Lenders, landlords, insurers, and even recruiters in the United States check credit scores to compare applicants. If your total in the FICO or VantageScore system is low, this creates problems in and beyond borrowing. Fortunately, you may raise it using professional services, or by managing your own accounts. Here are the main ways to boost a credit score quickly.

First, you need to identify where you stand. The score may be obtained via apps like Credit Sesame, or on MyFICO. The system classifies results under 579 as 'very poor', while ‘good’ is 670-739. The lowest sum is 300, and 850 is the ceiling. The second most popular system — VantageScore — uses a similar range based on virtually the same factors, but in a different order. Different lenders have different requirements

Repair or Rebuild?

The way you fix the score depends on if it is fair or not. On average, 20% of Americans have one or more errors in credit reports. Deletion of mistakes pushes the total upwards instantly.

This is preceded by a complicated repair process. You need to analyze the data, collect evidence, and initiate formal disputes with credit bureaus. As any of your reports could be flawed, you may need to contact all three agencies simultaneously. At the CreditRepairPartner site, you can find out the best credit repair providers in your area according to experts.

Word of Caution

Be wary of any companies promising quick repair. Raising a score takes time. According to Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian, borrowers with the poorest scores achieve the most dramatic results: “That’s simply because there is much more upside, and small changes can result in greater score increases.” In case of repair, each claim will be investigated by the bureau for 30 days, so you can do the math.

Repairing the Total

In case of repair, the fastest way is to use professional services. The best providers in the United States communicate with lenders, bureaus, and collectors on your behalf. They gather evidence for effective disputes.

On average, you may expect the first changes to your score after 45 days. This is because a bureau has 30 days to investigate every claim. Total duration varies between 1.5 months and a year depending on your goal, the number of derogatories, and their nature.

Rebuilding the Total

On the other hand, your credit history may be rebuilt. This is the only way for borrowers with an accurate low status. When there is nothing to correct, you may still improve the situation by re-borrowing or adding new data to your records. Here are the most effective methods for a quick boost.

Adjust Credit Utilization Ratio

This indicator shows how much of your available credit you are using. It only applies to revolving forms, i.e., credit cards. For instance, if you have five cards with a total limit of $20,000, and the balance is $2,000, the ratio is excellent — 10%. Adding $3,000 of transactions would raise it to 25%, which is guaranteed to drag your score down.

To improve the proportion, you may work with your limits, balances, or both. For example, you may ask your bank to increase the existing limits or apply for a new credit card. The easiest type to get is the secured card, which is backed by a deposit. Alternatively, pay off most or all of your balances to achieve the same percentage. The total size of the debt is one of the most influential factors, according to FICO.

Make Payments on Time

The way you fulfil your obligations affects around 35% of your FICO score. Therefore, make sure no payments are missed or delayed. If you happen to forget, contact the lender immediately. They may agree not to report this if you act fast. Set reminders so you avoid mistakes with lingering consequences.

Experian Boost

One of the quickest ways to raise the score is by adding new information to your Experian report. The agency allows you to add utility bills and other payments — even your Netflix subscription — online. On the downside, the results are limited. You may get up to 12 points at most.

The Bottom Line

Fixing your credit score quickly is possible, but this depends on your current status. The better the total — the more difficult it is to achieve dramatic changes like a 100-point boost. Correcting any of your credit reports requires more than 30 days, as you need to collect evidence and communicate with the bureaus.