• Who this helps: All borrowers. Checking your credit report once a year helps you ensure lenders analyze your borrowing behavior accurately. 
  • Time commitment: Low. Getting a copy of your credit report can take up to 15 days after you file the request. Reviewing your credit report usually takes one hour or less, depending on how much information you need to review.
  • Cost: None. There is no cost to check your credit report once per year.
  • Risk:  Low. Your credit will not be negatively impacted if you check your credit score or report. 
  • Impact: High. If you find an error on your credit report and successfully dispute it, your score will start to rise and quickly.
  • Finimpact score: 3

Pros and cons of checking your credit report include:


You will better understand your current credit position
You will be more aware of what lenders see when they conduct a credit inquiry Regularly checking your credit reports can help you be more aware of what lenders may see
You can detect any inaccurate or incomplete information and file a dispute to get your credit report updated


None - your credit score will not be impacted if your check your credit score or report

Per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, borrowers can obtain free access to their credit report once per year. And, checking your credit report for errors is a great way to raise your credit score, not to mention be a responsible borrower. To obtain your free credit report, visit You can also sign up for a credit monitoring service through any of the three credit bureaus; ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion.

Once you access your credit report, be on the lookout for errors. Common credit report errors include things like:

  • Inaccurate missed payment dates
  • Incorrect dates of late payments
  • Inaccurate balances on the account
  • Inaccurate dates the account was opened or closed

But there can be other errors too, and these errors can drag your credit score down, unbeknownst to you if you aren’t keeping an eye on that credit report. So look closely for the errors mentioned above, and if you see something that just doesn’t look right, follow the steps to file a dispute. To file a dispute, follow the instructions provided by the applicable credit bureau; ExperianEquifax, or TransUnion

You may be wondering if there is any harm in checking your credit report. And the answer is no. Your credit will not be impacted if you check your credit score or report. In fact, checking your credit report once a year (or more if you have the means to do so) is vital to protecting your credit and improving your score.

2. Reduce Your Debt Load

  • Who this helps: All borrowers. Paying down your balances helps you more effectively manage your debt, lowers your credit card utilization, and saves you money on interest over time.
  • Time commitment: Medium. Paying off your debt should always be your goal and it means that you must spend some time creating a healthy budget and ensuring you have the means to pay your bills on time every month.
  • Cost: None, aside from your monthly payments.
  • Risk:  Low. Paying down your debt is one of the best things you can do for wise financial management.
  • Impact: High, especially if you are paying down credit bard balances that can negatively impact your utilization.
  • Finimpact score: 5

Pros and cons of reducing your debt load.


Paying off a loan early can save you money in interest over time
Paying off credit cards early can also help you save money in interest and can help lower your utilization
Your credit score will go up if your utilization goes down
You will have more freedom from debt


You may be subject to an early payoff penalty - so read the fine print
You might starve an investment to feed your debt - so be sure to understand what your interest rates are so you can get the biggest bang for your buck

It can be easier than we realize to rack up debt, only to wonder how to meet those monthly payment commitments. And with credit cards in particular, your credit score can take a nose dive if you borrow too much. That’s right. Many borrowers don’t realize that even though you get a credit limit of $10,000, it doesn’t mean you should borrow the full amount. The credit industry refers to this as utilization, and the rule of thumb is never to borrow more than 30% of your credit card limit. So, in our example, if your credit limit is $10,000, keep your balance at $3,000 or below.

To that end, paying down your debt can improve your credit utilization, positively impacting 30% of your credit score. But as you work to reduce your debt load, it might be helpful to understand the difference between good debt and bad debt

Quite simply, good debt is what you can repay responsibly based on your agreement with that particular lender. Examples of good debt:

  • Mortgage
  • Student loans
  • Auto loans (provided they are not at a high-interest rate)

Bad debt, on the other hand, is the debt you cannot pay, or that puts you at high risk in your inability to pay. Examples of bad debt include:

  • Credit cards (particularly those with a high-interest rate)
  • High-interest loans, which could include payday loans or unsecured personal loans

If your debt feels like it is getting out of hand or your utilization is too high, consider one of these strategies to pay it down.

  • Apply the snowball method to your credit card balances. This means you start with the credit card with the lowest balance and start paying your minimum monthly due plus whatever else you can scrape up to pay it down. Keep working at that balance until it reaches zero, and then move on to the next credit card. However, don’t forget to pay your monthly minimum due for your other debts. Your payment history represents 35% of your credit score.
  • Consider a debt consolidation loan. Debt consolidation allows you to pay off multiple debts with a new loan or balance transfer credit card, usually at a lower interest rate. It can help you streamline your finances, expedite your payoff due to the lower interest rate, reduce your monthly payment, and even improve your credit score.

