While it may be ambitious and laudable to want to catapult your credit score 300 points within a year, you should realize that building credit is not an instantaneous matter but a slow, steady progression based on how you handle your finances over time. A dramatic recovery may be possible, but it won't be quick, and it is highly unlikely to happen in only one year. A 300-point improvement would be a boon for anyone with damaged credit, but for those with modest credit, an extra 100 points may be enough to make their credit report shine.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
It is not likely that you will be able to boost your credit score by 300 points in just one year, as the process of improving your credit isn't a quick one.
Realm of Possibility
Credit scores are based on a scale of 300 to 850, with the latter being perfect. To contemplate a 300-point jump, your current score would have to be no higher than 550. A leap this wide would require herculean effort on your part under the time constraint of a year. It takes only a few missed payments to knock 100 points off a score, but it takes years for people to rebuild poor credit to the point where they receive favorable interest rates from lenders.
Realistic Expectations for Improvement
Just about anybody can improve a credit score by 100 points, but how fast that improvement shows up is unclear. A lot depends on your present credit health. If you're in the middle of bankruptcy with scores in the 500s and 600s, you have more room for improvement than someone with a higher score. Credit.com recommends those in bankruptcy add secured credit lines and keeping credit card balances below 30 percent utilization to improve scores rapidly. For delinquencies, negotiating payment plans with creditors could be your best bet.
Whether or not improving your credit score by 300 points is possible, there are practical uncomplicated steps you can take on a regular basis to make your credit score the best it can be. Common sense guidelines include paying off your highest balances first; using a mix of different types of credit, such as car loans and mortgages in addition to credit cards; paying all bills on time; not opening new credit lines but also not closing existing ones; requesting a credit limit increase; and adding accounts that are missing on credit reports but show positive payment history.
Every Little Bit Helps
Hundreds of tiny actions can work toward beefing up your credit score. Don't neglect to dispute even the smallest errors, whether the error is an incorrect credit limit, paid balances that show as unpaid or accounts on your report that don't belong to you. Taken altogether, these steps should generate a steady upward trend in your score, although no one can guarantee a specific point increase. You cannot determine how the ultimate score is calculated, so don't be caught up in the goose-chase for points.
Timothea Xi has been writing business and finance articles since 2013. She has worked as an alternative investment adviser in Miami, specializing in managed futures. Xi has also worked as a stockbroker in New York City.