Table of Contents

6 Credit Score Hacks to Help Increase Your Credit Score

5 min read
Woman pulling cash out of her wallet next to a laptop and phone

An awesome credit score can give you access to the best credit cards, the best personal loan terms, and ultra-low interest rates on auto and home loans. A bad score? It will severely limit your lending options, force you to pay sky-high interest, and may even prevent you from qualifying for that home or apartment rental.

Top 6 Credit Score Hacks

Developing healthy credit habits can help you feel in control of your personal finances—and feel more satisfied in other areas of your life. And fortunately, the power to get back on track is in your hands. If you’re wondering how to improve your credit score and credit history as quickly as possible, these easy steps will help you get there.

1. Pay every bill on time

More than a third of your credit score is based on how well you pay the bills that are reported to the credit bureaus. In fact, paying your monthly credit card or personal loan payments late even a few times can knock valuable points off your score. So, the single best thing you can do to beef up your creditworthiness is to ensure you pay at least the minimums owed.

Need some help sticking to a schedule? Try these hacks:

  • Alert yourself Use technology to your advantage. Log into your loan or credit card accounts and set up notifications. You can choose text or email notifications when a bill’s due date is approaching.

  • Set up automatic bill pay Have your credit card or lender automatically pull the payment owed from your bank account before the bill is due.

  • Align your payment dates Check with your lenders to see if they’ll allow you to change your monthly due dates. It’s much easier to remember one or two due dates a month than to keep tabs on 10.

2. Use less credit

How much of your credit card limit are you currently using? That percentage is called your credit utilization ratio, and—if it’s more than 30%—you’re likely hurting your score. In fact, studies show that people with the highest credit scores routinely use well under 10% of their available credit.

Your credit utilization ratio weighs heavily in the calculation of your credit score—almost as much as your bill payment history. So, try these tips to minimize your ratio and improve your FICO score:

  • Charge less If swiping your plastic too often is driving up your credit utilization ratio, try a different payment method whenever possible. Pay with a debit card, initiate a bank transfer, use PayPal, or use plain old cash for your transaction.

  • Pay down debt Any balance you carry on your cards adds to your utilization ratio. If you’re struggling with high-interest debt, try a proven strategy for paying off your debt faster. Maybe consider consolidating your credit card debt at a lower interest rate.

  • Pay more than once a month Even if you pay your card off every month, your usage throughout the period figures into your credit utilization ratio. If your ratio is too high, consider paying down your balance twice a month instead of just once. The additional payments will allow you to keep your utilization ratio extra low.

3. Request an increase to your credit limits

Remember: Your credit utilization ratio is the portion of your credit that you’re actually using. For instance, if you charge $2,000 to a card whose limit is $5,000, your ratio is 40%.

As you’ve seen, you can reduce that $2,000 balance to decrease your utilization ratio. But you can also lower your ratio by increasing your credit limits.

Here’s an example: Suppose you’re still charging $2,000 to your card. Only now, your limit has increased to $8,000. So, your new credit utilization ratio is just 25%. Keep in mind that requesting an increase to your credit limit might initiate a hard inquiry to your credit reports. This might impact your credit score in the short term, but as long as you’re keeping your spending the same (or lower) and practicing good credit habits, it should bounce back quickly.

Check with each of your creditors to see if you’re eligible for an increase to your credit limits. (If you’re not, find out when you will be.) Acclaimed financial blogger Holly Johnson offers some excellent advice on The Simple Dollar for knowing how to time your request.

4. Leave your old cards open

Great credit takes time to build. Potential lenders want to see that you have a long history of being responsible with debt, and credit cards you’ve carried for years can provide some of that evidence.

Knowing when to close or keep open an old credit card requires some thought (and understanding your credit utilization ratio). Often, if you rarely (or never) use a card, or have switched to using a new card, the age of your old card can contribute to a better credit score if you keep it open. Not to mention, closing a card could make it seem as though you’re newer to the credit scene than you actually are. In general, leaving older cards open may help your credit score, but it's important to consider other factors as well, such as any annual fees you may be paying, or the need to reduce the temptation to spend.

