12 Action Steps: How To Get A 720 Credit Score In 6 Months (Breakdown)
How to Get a 720 Credit Score in 6 Months? “All Hands on Deck” mentality, use all the tactics below to reach your goal.
You will have to space some things out if you don’t have all the resources at once, you also double-up on action steps month by month.
For instance: While you’re getting authorized user status and/or putting in a request for a credit increase, you can get a credit repair service to remove negative items from your credit reports while you make the aforementioned moves.
Either way, your results will all depend on where you start from and how effective you are with these tactics.
We also so have a month to month breakdown by Austin Weyenberg from The Logic Of Money toward the end of the post.
If you've already done some of these things, you can mix and match tactics or execute the ones you've done more consistently and effectively.
How Is Your FICO Score Calculated by Percentage?
They are calculated based on percentages of these 5 categories:
- 35% Payment History
- 30% Amount Owed (Credit Utilization)
- 15% Length Of Credit History
- 10% Mixed Credit
- 10% New Credit
Want Help Removing Items Off Your Credit Report?
12 Action Steps: How to Get a 720 Credit Score in 6 Months?
Most of what we will cover will affect your Credit Util. Take a peek at number two in the last section, Credit Utilization accounts for 30% of your FICO score.
Payment History is a larger percentage, yes, but we cant aggressively attack your history as efficiently as we can attack Credit Util. We do check your credit reports to see if we can “erase the past”
1. Get your Ducks In A Row
Gather whatever information you deem necessary. In general, the most important piece of intel you’ll need is your credit report.
Get to know your credit report and look through it thoroughly (print it out if you can). If you see anything fishy or false make a note of the inaccuracy.
You can get your report here (it’s free if it’s your 1st for the year)
2. Dispute To Remove Errors And Get A Boost!
This is where we attempt to “erase the past” ourselves and have a few options to
recruit others. You are looking for errors or inaccuracies in your report.
What types of errors are on credit reports?
- Wrong Names, addresses, a loan or credit amounts, etc
- Incorrect dates or payment dates
- Identity Theft: Unknown accounts
- Furnisher Errors
- Re-aging of Old Debts
To find these derogatory marks on your credit report you can get a copy from each credit bureau: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
You want to check all three and if something is on all three reports, then you write and send a dispute letter to all three credit bureaus.
But if there are 4 errors on an Auto Loan account, then you only need to file one dispute.
You can dispute errors on your credit report with each of the credit reporting agencies online or by mail.
You Can Hire A Credit Repair Service To Do This For You!
3. Target Collection Accounts
In some cases, a collection agency may be willing to negotiate and settle your debt for less than the full amount.
Again, you’ll want to get something in writing showing that the debt was settled and the account closed.
Keep in mind that this kind of arrangement may appear on your credit report as a settlement that may be less positive than if you pay in full.
4. Consider Secured Credit
If your FICO score is in the mid 500s to low 600s, you should consider a Secured Credit Card to help you build a new credit line and have timely payments reported to the bureaus.
Secured Credit Cards work just like any other credit card except that you first have to deposit money in a savings account to “secure” your credit line.
Most secured credit cards can be converted to traditional credit cards (and you get your security deposit back) after a period of responsible use.
So, once you’ve reached your goal, you can get rid of it.
Related: Credit Score Stuck at 650?
5. Increase Your Credit Limits For A Boost
If you’re in a less than great credit situation, this may sound strange to you but requesting a higher credit line with an existing account can actually help your credit score.
Only ask creditors you are in good standing with, otherwise it's pointless. It’s all about the credit-to-debt ratio.
The more credit you have and the less you owe the better your credit score. Once granted an increase on your credit lines, you have a better chance of seeing a credit score boost soon after.
After hearing this, people often wonder: Does asking for a credit increase hurt my credit score?
6. The Authorized User Effect
When you’ve been added as an Authorized User to someone else’s credit card account, you can piggyback off their credit.
With that in mind, you should really only become an authorized user on an account owned by someone with good (670-799) or excellent credit (800-850).
Otherwise, you both are in the same boat.
