How I Raised my Credit Score by Almost 90 points in Ten Months!

An article with featuring tips on how to raise your credit score. www.livebrokeonpurpose.com

A couple of years ago when Facebook first started and it was exclusive to college students myself and a group of friends started a group called “The 700 Club”. We all had one goal in mind, doing whatever it took to get our credit scores above 700 and having developing healthy money habits to help them it there. Well, if that endeavour had of been a success I wouldn’t be writing this post right now. Yep, I failed. On March 25th, 2015 when I was just starting Broke on Purpose I decided to check my credit score and pull my credit report to see how was doing. Based on our financial situation at the time I can’t say that I was too surprised to see my credit score chilling at a solid 662. Many people would be okay with a credit score in this range, but to me, I knew it meant that I’d drop the ball on being financially responsible so using some of the things I learned in our good ol’ 700 club I made changes in my financial habits that would lead to my score being raised almost 90 points in just ten months!

How I raised my credit score in ten months

Your credit score is based on an algorithm encompassing five different categories. The amount of debt you owe, the type of credit you have, how long it’s been since you started using credit, how much new credit you’re going out and obtaining, and your overall credit history. All of these factors influence each other and make up the almighty credit score. The simple act of closing a credit card could cause your credit score to fall because you’ve now altered your debt to income ratio. I didn’t get bogged down in all the technical jargon when approaching my credit score. I just focused on one thing, in particular, paying down my debt.

Credit Score (1)

I monitored my credit through Equifax. I signed up for a monthly subscription service where I paid $19.99 per month for unlimited access to my credit report and credit score. I also took advantage of putting a lock on my credit report so that no one could check it without my permission. With my credit report in hand, I then made a list of all my debts, double checking to be sure they were actually mine and then making note of the balance owed. I then set up the a debt snowball, which I show you how to do in my ebook as well as in this post .  After setting up the debt snowball, I put all my efforts into paying down my debt. I got rid of all my credit cards except for one to use in extreme emergencies and listen that Chloe Marcie bag going on sale does not constitute an extreme emergency. If there was something I needed to purchase I did it with cash or with my debit card, this kept me in check and kept me humble.You really start to rethink things when what you’re buying is coming directly out of your bank account our cash is leaving your hand. When my friends would ask me to go out and do things I knew I couldn’t afford I’d simply reply “I’m on a budget.”

 
As the balance of my overall debt became smaller so did my debt to income ratio, this triggered that weird credit score algorithm that set things in motion… It was like a domino effect, the more I paid off the higher my credit score grew and in ten months it jumped from 662 to 750! By working hard to generate extra income to use towards the debt and by being patient I was able to raise my credit score without the aid of a Credit Restoration company. While I do believe you can live a great life without using credit I still would like to see my credit score climb back up to the 800’s before the year is over.

To read about how we paid off almost $30,000 in debt last year check out this post!

Marcus and Melody 2015 Debt Payoff Report www.livebrokeonpurpose.com

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17 Comments

  1. January 12, 2016 / 8:09 am

    wow!! great work raising your credit score, that’s awesome! I love how you set a goal and went for it. I hope this inspires so many others to raise their score too!

  2. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    January 12, 2016 / 11:56 am

    I have to admit, I know nothing about credit scores because I don’t think we even have them here in Ireland, so thanks for enlightening me a little to what they’re all about. How amazing that you were able to raise your score yourself without the help of any credit companies, etc. Amazing that you managed to pay off almost $30,000 in debt last year too, way to go!

  3. January 12, 2016 / 3:55 pm

    So I just bought a house, and I learned the hard way that you really have to keep that score up! It fluctuates down way faster than it goes up though, and that’s a huge pain! Plus buying a house made it worse, since I’m now way farther in debt (not just with the mortgage but with the financing I had to do for appliances and stuff lol). This year my goal is to pay off the credit cards.

    • January 12, 2016 / 7:17 pm

      When we bought our house people had us shook about the credit score. We were too scared to even buy furniture until after closing because we didn’t want the deal to fall through.

  4. January 12, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    We are close to that amount of debt right now. I was on the fence one whether or not I should share the amount with my readers, but now I think I might. It is so inspiring to know that you paid most of it off last year and we are just starting out.

    • January 12, 2016 / 7:16 pm

      Emma you can totally do it! Just create a written plan and start out with a budget. Our debt was smothering me so I did everything in my power to try and take out as much as I could last year.

  5. January 12, 2016 / 4:46 pm

    Having a good credit score is so important. I love the insight that you provided. One thing that most people would be surprised to know is what you mentioned here: The simple act of closing a credit card could cause your credit score to fall because you’ve now altered your debt to income ratio.

  6. January 12, 2016 / 9:40 pm

    I always thank my mom for getting me a credit card when I was 16 year. It was for emergencies online since I commute to school but she laid the foundation for my credit. I have excellent credit thanks to what she did. I’ll do the same my my kids. Little credit card to help them build their credit too. Way to go in raising your score!

  7. January 13, 2016 / 3:12 am

    I completely love this!! My husband and I have been focusing on paying off our debt and clearing off our debt list. We are using the debt snowball method to pay off our debt as well.

  8. January 13, 2016 / 3:15 am

    Congratulations for raising your credit score by almost 90 points in 10 months!

    I may not understand what credit score is all about but from reading your blog post, I know it is a big deal. So again, congrats and continue to inspire others in getting their finances back on track 🙂

  9. January 13, 2016 / 9:29 am

    That is ten kinds of awesome! I never knew you could make such an improvement like that. And kudos to you for paying all that debt! This is really informative and something that everyone should know.

  10. January 13, 2016 / 9:47 am

    I have to admit that this is all new to me! I have no idea about credit scores but this post had me digging it! It’s very informative and detailed. You had quite a mini tutorial there. Thank you for sharing this and for educating us!

  11. January 13, 2016 / 11:32 am

    WOW great work on raising your credit score!! This is great information. I don’t think a lot of people really understand what exactly it means to NOT have a great credit score and how many doors it can really open for you. And the peace of mind is awesome

  12. Ashley
    March 2, 2016 / 6:43 pm

    This is so awesome, im working on raising my credit score as well. I started by getting my credit cards under 30% , that alone raised it 23 points in two months

  13. JRichard
    April 19, 2016 / 5:11 am

    Great article, I really want to take control of my credit score, Its a mess and I don’t know where to start!

  14. Lisa
    October 30, 2016 / 2:18 pm

    “I signed up for a monthly subscription service where I paid $19.99 per month for unlimited access to my credit report and credit score. I also took advantage of putting a lock on my credit report so that no one could check it without my permission. ”

    This is a great plan! What subscription service do you refer to? How do you lock your credit report?

    • Melody
      October 30, 2016 / 4:01 pm

      I use Equifax for my credit report and the lock! Whenever I need to have my credit run for something I just have them take the lock off for 24hrs.

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