Have Fair Credit? Improve It With These Steps

When it comes to the credit score, financial institutions, of course, favor those with a good or excellent score, which is above 700. So do you have fair credit? Improve it with these steps:

1) Understand and know your credit score

If you have a score between 580 and 669, you probably know that it's not a good score, but fair. Understanding and knowing your credit score is the first step to making improvements. To view your credit score, you can pay a monthly subscription to one of the credit reporting bureaus.

However, if you use a company like CreditKarma or CreditSesame, you'll be able to view it for free indefinitely – no credit cards required. Even so, there are a few important points to take note:

  • CreditSesame: This company doesn't use the FICO score banks view when approving or denying loan applications. Instead, when you view your score through CreditSesame, you'll see an Experian National Equivalency Score. On average this score is 33 points off the FICO score lenders view.
  • Credit KarmaYou can view your credit scores from Equifax and TransUnion which will be slightly different from your FICO score. Also provided are free credit monitoring, free credit reports and a credit score simulator which simulates what your score will do after performing certain actions like applying for a new credit card.

There are even credit cards that'll allow you to view your FICO score each month at no charge. A few cards that offer this benefit include Citi, Chase and Discover.

2) Manage your payments on time

Paying your bills and debts on time will help boost your credit score. Ideally, charge only what you can pay with ease. If you believe you'll struggle to pay off an item, do not purchase it using your credit card.

You can set up payment reminders to help you pay the debts on time. Some financial institutions offer reminder options, whereby, you are alerted via SMS or email. If that isn’t reliable enough, choose an auto-payment option with your loan and credit card providers.

3) Boost the improved score

If your score has moved from around 550 to slightly near 680, you'll need to be cautious enough not to mess things up. Here, apply every possible option that'll make the score cross the 700 line.

Those include the following:

  • Maintain a timely payment. Missing or delaying to make payments will drop your score.
  • Maintain a 30% used credit. Ensure that you do not use over 30% of your accessible credit.
  • Ensure that the credit card report is accurate and fraud-free. You are eligible to one credit report from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax every year. The credit report is offered for free.

With these practices, you can be sure of securing and even increasing your FICO credit score in the final run. If interested in researching further into fair credit scores, check out these articles:



Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.