How to Increase Your Credit Score & Ways to Make Extra Money at the Same Time

Disclosure: We’re letting you know that this post contains sponsored links which The Smart Wallet receives compensation for, which may impact their order of appearance because talking about money should always be an honest discussion.

Have you ever wondered what does your credit score start at? It’s kind of a trick question because it’s not like everyone was born with a score and you’re not automatically given one when you turn 18. The minimum score is 300 but you don’t start there and work your way up either. 

That’s why there’s a formula that makes up of 5 categories that make up your score so it’s unique for everyone. The bulk of your score comes from your payment history (pay on time!) and the amounts owed (keep credit utilization to under 30%). 

We’re showing you some ways how to increase your score as well as earn some extra cash so that you can pay back credit card bills on time. Credit scores are one of the most 3 important digits in our life so take care of them!

1. Build Up Your Credit (Regardless of History) with Everyday Purchases & On-Time Payments

Canva & Chime

When you become a free Chime member (an award-winning mobile finance app), your account comes with an optional secured Credit Builder Visa®, a valuable free option to help build up credit easily and safely1. Eligibility requirements apply.2 There’s no credit check to apply, and members have increased their credit score by an average of 30 points!2

It works like this:

  1. Open: Become a Chime member by opening a free checking account and setting up a qualifying payroll direct deposit of at least $200.2 This unlocks Credit Builder, and when activated, you’ll get sent the secured credit builder credit card.
  2. Move: Move money from your Chime Checking Account to your Credit Builder secured account. This is the money you can spend on your new credit card.
  3. Spend: Use your secured Credit Builder credit card anywhere Visa® is accepted. Your everyday purchases (gas, groceries, etc.) and on-time payments1 will work towards building your credit with no annual fees and no interest!
  4. Build: The money that lives in your Credit Builder secured account will automatically be used to pay your monthly balance on time with the Safer Credit Building feature!1

2. A Legit Way to Earn $750 This Week

You can get $750 direct deposited into your bank account and all you have to do is try out some deals. The catch? You can only do this once a year!

Seriously, anyone 18+ can participate in Flash Rewards, a rewards program that’s been around since 2016 and has rewarded $12 million to members over time.

So how do you get the money? Answer: You just have to follow the instructions carefully!

Flash Rewards work by showing you “deals” they think you would like. This includes mobile apps and games, subscriptions, financial services, etc. Each type of deal you choose has its own mini task to complete.

  1. Head over to Flash Rewards and fill out basic info (Email, Name, etc.)
  2. Take a quick Survey (it helps figure out the optional offers & required deals to recommend)
  3. Complete deals by shopping Flash Rewards’ great brand name partners.
  4. Important: Follow the instructions on completing the specific number of deals for each level and get to Level 5 to get the maximum reward! (there are plenty of deals to try – some are free trials or app downloads, others require a purchase!)
  5. Claim the reward and get it in about a week!

You won’t get your reward if you don’t complete the required amount of deals. Sure, it takes a little more effort but it’s legit. Get your $750!

3. Get Paid for Playing Match 3 Games

Puzzle game lovers will love Match to Win, a free to play game where you can win cash rewards through 300+ exciting levels spanning across Hawaii, Paris, San Francisco, and more.

It’s simple. When you clear a level, you earn coins, which are redeemable for instant win scratchers, prize wheels, and sweepstakes up to $2,500! And yes, it’s legit – there are already over 135K reviews with a 4.5 average rating!

Also, join the daily Cash Dash event where players enter a sweepstakes race by collecting in-game trophies. Be among the first Top 25 players for bonus prizes of $5 to $10! Cash out via PayPal when you reach $7.

So download and play for free to start winning cash!

4. Get $10 to Invest in Google, Amazon, Tesla, Netflix, and More

Office Manager Sarah investing with $5 / Danny Guinta /*Photo for illustrative purposes only

You might think that investing is complicated. Or that you’ll never get a share of these well-known brands like Google, Amazon, Tesla, etc., but you can. And you don’t have to be rich either.

That’s because Stash, an investment app, lets you start investing with just $5. You can choose where to put your money in and they provide guidance and tools to help you along the way. You can invest in some of the major companies that you use or buy from regularly to make a custom Personal Portfolio.

