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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. Let this site show you exactly how to improve your score
Your credit score is like your financial fingerprint. Everyone’s is different and for different reasons. One person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have an error on their report. Another person’s credit score might be under 700 because they have a bill in collections.
That means everyone’s strategy to improve their credit score will look different… but how in the world are you supposed to know where to start?
Thankfully, a free website called Credit Sesame will take a look at your credit report and let you know exactly what you need to do to improve your score.
Take, for example, James Cooper. He didn’t know anything about credit, but Credit Sesame showed him the exact steps he needed to take to improve his score — from a 524 to 801.
Then there are people like Salome Buitureria, a working mom in Louisiana who, in using Credit Sesame, found a major error on her report. The site helped her fix the mistake and take additional steps to raise her credit score nearly 200 points.
Want Credit Sesame to show you exactly how to finally get your score over that 700 hump? It takes 90 seconds to sign up and get started.
3. Ask this website to pay your credit card bill this month
No, like… the whole bill. All of it.
Chances are, 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 called Fiona.
Here’s how it works: If you have a credit score of at least 620, Fiona will help match you with a low-interest loan (up to $100,000) you can use to pay off every credit card balance you have.
The benefit? You’re left with just one bill to pay every month, and because the interest rate is so much lower, you can get out of debt so much faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.
Fiona 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.
Now you can finally start effectively chipping away at your debt — and watch your credit score reap the benefits.
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. See how much it can help you improve your credit here.
5. Pay off debt by saying goodbye to your car insurer
When you’re trying to raise your credit score, paying off debt is one of the most impactful things you can do. It might feel like you’ve already cut every enjoyable thing out of your budget, but the truth is, one of the simplest expenses you can cut is car insurance.
If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year. OK, we can hear you laughing from here. Who has time to do all that?
But seriously, insurance companies take a lot of factors into consideration, and they change all the time. Ipso facto — you’re paying too much.
Lucky for you, a free app called Root will cut the need to shop at all. It will reduce your rates by up to 52% — and give you the same coverage.
We talked to Amanda Collins, 27, who, along with her husband, used Root to cut their insurance bill by $2,352 a year — or $196 a month.
It takes just two minutes to download the Root Insurance app and get started.
Root Insurance is available in Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah.
Now you’ve got five tactics you can use to get your credit score right where you want it. Good luck — you’ve got this!
This article was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.