Raising Credit Score

I am trying to find out which way is best to build up my credit score…

  1. Pay off about $2,000 in medical bills or

  2. Open 2-3 Secured Credit Cards, charge 30% of the card limit and pay it off in full each month?

Any advice is greatly welcomed.

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Your debt to income and debt to available credit ratio will affect your credit score as well as which cards you get approved for and for how much.

Having a credit card does help in the fact that it creates a better gap in your debt to credit ratio.

If you have the money to pay off your medical bill, something I have done is pay off my medical bill with credit card. If that is an option, than maybe if you found a card that had a good sign up bonus (and if you can pay your medical bills with your credit card), you could sign up for the card and try and meet the requirements to get the bonus. (Which usually requires spending a certain amount on the card in a certain time period.)

If this were the case, you could potentially kill two birds with one stone and decrease your debt while also taking advantage of the rewards for opening a new card and ultimately increasing your credit score.

You just need to make sure you have a good credit score, you fully understand the requirements and the sign up bonus and be pretty sure you will get approved. (Not getting approved will put a credit check on your history which will temporarily decrease your score)

I am not saying that this is something everyone should do, but it is definitely something I would look into if I were in your situation.

(Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisory, this is something you would need to research on your own to be sure)


Thanks I love this idea. My issues is I have under 500 credit score, mainly because I have no car loan, mortgage or credit cards on my credit report.

@wen.dee I see. In that case, it might be a little more difficult to open credit cards but not entirely impossible. Especially if you have a decent amount of income, there are some cards that will approve you with lower credit score, but you gotta do your research to find out ahead of time.

I know Capital One offers a lot of options and some for lower credit scores in order to build up credit.

I personally started out by getting a store credit card at Kohls. Although I only got approved for $400, it was a start and by using it a couple times and paying it off I was able to start building up my score to the point that credit card companies were sending me offers in the mail. When they start doing this, that is when you know you have a good enough score to get approved for most basic credit cards.

My second credit card was directly from my bank. Since that is where I kept my money they were willing to give me a credit card since they knew I had the resources to pay on a monthly balance.

After that I started getting approved for several different ones.

My favorite have been American Express cards as they generally start you out with a decent credit line and they increase that over time as you use the card and make payments on time. The high credit limits helped my debt to credit ratio go up which also helped my credit score.

I also finally (after 2 previous failed attempts) got approved for an Amazon card which is much more difficult to get. I have gotten quite a bit of cashback in Amazon credit for using this one so that is always nice!

There may sometimes be an option to get a co-signer with you on a card if your credit is not high enough but theirs is. But this is not something I would personally do or recommend.

Ultimately, it comes down to doing your research. There is a lot of misinformation and outright wrong things people will quote when it comes to credit cards. The best place to get information about a particular card is always directly from the source. (the company issuing the card)


@Moree Income, I love your advice, thanks so much!

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