With Stash Growth and Stash+, you can also choose the Smart Portfolio option which offers hands-off stress-free investing since Stash will invest for you based on your risk tolerance. Plus claim bonus stock when you attend Stash’s virtual Stock Parties!

As a bonus, Stash is giving new members $10 for any first investment so create an account to get started.

Paid non-client endorsement. See Apple App Store and Google Play reviews. View important disclosures.

5. Fast Personal Loans For Any Type of Credit

Personal loans get a bad rep but if you use them for the right reasons and can pay the reputable lender back, then it’s a valid option when you need some help. For instance, debt consolidation (credit card, student loans, etc.), house repairs or remodel, and unplanned major expenses like medical bills.

Save time and searching effort by using LoansUnder36, a loan matching service for those looking to borrow $500 up to $35K. They’ll find loans regardless of your credit status, with APRs from 5.99% up to 36% max. Their network has over 100 vetted lenders and you’ll be able to easily compare side-by-side with no obligation.

There’s no credit score impact by applying for quotes and the repayment periods are flexible ranging from 61 days to 72 months (6 years). But of course, the longer the period, the more interest it can accrue so plan accordingly!

6. This App Can Help You Earn an Extra $5,500 Per Year (+$5K for August!)

Side gigs and WFH opportunities are here to stay, and one of the easiest ways to find these opportunities is via the free Steady app. Their community of 5 million members agrees- it’s one of the best free ways to find flexible jobs, cash grants, along with quick Income Boosters to earn extra money!

It’s simple:

  1. Download Steady and create a free account
  2. Securely link your bank account to track financial progress and receive income boosters
  3. Try your first Income Booster; earn up to $75 each and they’re easy to do!
  4. Bonus for August, there’s a Back-to-School Cash Giveaway of $5,000, so every Income Booster completion counts as an entry. Use that money for student loans, supplies, and gear!

On average, Steady Members can lift their income by an extra $5,500/year after joining Steady for free. Get a chance to win an extra $5,000 with the August giveaway too.

7. Fetch All Your Receipts (Even Virtual) & Get Free Money Back

Alice Ly / The Smart Wallet

Check your pockets; check your purse. And keep receipts.

Grab all the recent receipts you have, even gas receipts, and scan them into Fetch Rewards to earn points towards free money. Even better? Connect your email inbox and it’ll count your email receipts too from Amazon, Instacart, Shipt, and more!

Basically, shop at any store (grocery, drugstore, warehouse, everywhere and online), snap a pic with the app, and boom, you’ve got points for money. Upload your gas station, restaurants, and drive-thru receipts too.

There’s no minimum spend, no need to manually select items, just scan in any receipt from any store or gas station, and it’ll automatically reward you. Use the free money to pay for your next tank of gas!

Be sure to grab 2,000 welcome points on us when you use promo code REWARD before scanning your first receipt!

8. Join the Millions of People Earning Up to $20 Per Survey

Karolina Grabowski

Companies are always looking for feedback to improve their products so get paid for just giving your honest opinion!

Just sign up for Survey Junkie (it’s free!), and join over 20 million members already earning cash. Completing a survey earns you 20 to 100 points. Each point is worth one cent, and when you hit 500 points (or $5) you can cash out, which is one of the earliest cash out points we’ve seen!

Redeem for popular online gift cards, Paypal cash, or bank transfer.

It only takes a few minutes to join Survey Junkie and you’ll earn your first 100 ($1 value!) points just by creating an account and verifying your email address. Earn even more when you take more surveys.

9. Play Fun Word Puzzles & Get Paid

Stimulate your brain in a different way by playing word puzzles on Words to Win, a free-to-play game where you can win cash rewards through beautiful levels modeled after vacation spots like Australia, Mexico, Hawaii, and more.

It’s simple. Create words out of the letters given and complete the crossword puzzle board. You’ll then earn coins to redeem for instant win scratchers, prize wheels, and sweepstakes up to $500!

There’s no stressful countdown timer per game and you can cash out via PayPal when you reach $7. Tracy T. said: “Best game ever! This is my daily relaxing game and it really pays and cashes out.”

Download now and play for free to start winning cash!

10. Scan the Stuff You Buy & Get Free Rewards

The exclusive National Consumer Panel (NCP) program is opening up again for more participants! Make your voice heard and get paid for it!