3. Use Credit Cards to Your Advantage 

  • Who this helps: All borrowers with credit cards.
  • Time commitment: High. Credit card overspending is one of the biggest culprits in getting borrowers into financial trouble. Properly managing your spending via your credit cards takes diligence and perseverance.
  • Cost: Interest on your credit card purchases.
  • Risk:  High. If you are new to credit cards or find it hard to manage your bills every month, getting a new credit card can do more harm than good.
  • Impact: High, especially if you are paying down credit bard balances that can negatively impact your utilization.
  • Finimpact score: 5

Here are the pros and cons of using credit cards to your advantage:


Paying your monthly bill on time helps you improve your credit score
Credit cards are highly convenient and can be used for most purchases
You can use your credit card for online purchases
You may be able to use your credit card to pay your utilities, allowing you to maximize and rewards or perks associated with your card
Credit cards offer theft protection


Credit card usage can easily lead to overuse and debt, if not managed carefully from month to month
Fraudsters can steal your credit card information, using it for a variety of online purchases - stopping credit card fraud can be a bit of a headache
Credit cards can come with fees, so make sure you read the fine print

Credit cards are just one of those things that every borrower needs to have. They provide a great way to develop healthy spending and payment habits and can help you grow your credit score. Managing your credit cards and using them to your advantage can be highly effective in helping you raise your credit score in 30 days.

Here are some tips to help you use those credit cards to your advantage.

  • Make your payments on time, all the time. Payment history represents 35% of your credit score.
  • Manage your credit utilization by keeping your balance-to-credit limit ratio under 30%. If your credit utilization is high, you can lower it by asking for a credit limit increase on an existing card or applying for a new one.
  • Seek a new credit card with better perks. If you have a high-interest credit card and a good credit score above 670, you might want a new credit card with better terms and perks. To do this, know your credit score to understand what you might qualify for, and search the internet to find the right credit card. But, before you do this, consider how many credit cards you have already and if you can handle taking on the responsibility of a new one. Your credit mix represents 10% of your credit score, and your new credit represents another 10%. 
  • Consider a secured credit card if you are just starting to build your credit profile or you have poor credit. But not all secured credit cards are the same, especially if you are trying to raise your credit score in 30 days. Ensure that the secured credit card you get reports your payment history and activity to the credit bureaus. Read the fine print to ensure you are comfortable with the terms and fees. And finally, make sure the required deposit is one you can afford.

4. Get Added as an Authorized User

  • Who this helps: Those who are not ready to apply for a credit card on your own or are unable to provide proof of income
  • Time commitment: Low. Simply ensure you can meet your end of the financial commitments related to the card.
  • Cost: Low, assuming you are in a position to manage your share of the credit card balance and monthly payment requirements.
  • Risk:  Medium. This assumes you are well-positioned to manage your share of the financial commitments and that the primary cardholder is responsible too.
  • Impact: High, especially if trying to build a credit score history from scratch.
  • Finimpact score: 4

Here are the pros and cons of being added as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account:


Great way to establish a credit history
Allows you to learn to manage your credit
You don’t have to get approved for your own credit card
Boosts any rewards or perks currently associated with the card
There is usually no fee associated with adding yourself to a card
Low effort
You don’t need to provide proof of income
Allows you to establish credit with no credit history


Assumes that the primary cardholder is responsible for their payment history and utilization
The primary cardholder will need to take full responsibility
Credit mishaps such as a missed payment or failure to pay the balance due can hurt your credit score, and the cardholder’s too
You won’t earn your own rewards or perks for using the card

Being added to someone else’s credit card account is a great way to build and improve your credit score. This is often best suited to someone with poor credit that wants to be eligible for a personal loan for good credit, or someone who wants to build their credit score from scratch. To do this, ask a trusted family member or friend if they can contact their credit card company to add you as an authorized user. Be sure to ask someone you trust to make payments and be honest about their card usage. And take responsibility for your share of the financial burden

5. Never Miss a Payment 

  • Who this helps: All borrowers.
  • Time commitment: Medium. Managing your payments takes diligence and perseverance.
  • Cost: Low, though the cost of missing a payment can be quite high.
  • Risk:  Low. Paying your bills on time every month is one of the best things you can do to improve your credit score in 30 days (and beyond)
  • Impact: High, especially if you are trying to improve your credit score.
  • Finimpact score: 5

Here are the pros and cons of maintaining an effective payment history:


Help improve your credit scores by 35% - a late payment can impact your credit score by as much as 180 points
Worry less
Avoid penalties from your lender


None - paying your bills on time every month and maintaining a positive payment history is a must if you want to build a good credit score

Paying your minimum monthly payments on time every month is the biggest factor affecting your credit score. So, pay all your bills on time, and when you can, pay a bit extra to help reduce the interest you will pay over time. Borrowers should know that late payments can cause your credit score to drop by 180 points and remain on your credit report for seven years. 

