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Is It Possible to Easily Increase My Credit Score? – Tamara


“Hi Steve,

I graduated with my Masters Degree this past June 2009 in Speech Pathology. I have over $100,000 in school loans and a car loan of approximately $10,000. My credit score is 716. I am trying to increase my credit score to above 720 to qualify for a conventional housing loan to purchase a home. My income is not the problem, it’s my debt to income ratio. I have consolidated about $80,000 of my school loans but I have a few private ones that I cannot consolidate including the $5,000 and $3,000 and one for $12,000. I have approximately $2,500 a month to put towards my school loans or to put into savings to help with the down payment of a house.

Is there any way to increase my credit score? Is it best to pay off my little school loans (i.e. $3,000, $5,000 and $12,000) , make larger payments to the loans I’ve consolidated (i.e. $80,000+) or try to pay off my car loan? Where should I put my money to increase my credit score? Is it even possible to increase my score in the next few months, or should I look at other housing loan options?


Dear Tamara,

Putting your money in a particular place won’t make any difference on your credit score, but having both a checking and saving account helps. The other places you would typically save, like investment accounts, don’t report to credit bureaus.

In answering your question I went to check on my own credit score. That investigation prompted me to write “My Credit Score is Dropping. Is Yours?

Rather than guess why your score is what it is, I’d suggest that you get a copy of your consolidated credit report and credit score to see if there isn’t some other activity on there that you might not know about that is bringing your score down.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

See also  Pam Asks "Does a Deferred Student Loan Lower Your Credit Score"

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • Tamara, The reason your credit score isn’t higher cannot be because of your debt to income ratio, although your debt to income ratio could have something to do with you qualifying for a loan or not. The credit bureaus do not know what your income is. If you look at your credit report you will see that it is not listed. What I believe you are referring to is your available credit ratio, which is the amount of credit you have available over the amount of credit you are using. If you have loans that have not had much paid down on them then this ratio would be high. One way you can increase your available credit ratio is by lowering the amount of debt you have. You can do this by paying down some of your school loans or your auto loan. I would suggest looking at your accounts to determine where to put the money. If you have any additional questions please email me at [email protected]. I hope this comment was helpful!

  • Hi Steve,

    thank you for your input; however, it didn’t really answer my question. I know why my credit score is lower…it’s because of my debt to income ratio. I owe $100,000 in school loans as I mentioned above. My question is will paying on them increase my credit within a few months by lowering my debt to income ration or is it not worth it to put my money to the loans but rather save it to help put a down payment on a house. If I can obtain a 720 credit score by paying down my debt then I cannot receive a conventional housing loan, which is my overall goal.

    Thank you,

    • Tamara,

      Nobody can promise you how long any specific action can take to alter your score. As evidenced by my credit score research the formula seems to be dynamic. The only true insight you can get is by ordering your credit score and reviewing the specific recommendations the credit bureaus give to increase your score.

      How much of a down payment can you save, 20% of the purchase price, or more?



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