Panelists use the app to scan barcodes of items purchased & provide details. You’ll then earn points for gift cards, tech like tablets and flat-screen TVs, and much more from their gift catalog!

The more you share your shopping habits (scan barcodes), the more rewards you can get. It’s a fun way to earn more rewards on items you’ve already purchased and at no extra cost to you.

Register now to see if you’re eligible to be a National Consumer Panelist. If you don’t get accepted based on your location, don’t worry!  They’re always expanding locations, so check back again.

11. This Bubble Game Already Paid Out Millions to Players This Year

Pop some bubbles & win some cash in 3-minute games.

Check out Bubble Cash , where you can go on a popping frenzy against real players online to win actual cash. Drop a bunch of bubbles at once and get those high-scoring combos. No joke, they’ve already paid out millions so far this year. And with over 36,000 reviews at a 4.6-star rating, it’s legit.

Play for free, and then switch over to cash games whenever you want. Seriously though, cash game winners can win thousands of dollars…by popping bubbles.

Just note that cash tournaments aren’t available in AZ, AR, IA, LA, MD & SC but everywhere else is fair game to win actual money!

12. Invest in Real Estate Without Buying an Expensive House with a High Mortgage - Start with Only $10 (+Get $10 Bonus!)

Building wealth through real estate is smart but not everyone can drop down major cash to own entire properties especially when house prices have risen by 20% and 30-year fixed mortgage rates have jumped to over 6%, the highest it’s been since 2008!

This is where HappyNest comes in, offering you the opportunity to invest in real estate with no platform or broker fees.

It only takes $10 to start and you’ll be earning guaranteed passive income from the rent that’s collected from Fortune 100 tenants, like CVS Health, FedEx, and more!

  1. Start by signing up with HappyNest (industry-standard bank-level security)
  2. Set up your first deposit of $10 and you’ll get a $10 BONUS on top!
  3. Earn guaranteed quarterly income

Signing up takes 2 minutes and you’ll be on your way to a low-risk, long-term investment as well as a fun way to diversify your portfolio without dealing with rising mortgage rates. Plus, our readers get a special $10 bonus!

13. Pay the Mortage Renting Out Extra Space to Neighbors

The housing market is insane right now & if you managed to snag one, here’s how to help pay it off. Turn any unused space (a closet, a portion of the garage, a shed, etc.) into passive income by becoming a Neighbor Host. It’s free to list your space and you’ll earn extra money that can go towards your new mortgage!

Becca P., a middle school teacher, makes an extra $10,000 a year being a host!

  1. List your space for free (describe the space you have available, upload photos, and how much you’d like to earn)
  2. Review renter requests (what they want to store/when) and approve
  3. Schedule a move-in time with your new renter for their belongings

There’s no extra paperwork, and Neighbor automatically deposits money into your account each month, even if the renter doesn’t pay. Plus, there’s $1,000,000 property coverage for you and protection plans for your renters.

14. You Can’t Control Gas Prices so Save $720/Year on Car Insurance Instead

Gas prices are continuously hitting record highs but there’s little you could do besides checking which station has the lowest price at the moment.

But with car insurance, you can check in 30 seconds if you’re overpaying since on average, people spend $720/year more than they should. It’s easy:

  1. Head over to The Smart Wallet’s auto insurance portal and connect your current insurance (no long form to fill out!)
  2. We’ll instantly check for a better deal
  3. See your savings!

A satisfied customer had said “I left Geico. I was paying $150, now thanks to you guys, I’m only paying $50!”

Once we find you a better deal and you choose to switch, we’ll help you cancel your old policy, enroll you in the better one, and get a full refund on the unused portion of your prior payments. It’s the simplest and easiest way to get a refund on your overpriced car insurance policy.

15. This Company Will Help Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt (Up to $50,000)

@nardly | Unsplash

Debt sucks but make sure it doesn’t get to Squid Game level debt, you know?

So if you have credit card debt of $50,000 or less, then AmONE can help by matching you with a low-interest loan to pay off all your balances.

This will leave you with just ONE bill each month, making it easier to manage as well as benefiting from a lower interest rate. AmOne starts at just 2.49% APR compared to credit cards that can go as high as 36%!