5. Stay vigilant

Once you’re on top of your financial game, building great credit is simply a matter of time and dedication. Over the years, responsible spending and repayment will do the work for you. Even so, it’s important to monitor your progress along the way.

Start by keeping tabs on your credit score. These days, most major credit card companies offer you a free look at your score every single month online and on your statement. Many will even alert you if there’s a significant change from one month to the next.

Second, check your credit report regularly. Each year, you’re legally entitled to view your free reports from each of the three credit reporting agencies—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Beware: mistakes on credit reports are common and can cost you valuable credit score points. Make sure to investigate and double-check that your information is accurate.

If you do find an error or suspect that you've been a victim of a loan scam, contact the credit bureau to dispute the data. Each agency is required by law to remove false information from your report. (If you need more details on the process, check out Clark Howard’s step-by-step explanation.)

Finally, hang in there. Even if you’ve made some credit-damaging mistakes in the past, their impact will fade over time. Even major black marks like foreclosures and bankruptcies affect your score less as the years pass. Within 10 years, they’re completely forgotten.

6. Be patient

No matter where you’re starting from, applying these valuable steps now to increase your credit score will make a difference. Like anything that is worth doing, building your credit score takes time. So, the sooner you incorporate these practices into your everyday life, the sooner you’ll be on your way to an amazing score and a brighter financial future.

Check my rate

You May Also Like

Related Resource Center
Soft inquiries won’t impact your credit scores, and hard inquiries can hurt your scores slightly. Here's what you need to know.
Oct 9, 2023
6 min read
woman on mobile phone image
Having a money plan in place before you turn in your resignation can make the transition smoother. Learn ways to prepare your finances before you go.
Sep 4, 2023
5 min read
Young man relaxing in an orange hammock by a misty lake holding a cup of coffee, looking at laptop on his lap.
Take control of your money and personal wellbeing with tips to recognize burnout and restore your physical, financial, and emotional health.
Aug 7, 2023
6 min read
Woman in pink blazer sitting on ground with laptop in lap next to young girl looking at documents
With six in 10 U.S. consumers living paycheck to paycheck, could budgeting, saving, debt management, or side income be the antidote?
Jul 25, 2023
5 min read
Paycheck to Paycheck
Your credit score plays a role in nearly every financial move you make. Having a great credit score can save you hundreds (or thousands) of dollars a year through lower interest rates on your credit card accounts, personal loans, moving loans, car loans, or mortgage.
Jul 9, 2023
4 min read
Man in denim button up holding a phone, sitting at table smiling
Related Impact
From groceries and diapers to Halloween costumes for pets, nearly 60% of American consumers prefer to shop online for everyday items that make life more convenient, comfortable, and enjoyable. And with rising prices showing no signs of stopping anytime soon, we’re pleased to introduce StackitTM from LendingClub Bank—a new browser extension that automatically finds and rewards eligible members with coupons and cash back for extra savings at more than 15,000 favorite online retailers.
Nov 13, 2022
2 min read
blog header stackit 765x430 v1-1
Even in today’s low-yield, high-inflation environment, it’s essential to keep a certain amount of money in an easy-to-access checking or savings account for things like daily household and emergency expenses, or to meet short-term financial goals.
Oct 2, 2022
5 min read
LendingClub Rewards Checking Nationally Certified as Trusted, Afforda
Since 2007, LendingClub has been on a mission to deliver a world-class experience to all our members. This month we took a moment to reflect on the more than four million members who have chosen LendingClub as their partner to help them reach their financial goals.
Apr 19, 2022
2 min read
Illustration of large number 4 and letter M made up of colorful, tiny illustrations of ethnically diverse people
In March 2022, we hosted our first quarterly webinar where we celebrated our one-year anniversary as a digital marketplace bank. 
Mar 6, 2022
less than a minute read
LendingClub completed the acquisition of Radius Bank in February 2021. At that time, in addition to the direct-to-consumer deposit business, we inherited a fintech partner program, and several lending businesses. As we reach the one-year anniversary of the acquisition, and in conjunction with the conclusion of a strategic review of our business operations, we have made the decision to discontinue certain businesses that don’t fit our mission.  
Jan 2, 2022
2 min read
Man in blue button up shirt and glasses smiling
Related FAQ's
We offer several ways for you to make your monthly auto loan payment, so you can choose the method that works best for you. A statement will be mailed to you every month that shows the payment amount and due date.
Nov 29, 2023
less than a minute read
LendingClub provides a year-end statement that summarizes your account activity, including how much interest you’ve earned and information regarding Notes tied to loans that have been charged off.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
In some cases, we may need to confirm your employment before your application can be finalized. The fastest way to confirm your employment is to provide your work email address.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
To process your application, we may need to confirm your income matches what was on your application.
Jun 7, 2023
less than a minute read
The payment transaction type (signature-based or other) is ultimately decided by the merchant and is based on how the transaction is transmitted at the time of processing.
Jun 7, 2023
2 min read
Related Glossary
{noun} A type of credit that allows the borrower to make charges and payments against a set borrowing limit, paying interest only on outstanding balances.
Sep 6, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The amount of unpaid interest that has accumulated as of a specific date, either on a loan or an interest-bearing account or investment. 
Mar 21, 2023
4 min read
{noun} The total annual cost to borrow money, including fees, expressed as a percentage.
Mar 21, 2023
3 min read
A debt that is written off as a loss because the financial institution or creditor believes it is no longer collectible due to a substantial period of nonpayment.
Feb 7, 2023
3 min read
{noun} An interest rate that remains the same for a set time, usually for the life of the loan.
Feb 4, 2023
3 min read
Change Your Money, Change Your Life
Join our monthly newsletter for tools, tips, and insights to improve your financial health.

