Ready to learn how to raise your credit score? Keep reading to learn the tool I use to track my score and the things I did to raise my credit score fast!
Debt sucks. Your credit score, on the other hand, is a whole different ball game.
You NEED a good credit score for so much more than getting a car loan. Your credit score affects everything from the apartment you rent to the job you get. Crazy, I know!
(PS. This post contains affiliate links below.)
The Easy Way to Check Your Credit
Credit Sesame is the completely FREE way that I track my credit score every month. There is no credit card required to sign up, so you don’t have to worry about being scammed.
Just head to creditsesame.com and enter your email and create a password. They’ll ask you some personal questions only you should know the answer to. This is entirely for your security and totally normal!
Once you get logged in to your dashboard, you’ll see your credit score and whether it’s considered good, fair, etc. Another neat thing Credit Sesame shows is a “report card” for your credit. You can see your rank on payment history, credit usage, credit inquiries, and more.
But Credit Sesame doesn’t leave you stranded. They then show you ways to improve your credit score with special offers that you have good odds of getting approved for.
Here’s the deal — since Credit Sesame offers their services for free, one of the ways they make money is referring you to different credit offers.
If you are bad with credit cards like I am, just ignore the offers they show you! BUT, if you can handle using a credit card wisely (i.e. paying it off every month), then you should take a look at some of the offers they mention. There are all sorts of balance transfer and reward card options that could interest you.
How to Raise Your Credit Score
Now that you know what your credit score is, you probably wish it was a little (or a lot) higher. Here’s a few things I’ve done that raised my credit score substantially:
1.) Pay Off Big Chunks of Debt
If you’ve got extra money in savings, take some of it and pay big chunks of debt off instead. I know it can be scary to see your savings account shrink, but if you have high amounts of debt on credit cards, it can really drag your score down.
I’ve done this and seen my credit score go up by almost 50 points in one month!!
2.) Get a Secured Loan
You can read more about this in my post How to Build Credit Without a Credit Card.
3.) Do a Balance Transfer
Opening up a new balance transfer card can temporarily ding your credit because of the credit inquiry. But your score will bounce back quickly and improve because you’ve done two things: gave yourself a higher overall credit limit and lowered your usage. Now instead of one maxed out credit card, I’ve transferred my balance to a card with a higher limit and technically paid that old card off.
There are other ways to improve your credit score, but these are my top three because they make such a big impact AND they save you money on interest. Two huge wins in my book!
Some Questions You May Have…
How accurate are free online credit scores?
I know I’ve wondered this question myself as well. And it’s not the easiest question to answer because the answer can vary from person to person.
The thing is, sites like Credit Sesame give you what’s called your VantageScore 3.0. This is similar to, but different from, your FICO score (the score banks look at to loan you money.)
In my personal experience, the credit score Credit Sesame gives me has been pretty close to my FICO score the banks see when I’ve applied for credit. I’ve also experienced in the past that my VantageScore was lower than my FICO score — a pleasant surprise when the bank pulled my credit. I know for others it has been the other way around though.
My thoughts? Free is free and any information is better than no information. Use the score Credit Sesame gives you to work on improving your credit so your FICO can look as good as possible.
Is getting my credit score really free?
Yes! It really is! There are tons of websites out there that trick you into thinking they’re free, only to charge you a fee down the road. Credit Sesame really is 100% free. They can get away with this because they promote credit cards and loans that they get a cut from if you choose to sign up for them. They also have a premium version (but I stick with the free one.)
Get Your Free Credit Score Today
The quicker you know your credit score, the sooner you can start making it better. Remember, your credit affects so much more than the loans and interest rates you receive. That’s why it’s important to keep track of it, even if you’re working to pay off debt.
Head to Credit Sesame and start raising your score today!