A great way to stay on top of your payments is to set up autopay with your bank or the applicable credit cards. This set-it-and-forget-it approach makes sure that you never miss a payment. However, pay attention to your utilization and ensure the automatic payment amount is always enough to meet the minimum and keep your balance-to-credit limit ratio under 30%. Also, in the event something happens and you miss a payment, know that you have 30 days to make a late payment before it damages your credit (but this doesn’t mean you won’t be subject to a late payment fee from the creditor)

6. Get credit for all of your bills

  • Who this helps: Borrowers with a low utilization ration on their credit cards
  • Time commitment: Low. The next time you need to make a payment on one of your utilities, simply see if a credit card payment option is available and sign-up. Or, sign up today for Experian Boost.
  • Cost: Low.
  • Risk:  Low, provided you can continue to pay your credit card minimum monthly balance.
  • Impact: Medium, especially if you are trying to improve your credit score fast.
  • Finimpact score: 2

Pros and cons of getting credit for all of your bills:


Using your credit card to pay your monthly phone or utility bill can help you build your credit - if you make those payments on time every month
You can likely take advantage of automated payment programs - never miss a payment again
Pay your bills quickly without the hassle of writing out checks and using snail mail
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Earn rewards on your credit card for money that needs to be spent anyway
Enjoy consumer protection
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You may be subject to fees for paying the bill with a credit card
This can cause your credit utilization to increase (possibly surpassing the 30% rule of thumb)
It can make a bad financial situation even worse
You will be charged interest if you don’t pay off the new amount each month

Most creditors will report to the credit bureaus, but this is not the case for your utility companies or your landlord. For example, credit bureaus don't automatically collect information about rent payments. One way to raise your credit score in 30 days is to sign up for a service such as Experian Boost that lets you get credit for paying monthly utility, cell phone, and streaming service bills on time. You can even get credit for streaming payments on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Disney+, and Starz. You can also see if you can use your credit cards to pay your bills. This allows you to maximize any credit card perks and rewards. Just ensure this doesn’t cause your utilization to go up.

7. Get Help

  • Who this helps: Borrowers who feel out of control with their credit and finances.
  • Time commitment: High. Working with a credit counselor takes time and commitment.
  • Cost: Medium as you may be subject to some fees along the way.
  • Risk:  Medium, as there can be a ding to your credit score in the beginning, but once you adopt better habits, your score can increase. The long-term goal is that you will improve your ability to manage credit in the future
  • Impact: Medium, especially if you are trying to improve your credit score fast.
  • Finimpact score: 2

Pros and cons of credit counseling:


Improve your financial literacy
Learn how to budget and save money
Consolidate your outstanding debt into a single account and pay it off faster and at a lower interest rate
No harassing collections calls


Negatively impacts your credit score
Accounts will be frozen
Negatively affects your ability to apply for new credit while you are receiving counseling services
Only 25% of consumers that enroll in these programs complete them successfully
You must enroll all eligible debts

Without proper diligence and perseverance, our finances can get out of control. And when we’re struggling to make ends meet, improving our credit scores can be really hard. If you need assistance getting your credit and finances in order, credit counseling can help you learn more about consumer credit, money management, debt management, and budgeting. You can find a reputable credit counselor at National Foundation for Credit Counseling or The Federal Trade Commission.

Credit counseling can assist if you need to improve your approach to your monthly finances.  Though credit counseling can hurt your score initially, the goal is to learn better behaviors to improve your ability to manage credit in the future.


What Impacts Your Credit Score

Your credit score is calculated using information from your credit report using five factors. The three main credit reporting bureaus maintain credit reports: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. 

  • Payment history, 35%
  • Amounts owed (utilization), 30% 
  • Credit history, 15% 
  • Credit mix,10% 
  • New credit,10% 

Paying your bills on time every month is the single most important thing you can to not only build credit fast but work towards a good credit score of 670 or higher. Understanding how your credit score is calculated can help you make the necessary changes to improve your score. 


How Often Is Your Credit Score Updated?

Your credit score updates about every 30 to 45 days, based on when your creditors report information to the bureaus. However, your score can update more frequently if you have multiple credit cards, loans, etc. For this reason, if you have the ability to check your credit score more frequently via your bank or one of your creditors, you might see your score change as often as week to week.

