Taking Steps to Repair Your Credit Score

Repairing bad credit takes time.  There is no quick solution.  The way to repair your credit and improve your credit score is to do so over time by responsibly managing your debt.  You have to fix your accumulating history before your score will move upward.

Here are some things you can do right away –

 

Check Your Credit Report – Credit score repair begins with your credit report. Get a copy of yours and check it for errors. Your credit report contains the data used to calculate your score and it may contain errors.

Make sure:  All the debt is yours!  With credit fraud becoming an increasing occurrence, you need to make sure that all of the debt listed on your report is actually YOUR debt.  If you find that you are a victim of credit fraud, contact the all three credit bureaus immediately and the specific credit company involved.

Make sure: there are no late payments incorrectly listed for any of your accounts and that the amounts owed for each of your open accounts is correct. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them with the credit bureau and the reporting agency.

Make sure: your personal information is correct – salary, address, social security number, etc.  The first step is to verify everything that is reported about you.

 

Make Payments On Time – Every Time!

Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit score. Many creditors offer payment reminders via email through your on-line account profile on their website and offer apps that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due.   How about enrolling in automatic payments?  Credit card and loan providers can have your payments automatically debited from your bank account.

 

Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe

Keep an accurate list of all of your accounts and then go online or check recent statements to determine how much you owe on each account and what interest rate they are charging you. Develop up with a payment plan that puts most of your available budget for debt payments towards the highest interest cards first, while maintaining minimum payments on your other accounts.  Once one card is paid off, take the allotted money for that payment and add it to the second one on your list.

This is easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe is completely doable with a little old fashioned discipline and self-control.  First – stop using all credit cards!  If this is challenging for you, then cut them all up and throw them away!

Pay your bills on time.

Delinquent payments, even if only a few days late, and collections can have a major negative impact on your credit score.

If you have missed payments, get current and stay current.

The longer you pay your bills on time after being late, the more your score should increase. Older credit problems count for less, so poor credit performance won’t haunt you forever. The impact of past credit problems on your score fades as time passes and as recent good payment patterns show up on your credit report. And good scores weigh any credit problems against the positive information that says you’re managing your credit well.

Be aware that paying off a collection account will not remove it from your credit report.It will stay on your report for seven years.

If you are having trouble making ends meet, contact your creditors or see a legitimate credit counselor.  This won’t rebuild your credit score immediately, but if you can begin to manage your credit and pay on time, your score should increase over time. And seeking assistance from a credit counseling service will not hurt your score.

 

In summary, “fixing” a credit score is more about fixing errors in your credit history (if they exist) and then maintaining consistent, good credit history. Raising your score after a poor mark on your report or building credit for the first time will take patience and discipline.

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