LendingClub Bank and its affiliates (collectively, "LendingClub") do not offer legal, financial, or other professional advice. The content on this page is for informational or advertising purposes only and is not a substitute for individualized professional advice. LendingClub is not affiliated with or making any representation as to the company(ies), services, and/or products referenced. LendingClub is not responsible for the content of third-party website(s), and links to those sites should not be viewed as an endorsement. By clicking links to third-party website(s), users are leaving LendingClub’s website. LendingClub does not represent any third party, including any website user, who enters into a transaction as a result of visiting a third-party website. Privacy and security policies of third-party websites may differ from those of the LendingClub website.

Savings are not guaranteed and depend upon various factors, including but not limited to interest rates, fees, and loan term length.

A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $19,584 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 10.29% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,190 for an APR of 14.60%. In this example, the borrower will receive $18,663 and will make 36 monthly payments of $643. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months. Some amounts, rates, and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states.

For Personal Loans, APR ranges from 9.57% to 35.99% and origination fee ranges from 3.00% to 8.00% of the loan amount. APRs and origination fees are determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of July 11, 2024 and are subject to change without notice.

Checking a rate through us generates a soft credit inquiry on a person’s credit report, which is visible only to that person. A hard credit inquiry, which is visible to that person and others, and which may affect that person’s credit score, only appears on the person’s credit report if and when a loan is issued to the person. Credit eligibility is not guaranteed. APR and other credit terms depend upon credit score and other key financing characteristics, including but not limited to the amount financed, loan term length, and credit usage and history.  

Unless otherwise specified, all credit and deposit products are provided by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. Credit products are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment. ​Deposit accounts are subject to approval. Only deposit products are FDIC insured.

“LendingClub” and the “LC” symbol are trademarks of LendingClub Bank.

© 2024 LendingClub Bank. All rights reserved.