3 Moves to Boost Your Credit Score in Time for 2022

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  • A higher credit score can open up more borrowing options in the coming year.
  • Paying off debt, increasing your credit limit, and correcting credit report errors can boost your credit quickly.

It's not too late to close out the year with better credit.

Having great credit isn't just a source of pride; it could also improve your financial picture in a meaningful way. And there are plenty of good reasons to want to boost your credit score in time for the new year.

For one thing, you may be hoping to buy a home in 2022. If so, you'll need a good credit score to qualify for a mortgage -- and a great credit score to snag an affordable interest rate on that home loan.

Having great credit could also make it so you qualify for the best credit card offers out there. And if you need to buy a car or take out a personal loan, your credit score could spell the difference between paying less interest on the money you borrow or a whole lot more.

Now, if you're thinking it's too late to boost your credit score before the current year ends, think again. These moves could result in a quick credit score increase -- one that serves you very well in the year to come.

1. Pay off a chunk of credit card debt

One big factor that goes into calculating your credit score is your credit utilization ratio. That ratio measures how much of your total spending limit across all of your credit cards you're using at once. Too high a ratio can drag your score down, so if you pay off some of your credit card debt -- say, with the year-end bonus you get from your employer -- your score might rise nicely.

2. Get a credit limit increase

If you're current on all of your credit card payments and have been an account holder in good standing for quite some time, then you may be able to pick up the phone, ask for a credit limit increase, and have that request granted. Once that happens, your credit score could improve.

How does that work? We just talked about credit utilization and how a lower ratio could boost your score. But paying off existing debt isn't the only way to help bring that ratio into more favorable territory. If you raise your credit limit, you'll achieve a similar goal -- a lower utilization ratio.

Not convinced? Imagine you owe $4,000 across a bunch of credit cards with a total spending limit of $10,000. That's a utilization ratio of 40%, whereas a ratio of 30% is preferable and could help your credit score improve. If you pay off $1,000 in debt, you'll drop down to that 30% threshold. But if you raise your credit limit to $13,400, you'll have a similar utilization ratio even if you don't manage to pay off a dime of your debt.

3. Correct errors on your credit report

Many consumers are shocked to learn that credit report errors are pretty common. But some mistakes could result in credit score damage you don't deserve. And so correcting those errors could result in a quick credit score increase.

Imagine you're listed as having a late payment on a loan you never took out. It could be that someone with a similar name or Social Security number took out that loan, and that it was accidentally reported as part of your credit history. If you're able to get that matter sorted out, your credit score could rise.

Close out the year on a higher note

Even though it's already November, it's not too late to raise your credit score in time for 2022. These moves could be your ticket to better credit -- and more borrowing options in the new year.

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