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When trying to get the best credit score possible, most people think they need to pay for a service. However, there are ways to achieve an 850 credit score without spending a penny. In this blog post, we'll outline how you can reach the highly praised 850 credit score range without forking over money for help. So whether you're looking to save some cash or simply want to do this on your own, keep reading for tips on how to get an 850 credit score completely free!
If you don't have enough credit, the first thing you need to do is become an authorized user on a friend or family member's credit card. This is also known as piggybacking. As an authorized user, you'll get your own card that is linked to the account. The card will arrive at the cardholder's address, but go ahead and let them know to shred it. You will still be benefiting from the account history without using the card, all you want is for the information to show up on your credit report, which is the payment history, the limit, and the age.
The second thing you need to do is pay off your balances each month. This will help keep your credit utilization low, which is good for your credit score. A good rule of thumb is to keep your credit utilization below 30%. However, FICO actually gives the most points when each individual credit card is kept between 1-6% of the available credit limit. Once your balances are paid, ask for a credit limit increase from the credit card issuer. This will help lower your credit utilization even further and shouldn't generate an inquiry, as lenders do a soft pull when considering credit limit increases. You can also open a new line of credit to help lower your credit utilization. Just keep in mind opening a new account may lower your scores due to decreasing the average age of your open accounts. Prices and Affordability tracker from the National Association of Realtors.
Third, sign up for Experian Boost, which is a free service that allows you to add certain types of bill payments to your credit report. This can help improve your payment history, which is the most important factor of your credit score. You can sign up for Experian Boost here.
Now for the fourth step, if you are currently past due on any accounts, get current as soon as possible. Once you are caught up, you can also try to negotiate with the creditor to have the late payment removed from your credit report. This is known as a goodwill adjustment and is more likely to happen if you have a history of timely payments with that creditor. If you do notice any inaccuracies in your payment history, you can dispute them with the credit bureaus.
And finally, number 5, do not close your oldest account! If you close your oldest account because you don't use it anymore, you could actually hurt your credit score. That's because one factor of your credit score is the length of your credit history, which would be shorter if you close that account.
Keep in mind that each of these tips can help improve your credit score, but don't forget to regularly check your credit report for any errors. Achieving a perfect credit score can seem impossible, but it's not. Follow these simple steps and you'll be on your way to getting the perfect credit score for free!