over the life of the loan.
2. Get Authorized to Boost a Low Score
Another quick fix for a low credit score is using someone else’s good credit to help your bad credit. Find a family member or friend who has good, long established credit, and ask them to add you as an authorized user. Their good credit will show up on your report and boost your low score.
3. Pay Your Bills on Time
If you can’t keep up with your bills, that may be a sign to get rid of some of your credit cards. Some of our clients have over 20 credit cards open! Consolidate your accounts as much as possible.
But when you stop using an account, don’t close it. As long as it has a good history, an open, unused credit account will continually add a little boost to your credit.
Lenders look at credit to see how you paid people in the past as a clue to how you’ll pay them in the future. It could take you up to six months to bump up your score in the long-term. But if you don’t start now, it’ll keep getting harder to raise it. The best time to start fixing your credit is now.
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