Personal loans come in handy when you need cash for non-collateral purchases, such as investing in a business or renovating a part of your home. If you have poor credit, though, it can be difficult to secure an approval, and you are more likely to pay higher interest rates when you do. Here are two quick ways you can improve a bad credit score to help better your chances of getting approved at a competitive interest rate.
Get Added as an Authorized User
Your payment history accounts for a whopping 35 percent of your credit score. This is why even one delinquency or default can send your score crashing to the bottom and why making on-time payments on your existing accounts is the top piece of advice experts give people looking to improve their credit ratings.
While you should start paying your bills on time, one short cut to give a low credit score a pretty big boost is to get added as an authorized user to another person's credit card account. When you are put on someone else's account, their payment history for that creditor will show up on your report. If they have been paying their bills on time without fail every month, that good history will improve your rating. You don't have to use the card yourself either.
Just be certain you choose the right person: someone who is financially responsible and unlikely to experience issues that may cause them to pay late or default on their credit cards. Any late payments on the account will also show up on your credit report and tank your score again.
Ask for a Credit Limit Increase
Credit utilization is another big factor in your rating. This is how much of your credit limit you actually use. Banks prefer people have low utilization rates (under 30 percent) because when your credit cards or loans are maxed out, it makes them think you may have a problem paying your bills. That's why you should work on paying down your balances. As your utilization percentage shrinks, your score goes up and you are more likely to get a better deal when applying for a personal loan.
A quick way to improve your utilization rate is to ask for a credit limit increase. If you have an account that you've been paying on fairly well, call the creditor and ask for an increase. Your existing balance will instantly look smaller in comparison. For instance, a $500 balance on a card with a $1,000 credit limit is a 50 percent utilization rate but immediately becomes 30 percent after your creditor increases the limit to $1,500.
There are other things you can do to improve your score fast. Talk to a bank representative who can provide you with some pointers for getting a better credit rating.