You should remember, however, that your credit score is always going to go up and down a bit. A dip of a few points here or there, or an increase of the same, is not something to be alarmed about. Instead, watch for sizeable dings to your credit, especially when they happen month after month. A large decrease in your credit score is an indicator that you should review your credit report for errors.

Is There a "Quick Fix" to Repairing Credit?

Unfortunately, there is no magical or quick fix to repairing your credit if you are online searching how to raise my credit score overnight. It takes time and focus to ensure your credit score continues to improve and works closer and closer to that excellent credit score that so many borrowers desire. And according to FICO, most quick-fix efforts to fix your credit score are most likely to backfire, so beware of any advice that claims to improve your credit score fast.

The best way to improve or repair your credit is to manage it responsibly. You can manage your credit responsibly by doing the following things:

  • Check your credit report for errors
  • Pay your bills on time
  • Reduce the amount of debt you owe
  • Be mindful when applying for new credit accounts
  • Pay attention to your credit mix (too many loans or even too many personal loans for fair credit can be an indication that you are a bad credit risk).


How Many Credit Points Do You Gain a Month?

The number of credit points you can gain in a month can vary on many factors. You must remember that your creditors are reporting on your credit activity every month, and the reporting dates are not the same amongst all creditors. Plus, if you improve your utilization with one creditor, it might be reported as much as two months after the fact.

The name of the game when it comes to your credit score is consistency. Paying your bills on time every month and paying attention to your utilization combined impact 65% of your credit score. And every month you maintain those good habits, the better it can be for your score.


How to Track Your Progress 

A good rule of thumb is to check your credit report once per year and your credit score as often as you like. As mentioned, you are entitled to a free annual credit report from the three main credit bureaus.  And one of the easiest ways to get a copy of your credit report is through Annual Credit If you find an error on your credit report, promptly file a dispute with the applicable credit bureau(s).

Most banks and credit card issuers now offer their customers free access to their credit scores at least once per month. If your financial institution does not provide this option, you can sign-up for a credit score monitoring service through one of the bureaus; ExperianEquifax, and TransUnion


What Happens After 30 Days? 

So let’s get back to the original question: How can I raise my credit score in 30 days? The tips for improving your credit score are the same whether you want to fix credit in 30 days, obtain a 720 credit score in 30 days, or simply increase your credit score. Your score refreshes at least once a month, so if you are trying to improve that credit score, be sure to check it periodically to ensure it is going in the right direction.

Your credit score is updated when new information is added to your credit report. And lenders report your information to the three main credit bureaus. Your lenders also decide how often they report on your credit history. This all said, the best recommendations to improve your credit score are as follows:

  • Keep up the on-time payments 
  • Watch your credit utilization 
  • Responsibly manage your debt 
  • Keep your oldest accounts open
  • Apply for new credit sparingly 


Final Word

We might sound a bit like a broken record, but monitoring your credit and building good credit behaviors that can help make you eligible for a personal loan for excellent credit, takes diligence and perseverance. But, if you truly want to know the answer to how can I raise my credit score in 30 days, then be sure you are paying your bills on time every month, keeping your credit card utilization under 30%, and being mindful when applying for credit and taking on more debt. 

You can positively change your credit score within 30 days, but remember that the activity is not a one-and-done strategy. Building credit takes time and commitment to healthy financial habits

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

How much can my credit score change within 30 days?

Everyone’s situation is different, and the amount your credit score can increase depends on many factors. For example, correcting inaccurate information on your credit report can improve your score by as much as 100 points. But conversely, missing a payment can make your score drop by as much as 180 points. So while significant increases (and decreases) are possible, building and repairing credit can take longer than a month. 

What is the fastest way to improve my credit score?

Your payment history and credit card balance-to-limit ratio are the two most important factors in helping you improve your credit score. If you truly want to improve your score and attain good credit to be eligible for a personal loan for good credit instead of a personal loan for bad credit, pay attention to your payment history and utilization.

Can I get help improving my credit score?

If you feel overwhelmed with your finances or your credit score keeps dropping monthly, you might want to consider online resources. Consider ExperianBoostUltraFico, or the Grow Credit program if you need additional assistance. Or, seek a credit counselor for help with debt management strategies.

What increases my credit score the fastest?

Paying your bills on time is the fastest way to improve your credit score. Your payment history reflects 35% of your credit score, so making a payment on time helps build your credit history and shows creditors that you are responsible for your payments. Failure to make a payment on time or missing a payment altogether can hurt your score by as much as 180 points.

About the Authors

 Ann Schreiber

Written by: Ann Schreiber

Seasoned Copywriter & Content Marketer

Ann has been a marketer and a content writer for over 20 years. She worked for financial institutions such as FICO, Experian, and BlueChip Financial as a director of content and brand marketing.

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