Most major card issuers report authorized user data to the three main credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — you can call your issuer to confirm.
Related: How to Raise Your Score From 680 to 720?
7. Purchase Something Big (Mix It Up)
Right here is where we tackle #4 on the FICO scoring calculation list, Mixed Credit (see above).
Creditors like to see a mix of different credit lines; revolving and non-revolving credit lines. The different types of credit that might be part of a consumer’s credit mix include credit cards, student loans, automobile loans (motorcycle, RV, boat, etc.), and mortgages.
The latter two are the big purchases: Car Loans and Home Loans
You May Be Wondering: Can A Car Loan Raise My Credit Score?
8. Be A 10 Percenter (or Less)
Have you heard of the 30% credit utilization rule? It is when you pay down your debt to 30%, basically to be in a safe space.
But, we aren’t trying to be safe.
We are trying to be aggressive and enter into an elite group of consumers who has a mid 700 to 800+ credit score.
So let’s shoot for a below 10% range (preferably 8%).
You don’t want to pay it off because you need the record to show that you use credit and you can handle debt responsibly.
“Pay Debts On Time: Late payments (past due 30 days) appear in the credit reports of 29% of people with FICO® Scores of 720 - Experian.
9. Monitor Your Credit Consistently
This one is as simple as it sounds. From now on pay closer attention to your credit reports.
Choose how frequently you want to check them (once a week, twice a month, quarterly, etc).
If you opt to call one of the credit repair companies above for a free consultation, ask them about their credit monitoring features.
You can also get a credit monitoring service of your own.
You want to consistently check for what working and what’s not working; improvements, inaccuracies, possible identity theft, etc.
10. Set Automatic Payments
Or, set reminders so that you pay on time, all the time.
11. Cut Up Those Cards and Minimize Hard Inquiries
If you have a bunch of cards, pay off a few and get a couple to 8% util.
DO NOT close those accounts. The more credit, the better. But, cut the cards up to subdue the temptation to use them.
Unless it is to mix up your credit profile or it's needed, Don’t add a bunch of unnecessary hard inquiries to your report.
12. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!
Stay consistent throughout this process.
Even if you hire a credit repair service to help you along the way (they send updates and such) but still, open and read the emails.
Get on the phone with someone if you can.
If you decide to go the DIY route. Make sure you are sending out those dispute letters and monitor your credit report so that you know what is working (or what does not move the needle).
With everything listed here, just stay consistent until you reach your goal.
A 6 Month Breakdown (From 500 to 720)
Get a copy of your credit report and check for any errors. If there are any errors, work on getting them removed so that your credit report is accurate. Removing inaccurate marks on your credit report could have a big positive impact on your credit score.
Begin paying down any carried balances. The biggest factor in raising your credit score is to lower your credit usage. Having a credit usage of below 10% will have a huge positive impact on your credit report.
If you only have one line of credit, open a second line of credit if you have the first one under control. Credit bureaus like to see multiple lines of credit because it shows that you are responsible enough to maintain and make payments on multiple accounts.
Continue paying down your balance if you have not gotten it down below 10%. Additionally, if you are responsible enough to handle it, request a credit increase on your credit accounts.
Raising the amount of available credit you have will also lower your credit utilization. This could also backfire however if you can't keep your spending in check.
Continue making on-time payments and paying down your carried balance.
Pay off all outstanding balances so that your credit utilization is 0%.
Want Help Removing Items Off Your Credit Report?
How Many Points Do You Need To Reach A 720 Credit Score?
Not Starting From Zero?
So, do you need to reach a 720 credit score from 500? Do you want to improve your score by 10 points?
Then we can breakdown some of the main tactics to attack that score. Here are a few articles that mix all these steps up with the intention to improve your FICO:
How Long Does It Take To Get A 720 Credit Score?
6 to 12 months depending on where you started. But, if you apply pressure to your credit health efforts you can make it happen.
Whether you’re trying to raise your score 100 points overnight or boost it by 200 points in a reasonable time frame.
No matter the motivation, the intention to improve and maintain good standing is notable and should be most people’s goal.