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Improving your credit score can sometimes be a lengthy project. Consumer advisor Brian Acton tells Yahoo Finance if you are planning to apply for a mortgage or other major loan, there are five strategies you can use that can help bump up your credit score in as little as 30 days:

Become an authorized user. You can piggyback off someone else’s good credit by having them add you as an authorized user to an account they’ve had for some time. As an authorized user, you can benefit from this responsibly managed account once it is added to your credit profile. (Understand, however, that if you use the account irresponsibly, both your credit scores will suffer.)

Request a credit limit increase. If you have a timely payment history with your credit card issuer, the issuer will likely grant you a limit increase if you ask for it. Since your credit utilization rate figures heavily in your credit score, an increase in the limit can help your score—so long as you resist increasing your spending.

Pay down your cards. Because—as indicated above—a lower balance positively affects your credit utilization rate, make the effort to curb your current spending and use any extra funds you can muster to pay down existing debts.

Check for credit report errors. An error on your report can weigh down your score, while removing one can result in great improvement. Since most credit reporting errors are resolved in about 30 days, pull your report from AnnualCreditReport.com and go over it with a fine-tooth comb. If something seems amiss, such as an unreported debt payoff, disputing it right away can make a big difference in your credit score.

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