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Blade

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9 min

12 Ways You Can Increase Your Credit in 2022

It can be difficult to improve your credit when you don't know how. Whether you're just starting out or have been in the same position for years, there are some steps that can help you increase your credit score—and one is actually quite simple: Paying bills on time and keeping balances low on your cards. But if you want to make sure that happens, here are 12 ways to increase your credit in 2022.


person holding credit cards

Pay down credit card debt

One of the best ways to increase your credit score is to pay down debt. This will reduce your total debt-to-credit ratio, which makes lenders more likely to approve you for larger loans.

You can use any extra money in your budget to pay off credit card debt and other high interest loans, like personal loans or home equity lines of credit (HELOCs). You can also use a strategy called “the snowball method” to help you get out of debt faster. The idea is that once you pay off one small loan, you'll have more money available for paying down another loan—and so on until they're all gone!

If paying off these smaller debts isn't an option right now but still want an easier way out than waiting forever, consider refinancing them with lower interest rates through a peer-to-peer lender like Lending Club or Earnest (which offers student loan refinancing).


credit score

Check for errors on your credit report

When it comes to credit, you want to be as informed as possible. That's why understanding your credit report is a must. Your credit score will be based on the information contained in these three reports:

  • Equifax

  • Trans Union

  • Experian

The best way to check for errors on your report is by requesting one from each of these bureaus — you'll get one free copy each year from each company, though it's smart to request them more frequently if there are any changes or issues in your financial life that need immediate attention. You can request a copy of your report by snail mail or online at smartcredit.com. Once you have all three reports in hand (the PDFs are typically about 100 pages long), it's time for some detective work!

Next up: what do I look for when I'm investigating my credit report?

The first thing to check is the information in your credit summary. This section of the report will tell you how many accounts have been reported and what type of accounts they are, as well as whether there are any late payments or outstanding balances on those accounts. The next thing to look at is any public records that may show up on your report. Things like bankruptcies, tax liens and lawsuits can all be included here, so it's important to make sure no errors exist before moving forward with any sort of loan application!


credit card

Stop closing unused cards

One of the most common mistakes people make when trying to increase their credit score is closing unused credit cards. It seems like a good idea at the time, but it might actually hurt your score in the long run. If you close a card and don’t use another one, it can look like you’re carrying too much debt — which will ding your score even more than leaving it open would have done. Instead of closing any card you aren't using right now, consider putting it on ice for a few months until you're ready to make another purchase with it. The only exception to this rule is if there's an annual fee associated with that card—then go ahead and close that puppy!


person writing on a dispute letter

Dispute late payments

  • Dispute late payments. If you find that a late payment was reported to the credit bureau as late more than 30 days after it was due, then dispute it. The credit bureau will investigate and remove the late payment from your report if they agree that it's not accurate. Which most of the time, the bureaus (even if it is inaccurate) will still report back as accurate.

You can also dispute a late payment if you believe that it was reported by the creditor even though you made a payment within 30 days of its due date. In general, creditors will not report a late payment on your credit report unless you fail to make at least one payment within 30 days of its due date. Most of the time, this can get very confusing. That's why over 92% of consumers that have tried use credit repair companies.


hundred dollar bills

Keep utilization low

The most important factor in your credit score is your payment history. You should also keep your credit card balances low and paid on time to improve your credit utilization ratio.

The credit utilization ratio is the percentage of your total credit limit that you use at any given time. It's calculated by dividing your balance by your total limit, so if you have a $5,000 balance on a $10,000 card, half of that amount would be considered "used." For best results, try not to exceed 30% in utilization (if possible).

For example: If you have a $10k limit on one account with a current balance of $4k then 40% of it has been used. However if there were two accounts each with 5k limits and one had a 3k balance while another had 2k worth then none would be considered used since neither account was maxed out nor did they even come close to their full potential!



Become an authorized user on a good credit card

  • Choose a card with a good credit limit.

  • Make sure the card has been open for at least 6 months.

  • Make sure the card is in good standing.

  • Make sure that it reports to all three bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

If you're new to using credit cards or have never had an authorized user account on a credit card before, there are a few things you need to know before signing up for this kind of offer: blog/how-to-add-an-authorized-user-to-a-credit-card

credit union

Join a good credit union

If you're looking for ways to improve your credit score, it may be time to join a good credit union. Credit unions are not-for-profit financial institutions that offer lower interest rates and fees than banks. They also tend to have fewer branches, but their membership requirements are often higher than those of banks.

That doesn't mean joining a credit union is impossible if you don't meet the usual criteria—it just means that it might take more work on your part. If you want to apply for membership in a credit union but aren't sure where to start, here are some tips:

  • Talk with your employer or other trusted sources about whether they have a preferred institution they would recommend (or even require) employees join as part of their benefits package. This can save you time by eliminating any need for further research; however, keep in mind that this option may not be available at every company or organization due to its nature as an employee benefit rather than an individual choice made by each worker separately.

  • Visit websites like those provided by [Financial Industry Regulatory Authority][1], who provide lists of federally insured financial institutions based on location and type (such as banks vs savings & loan associations). These sites will tell you which ones operate in all 50 states so that no matter how far away from home base one travels during life's adventures across America's wide open spaces there'll always be somewhere nearby where one can access important services like checking accounts without having miles upon miles between them...



Watch your spending habits and avoid impulse buys

  • Watch your spending habits. If you can’t afford to buy something, don’t buy it. Avoid impulse buys, and never shop on credit unless it's an emergency (and even then only if you absolutely have no other choice).

  • Avoid buying things that are unnecessary for your survival—you should always be able to survive without the latest technology. Don't waste money on things like designer clothes either; instead focus on stocking up on essentials such as food, water, and medicine.



Open new accounts only when necessary

If you're thinking about opening a new account, make sure it's absolutely necessary. If you don't need the account, consider other options: maybe you could save money by refinancing your existing debt or paying off loans early. Opening unnecessary accounts can hurt your credit score and result in higher interest payments on future loans.

Even if you do need a new account, make sure it's with a reputable institution—and that you pay all bills on time every month! This will both help establish good credit and ensure that any negative marks (like late payments) stay off your report for as long as possible.



Never stop paying bills on time

Your credit score is not the only thing to consider when thinking about your ability to get a loan in 2022. The amount of money that you make and the number of debts that you have will also impact how much credit card companies are willing to lend to you.

When it comes down to it, paying your bills on time is the most important thing you can do for your credit score. If there’s one simple habit that will help improve your credit, this is it. Make sure you have enough money in your bank account each month so that making monthly payments won’t cause any financial stress or hardship for yourself or anyone else who depends on you financially.