If Your Credit Score Is Under 700, Make These 4 Moves This Week

A woman at home checks her credit score on a laptop computer.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
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You really try to be responsible with your money.

But, no matter what you do, your credit score never seems to make it over that 700 hump.

Yup — you’ve got some algorithm spitting out a three-digit number that’s basically controlling your entire life. We get it: It’s frustrating.

Don’t give up just yet, though! These four moves just might be the kickstart you need to finally get your credit score moving in the right direction.

Best of all? You can do all these things by the end of this week.

1. Write a Love Letter

…to your creditors.

If you generally have a pretty solid credit history, save for a few missteps, then sending a well-executed goodwill letter to those you owe could help get you back in good graces with them and improve your credit score.

You’ll want your letter to cover the following bases:

  • Explain why and how long you’ve been a loyal customer of the creditor.
  • Take responsibility for the mistakes that led to the blemishes on your credit history.
  • Describe the steps you’re taking to ensure these mistakes don’t happen again.
  • Appeal to your their sense of empathy. Show that you want forgiveness but also that you are determined to do better going forward. Show them you deserve this!
  • Keep your letter clear and to the point.

Don’t forget to include important information, like your account number and the date and amount of the missed payment you want removed from your credit history. Once you’ve written your goodwill letter, address it using the information on the creditor’s website.

2. Ask This Website to Pay Your Credit Card Bill This Month

No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.

Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out, including a website like Upstart.

Here’s how it works: Upstart will loan you up to $50,000 so that you can cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

Upstart won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

Unlike traditional underwriting models that use only the common FICO scoring model, Upstart’s technology looks at factors like your education and employment history to determine your creditworthiness (though it does require a 620 credit score).

Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.

3. Remove the Mistakes

Did you know one out of five credit reports has an error, according to the Federal Trade Commission? Yup. For no good reason. Just due to the fact that credit bureaus have a whole bunch of reports and numbers to keep up with, and sometimes lines get crossed.

For them, it’s just a mistake. For you, it could mean the difference between a credit score in the 600s and one in the 700s.

But how to you know if there are mistakes on your credit report? Use a free website called Credit Sesame to get a good look at your credit information.

Because Credit Sesame simplifies everything (no complicated financial terms), you can easily spot any errors. For instance, if you find an “unpaid” credit card that you know you paid or a bill in collections you know never existed, you can dispute the incorrect information and raise your credit score.

How easy is that? It takes 90 seconds to check for mistakes with Credit Sesame.

4.  Let This Company Handle The Complicated Stuff

Now it’s time to take a look at everything you haven’t been able to address in the first three steps. And you might need to call in reinforcements for this one — especially if debt collectors are involved. 

If you’ve been getting phone calls and mail from debt collectors, look into Collection Shield 360, a free service that helps people clean up their credit reports and deal with collection agencies. It will contact your debt collectors on your behalf and negotiate to get marks on your credit report removed, plus other steps to improving your credit.

It helped 31-year-old server Tabatha Pankop deal with lingering bills from T-Mobile, Bright House Networks and Verizon. Her credit score jumped up nearly 200 points in just a few months.

Now you’ve got four tactics you can use to get your credit score right where you want it. Good luck — you’ve got this!