If your credit has ever taken a hit, then you know how frustrating it is when you need and want to learn how to increase your credit score fast!
And, Ya’ll… this past week we saw hubby’s credit score JUMP 150 points in 1 week!
📢 ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POINTS…
Can we raise our internet glasses and celebrate progress? #clankclank
Before I tell you how we did it, I’m going to tell you where we started. We are proof that no matter what your financial situation right now, there’s hope for a comeback.
The backstory… Looking for our credit score? It’s in the TRASH. ?️
In 2017, hubby and I finally ended our long distance relationship. He moved to Florida to marry me and start a new career.
He did a 3 month coding bootcamp, after which point he planned to get a job as a junior web developer.
6 months after the Bootcamp had ended, he found himself leaving a horrible work situation (both of us hated the job he was in. It was stressful, and his bosses treated him terribly).
In between the job search he found himself with a STACK of student loans, and eventually defaulting on his loans. Long story short, his credit score tanked.
At this point, we were 1 month into marriage and the financial stress was crazy. We couldn’t juggle all of the balls, more bills went unpaid, and our credit score continued to drop. BTW, my credit score was already in the trash (I’ll save that story for another post).
The Better Story – How to Increase Credit Score Fast ?
Fast forward to this year…
✔️I got a credit card
✔️Started rebuilding my credit
✔️Both of us landed new remote jobs
✔️And I came up with a financial plan for our family.
I won’t go into the whole financial plan in this post, but one of the goals was to help hubby increase his credit score.
So How did we do it?
I added him as an authorized user to one of my credit cards. We checked his credit score 1 week later, and it was 150 points higher on Transunion. 50 Points higher on Equifax. Woot!
Surprisingly, it was that simple.
DISCLAIMER – This strategy isn’t for everyone
Honestly outside of my parents and my husband, there isn’t anyone else I’d really consider using this strategy with. You may not have either of those as an option right now. If not, no worries. This strategy may not be the best option for you, but there are plenty of other ways to increase your credit score fast. I’m researching and experimenting with different methods and I’ll be sharing my wins and losses right here, weekly. So subscribe for updates.
Why this strategy worked to increase his credit score fast
Your available credit / credit utilization, makes up about 30% of your credit score.
Simply put, the more credit you have available to use, the better. So having a credit card with a low balance or no balance is great for your credit.
So, my first step was increasing my available credit. I started out with 1 credit card with a credit limit of $300. After making my payments on time for about 6 months, I became eligible for a credit line increase. I also got another credit card from the the same company, which increased my available credit.
That process was slow and steady and it required patience. Once I’d put in the groundwork though, it made it easy for us to see a huge increase in hubby’s credit score…
And the timing couldn’t be more perfect because we’re getting ready to move which means we’ll have folks looking at our credit scores soon.
So to recap, adding him to my credit card:
- Increased his available credit
- Which decreased his credit utilization ratio
- Thereby raising his credit score instantly
How to safely use this strategy to increase your credit score fast
Honestly this strategy won’t work for everyone.
I recommend this strategy only if, you implicitly trust the person you’re adding to your credit card.
WARNING: If you add someone to your credit card and they abuse it (ex. increase your credit utilization ratio, don’t pay the bill on time) it will hurt your credit. And you do not want to end up back at square 1.
My husband and I did this together because we’re on the same page regarding our financial goals. If we weren’t, I’d have to take extra precautions to make sure that I was protecting my credit.
By the way, you can also do this with a parent. If your parent has great credit and is responsible with managing their credit, you can ask them to add you as an authorized user on one of their credit cards.
Do your homework before trying to use this strategy:
Before adding someone to your credit card as an authorized user, please double check the credit issuer’s policy on authorized users. You want to ensure that the card issuer will report the authorized user to the credit bureaus. If the card issuer doesn’t report the authorized user, it won’t help their credit.
Also, find out who you’re allowed to add as an authorized user. Some card issuers (like mine) only allow you to add a spouse. Other card issuers are more lenient – so do your homework to find a credit card that will work for your situation.
Set Ground Rules:
Whether you’re adding someone to your credit card or asking to be added, the safest thing to do is establish some ground rules.
Here are 2 easy ones:
- (My favorite) Don’t give them access to the credit card. Adding them to the account will automatically help their credit score, but they don’t need to have access to the credit card. This is the best way to ensure that you’re protecting your credit.
- Agree on what, if anything, the card can be used for and monitor usage regularly. My husband and I decided to only use the credit card for our T-mobile Bill. Instead of using our debit card for auto-pay, we use the credit card, and then pay the full balance immediately after. This also helps build our credit because we’re establishing a record of on-time payments.
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Resources we’re using to build our credit and manage our finances
There are tons of great resources you can use to help manage your finances and increase your credit, but these 3 are a staple in my house:
✔️ Credit Karma – Easy to check credit score, and get an overview of what’s on my credit report
✔️ Credit One Bank – Credit Card (Great for people rebuilding their credit)
✔️ Truebill – My husband loves this app. He uses it to help him keep track of upcoming bills and monitor his spending.
Ya’ll we still have a long way to go to get to our ultimate goal of having a credit score in the high 700s/800+, but progress is promising.
I know we all want to increase our credit score fast and some strategies, like this one, do just that. But for the most part, it’s going to be a journey that takes time and requires patience – So try not to drive yourself crazy with this.
If you try this strategy, please let me know how it works for you! I’ll be dropping more posts soon with the strategies that are working for us, and even the ones that haven’t, so if you haven’t already, subscribe for updates.
And, hubby and I are learning as much as we can so that we can build a financial future that gives us more freedom. Do you have any strategies that’ve worked well for you? If so, please drop them in the comments. I’d love to know.
w/ light and love,
Matthew 5:14 – You are the light of the world. And like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.