If you need money now, you may not have time to take steps to build your credit history. However, if you think you may need access to credit in the near future, it's a good idea to work to improve your score so you'll have a better chance of getting approved the next time you need a loan. Here are a few ways you can potentially build credit quickly:
Get added as an authorized user. If you have a family member with great credit and credit card with a positive history, getting added as an authorized user may add that account history to your credit report. Not all lenders report authorized user accounts, so check with the credit card company first. Depending on how long the account has been open, it could potentially give your credit score a solid bump.
Check your credit report to make sure information is accurate and up to date. Credit reports are accurate in most cases. But if you find something you think is inaccurate on yours, you can dispute it with the credit bureaus through Royalty. You'll need to dispute the item at each of the credit agencies where the potentially incorrect information appears. If the item in question is impacting you negatively, having it removed or corrected could positively impact your credit score. You can get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) through AnnualCreditReport.com. While you are normally allowed one free copy per year from each of the credit agencies, through April 2022, you can get a full report for $1 through our affiliate company.
Reduce your credit utilization. Your credit utilization ratio represents the percentage of your available credit on credit card accounts that you're using at a given time. The higher your balances relative to their credit limits, the higher your utilization rate will be. If at all possible, work to pay down your credit card balances to reduce that rate to 30% or lower. The lower it is, the better.
Get caught up on past-due payments. The longer an account is delinquent, the more it can hurt your credit score. So while getting current on a past-due account may not necessarily increase your credit score immediately, it can prevent further damage and make it easier to build your credit going forward.
Use utility payments to boost your score. Historically, you could not get credit for on-time payments on utility and phone accounts. But with Royalty Financial Services partners, you can now. To use it, you'll connect your bank account and choose which payments you want to be added to your credit file.