The lower the APR, the less interest over time you have to pay back which means getting out of debt even faster. Plus using AmONE has no credit score impact and repayment periods are flexible.

It only takes 2 minutes to check and you can get the funds as quick as 1 business day.

16. Getting Gas = Free Cash Back

With the high gas prices lately, it’s smart to get cash back any chance you can get.

Turn on Upside, a free cash back app that partners with over 20,000 gas stations and local businesses which includes Shell, 76, along with Popeye’s, Papa John’s, and much more. You can earn an extra $148 a year (on average)!

Wherever you are, just use the app to see where you can get cash back! You can get up to 25¢ per gallon, up to 30% back on groceries, and up to 45% back at restaurants.

Easily cash out via bank transfer, Paypal, or gift card and there’s no limit to how much you can earn. Download Upside for free to start earning free cash back and new members can use a welcome code: TSW25 to get an additional 25¢ a gallon on their first gas purchase!

Gas offers are not currently available in NJ, WI, or UT.

17. Affordable Car Insurance Exists - Save Up To $610

You’re probably overpaying on your current auto insurance without even realizing it.

  1. Just check on EverQuote to start comparing
  2. They’ll check from plenty of agencies to find you the best deal
  3. Pick your savings!

It literally takes less than 4 minutes to fill out the form to start saving big. EverQuote can save drivers up to $610 a year on average* compared to their current insurance premiums.

It’s super simple so try it out to see how much you could be saving on the road!

18. Forget Reddit Bros, Follow Real Investors Instead for Stocks

When you’re looking for more stability than Reddit stock hype, use Public, a social-investing app where you can own stocks, commission-free.

Seriously, you don’t have to have thousands of dollars either to get a share of your favorite companies like Apple, Peloton, Target, Uber, Tesla, and more.

Plus, you can follow real investors on the app (financial experts, entrepreneurs, celebrities, athletes, etc.) and get a first-hand look at what they’re investing in.

Public makes it easy for everyone to invest in the companies they believe in with no minimums, $0 commissions, and a robust community to gain knowledge from. Plus, get a free slice of stock worth $3 – 300 when you deposit funds!

19. Get Paid to Try New Games. Regularly Cash Out Up to $25

Play games = make some money. All you need is Mistplay, an Android game platform where you can try new games to earn points redeemable for gift cards like Amazon, VISA, PlayStation Network, XBOX Live, and more.

In this Google Play app, all available free games are listed so just take your pick to try, especially high unit multiplier games! On average, players are cashing out between $10 – $25 regularly.

You’ll only get paid for playing games if Mistplay is running so be sure to always install games from the Mistplay app! New members get a BONUS 250 units just for signing up.

20. Get Paid to Take Surveys and Cash Out Up to $30 via PayPal

What’s the best lifehack?  Getting paid to do something you’re already going to do and KashKick makes this possible. You’ll get cash rewards just by answering surveys, playing games, shopping, and more. It’s easy (and 100% free) to use Kashkick.

Earn up to $25 for each mission completion. For instance:

  • Get $20 to reach level 20 in select mobile games (plenty to choose from)
  • Get $1 for each completed survey that just takes a few minutes
  • Get $ for just reading email

Shelly Ways says: “This is a GREAT platform and it’s so easy to make money. Definitely recommend it, KashKick is amazing & yes, they really do pay you!”

KashKick also has a sweet referral program that rewards you with 25% of your friends’ earnings if they sign up through you!

21. Get Quick Cash Within 48 Hours Just by Playing Android Games

When you need a couple of bucks now, just download Rewarded Play, where you can earn your first $5 gift card within 48 hours just by playing some games.

This free Android app has hundreds of games to choose from; including Yahtzee, Scrabble Go, and Design Home where you can earn cash quickly. Redeem points for the gift cards of your choice from 20+ retailers, including favorites like Target, Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, etc.

Points add up quickly, so spend your phone time casually gaming to earn cash!

22. Answer Questions Honestly & Get Paid Up to $5 Each Time!

“I cash out $10 almost daily! If you need a couple of extra bucks, this one is worth the time and effort.”

You can be like Sue C. and cash out regularly by sharing your opinions and earning up to $5 per survey. It’s super easy, quick and free with QuickThoughts.

