Your credit score is one method that banks and other lenders use to establish whether or not you’re likely to pay back your loan. It’s usually a three-digit number between 300 and 850, and it’s calculated using information from your credit reports, including your current debt and your rate of timely payments. Any number above 700 is generally considered good, and a high credit score can be a key factor in securing a loan for a house, car or other large purchase.

If you have a lower credit score, you can raise your credit score by up to 100 points in just 30 days. Here are a few things you can do to improve your score quickly.


Pay down your balance.

If you have a little extra money stashed away somewhere, now’s the time to use it. Paying down a chunk of your balance and keeping it low is the quickest way to improve your credit score, as this strategy improves your credit utilization rate. The credit utilization rate is the sum of your card balances divided by your available credit — a lower number is better — and the total is factored in to your credit score, as it signals banks that you’re managing your debt, or shows that you aren’t always meeting your financial deadlines.

Once you pay down or pay off your balance, your payment is almost instantly used to calculate a new utilization rate, giving your score a quick boost.


Increase your credit limit.

It may seem like you’re moving the needle the wrong way by potentially giving yourself more money to spend. But when you increase your limit on a card, or open up an additional card, it improves your credit utilization rate.

This tactic works quickly, as you could see an improved score once the new limit reaches credit bureaus. But it’s important to keep two things in mind: This method does take some serious self-discipline, as having the available credit doesn’t mean you could or should use it. Also, don’t lean into this plan too often; your credit score can be negatively impacted by opening new cards and accounts.


Check your credit report.

Yes, it’s tedious. But more than 25 percent of US residents have reported errors on their credit report. Whether it’s on-time payments that have been marked late, fraudulent or duplicate accounts or incorrect information, small errors can have a big impact on your credit score.

Simply request your credit report, look it over carefully and if you spot any errors, gather any proof (statements, certificates and other relevant documents) and dispute the errors with your credit bureau. These bureaus have 30 days to respond, and can quickly get your credit score back on track if there’s been a mistake.


Call the collection agency.

Yes, this is also tedious and potentially scary. But having an account in collections takes a serious toll on your credit score. If you can figure out how to pay your collection account in full, work out a payment plan with a collection agency, or get some kind of goodwill forgiveness, you can quickly see your score rise — and likely alleviate a lot of budget-related stress.


Pay your bills on time.

Paying bills on time is the number one factor used to evaluate your credit score. It can not only help give an immediate boost to your credit score, but you can ensure long-term credit health simply by paying your bills by the day they’re due. Remember that late payments can stay on your credit reports for more than 7 years, so staying on top of your bill schedule in whatever way works for you is one way to ensure you keep your score high.


Get credit for rent and other payments.

Rent, utility bills and other monthly payments such as streaming services aren’t factored into every credit score model. But services like Experian Boost or a rent reporting service can help you apply your on-time track record to your credit report. Link your bank account up to one of these programs and they’ll scan for monthly utility or tech payments. Likewise, a rent reporting service will add that to your credit report, allowing creditors to look at your file and see a long history of punctual payments.

By using a few different strategies, you can up your credit score in as little as 30 days. Then keep it high to help ensure solid financial health moving forward.