3 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Before the End of the Year

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KEY POINTS

  • A higher credit score could lead to more affordable borrowing options.
  • There are steps you can take to boost your credit score quickly.
  • You can pay off some of your existing credit card debt, ask for a credit limit increase, and check your credit report for potential errors that could be dragging down your score.


Although you don't have much time, you can still raise your credit score before 2022 wraps up.

At this point, a lot of people are starting to think about their year-end goals -- and take steps toward achieving them. You may have certain objectives you want to check off your list, like boosting your savings account balance or finally getting around to opening a brokerage account to invest in. But you may also want to see your credit score increase before 2022 comes to a close.

Now generally, it takes time to boost your credit. The reason? The factor that carries the most weight when calculating that number is your payment history, which speaks to how timely you are paying bills. And it can take months to establish a more favorable payment history than the one you have now.

But that doesn't mean you don't have options for boosting your credit score over the next couple of months. Here are a few steps you can take to raise that number before 2022 wraps up.

1. Pay off a chunk of existing credit card debt

Owe money on your credit cards? Paying some or all of your balance off could have a positive impact on your credit score.

Another important factor that goes into that number is your credit utilization ratio, which measures how much of your total credit you're using at once. The less of a balance you have on your credit cards relative to your total spending limit, the more your score is likely to rise.

2. Ask for a spending limit increase on a long-standing credit card account

Paying off credit card debt isn't the only way to lower your credit utilization ratio. Another option is to ask for a spending limit increase. And if you have a credit card you've held for a long time and are current on your payments, your issuer may be willing to raise your spending limit. Similarly, if your income has gone up since you first applied for your credit card, you can point to that as a reason for a spending limit increase.

3. Check your credit report for errors

Credit report errors are pretty common. If your report contains a mistake that works against you from a credit perspective, it could end up dragging your score down. That's why it's a good idea to check your credit report for errors -- and fix any mistakes that are harmful.

Let's imagine your credit report lists you as delinquent on a debt you settled years ago. If you manage to correct that mistake, it could result in a pretty quick credit score boost.

You should also know that you're entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major reporting bureaus each year -- Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And due to a special program put into place during the pandemic, weekly credit reports are now free through the end of 2023.

A boosted credit score could open the door to many borrowing opportunities in 2023. If you make these moves, you might see your score increase before 2022 closes out.

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