Borrow Credit Scores

People Who Have a Credit Score Under 700 Should Make These 5 Moves ASAP

The Penny Hoarder Staff  |  February 2, 2024

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, especially if you have a credit score under 700 that you’re trying to bring up. Your credit score can have a big impact on your life, as it influences everything from whether lenders will loan you money (and at what interest rate) to whether someone will rent an apartment to you.  In simple terms, it gives decision-makers an idea about how reliable you are when it comes to paying your bills. For more on how to read your credit report, click here

If you’ve been struggling to raise your score, the most important thing is that you don’t give up. These five 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. 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, 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. Keep A Close Eye On Your Credit Reports

Your credit report contains information that helps formulate your credit score, and thankfully, as of 2021, you can get free access to your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies (also known as credit bureaus) Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. (In pre-pandemic times, free credit file access was limited to one per year from each of the three major credit bureaus, but now the floodgates of credit information have been flung wide open!) If you use your all-access pass to pull three reports every week, you’ll have more than 150 files of riveting bedtime reading for the next year. And yes, that might be overkill, but it’s so nice to know that we can access this information whenever we want it.

To get your free credit reports, go to and click on the “Request your free credit reports” button at the top of the page. Fill out a form to request your report and you’ll have an option to view it online or download it. You can see everything that’s there — both good and bad — just know that your credit score won’t be offered offered for free, just the report. To get a free look at your score, head to your bank or credit union, or check out CreditKarma. The most important thing is that you stay informed and knowledgeable about exactly where your score is headed, so you can head off problems before they start. 

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. (There’s also a premium service, which is free for two months then $9.48 a month after.)

Collection Shield 360 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. Shop Wisely For Financial Products & Insurance

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. Fiona is a platform that powers a marketplace where consumers can shop and compare offers for financial products from financial institution providers. In other words, it’s the place to go to ensure you’re snagging the best rates on everything from personal loans and credit cards, to student loans and more.

Keep in mind that if you’re trying to raise your credit score, keeping costs low (thus keeping debt down) is one of the best things you can do. If you really want to get the best price on car insurance, experts say you should be shopping twice a year. Who has time to do all that? Thankfully, a free website called The Zebra will do the shopping for you — in just two minutes.

All you have to do is enter basic information about your car and driving history, then The Zebra compares prices from more than 100 companies to find you the best price. The Zebra says it saves its users up to $670 a year. If you find a policy you like, you can sign up online instantly.

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 story was provided by The Penny Hoarder.

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.

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. This post contains references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.
Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

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