Just answer questions honestly, and you’ll get paid with your choice of free iTunes or Amazon gift cards! There are several ways to participate:

  • Short surveys that start at $2 per completion
  • Longer surveys that take a bit more time but pay up to $5
  • Local photo activities where you can choose to partake in location-based opportunities by taking photos to provide feedback (also earn up to $5)

Since it’s free and quick, why not give it a shot to earn gift cards?

23. Earn a $10 Amazon Gift Card by Trying New Games

When you’re ready to add even more games to your lineup, then download Cash ‘Em All, an Android app that pays you to try out new games for yes, you guessed it, for cash. All are free to download!

Just earn coins from trying new games, and then you can redeem for:

  • PayPal Cash
  • Amazon gift card
  • GameStop gift card
  • PlayStation Store gift card
  • Xbox Live gift card
  • And more good stuff

A 4,444 coin welcome bonus is yours immediately too when you sign in.  (Worth 50 cents!) If you’re impatient, you can cash out as low as $1 as well.

Enjoy playing new-to-you games for some side fun money on your Android!

24. The Money App That’s Backed by Paypal, Dwayne Johnson, Ashton Kutcher, and More

Celebrities and leading investors can be particular about where they put their money, but Acorns has caught the attention (and their investments) of Blackrock, Paypal, and major names like Dwayne Johnson and more. Not to mention, they already have 4.7 million+ customers!

That’s because Acorns Banking does more than other types of accounts as it automatically saves and invests for you. Every time you purchase on your new metal debit card, your spare change gets invested into an expert-designed, diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. When you make your first investment, you’ll get a $20 bonus!

You can get started in under 3 minutes with no financial experience or expertise needed. You’ll also get access to retirement, investing for families, rewards, and more, all in one app.

With no hidden fees, Acorns makes it easy to invest in your future with your spare change.

25. Turn Your iOS Screen Time Data Into Cash Into $20+ in No Time

Share information on how you use your iPhone and get rewarded with the MSR app.

“I’ve made like 30 dollars on this app for only having it for a month. Not bad.. and the tasks are super simple.” – Sincere Asher Phifer

MSR uses simple “video tasks” instead of boring surveys like:

  • Screen time
  • Battery life settings
  • Amazon purchases
  • YouTube viewing history
  • Instagram ad clicks
  • And more!

You’ll earn points and redeem free gift cards from 40+ brands including Amazon, VISA, and more. Or you can earn straight cash via PayPal. Plus, it’s free to join! 

“I’ve cashed out like 4 times on here already. I’ve also recommended this app to my little brothers so they could have a few dollars here and there, so they could have money of their own. The tasks are simple and straight to the point” – OG.Ty

For extra rewards, refer friends to earn 40% of everything they get for passive earning!

26. Most People Cash Out $10 in a Day With This Survey App

Looking to make a little extra cash on the side but don’t want to spend too much time? CashKarma is your answer. “A legit payment app. I just got my first $10 Paypal within less than 48 hrs. The easiest way to make money!”

Already used by millions of people, this free app rewards you in cash and gift cards for taking surveys and trying out offers.

  1. Download the CashKarma app and receive an upgraded 500 bonus points.
  2. Start earning by completing surveys and a wide variety of offers available in CashKarma.
  3. Accumulate bonus scratchers as you earn points.
  4. Cash out via PayPal or select a gift card from Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc. (gift cards codes are delivered inside the app)

CashKarma will reward you with points even when disqualified, so no time is wasted!

Out of all the apps we’ve tested, CashKarma seems to have higher than average payouts on offers/surveys, and on average, users can cash out $10 within 24 hours.

27. Get Paid Up to $225/Month While Watching Viral Videos and Taking Fun Surveys

Founded in 2000, Inbox Dollars has been paying customers for their opinions for over 22 years and counting! They are one of the most trusted survey sites with fun, multiple ways to earn extra cash that set them apart.

Fast and easy. Love that I can cash out to my PayPal and easily transfer money to my bank account.” – Tefanie P

Take surveys, watch videos, play games, and even read emails for extra cash. Who wouldn’t want to watch viral videos for money and get paid up to $225/month?

Inbox Dollars is a great platform to make a little side money. It’s free to sign up, so give it a try today!

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