Can You Fix a Bad Credit Score?

Can You Fix A Bad Credit Score
David Andrew
By: David Andrew
Updated: June 23, 2020
Experts share their tips and advice on, with the goal of helping subprime consumers. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

A bad credit rating makes life much more difficult financially. Fortunately, with a little work, it is definitely possible to fix a bad credit score.

Here are a few strategies you can use to slowly but steadily build up your score to a more respectable level.

1. Identify the problem.

Before you can fix a bad credit score, you need to identify the problem first.

Call up one of the major rating agencies and ask for a copy of your credit report. This document will show you your past credit history and will identify what is dragging down your score.

Give this history a read to see if there are any mistakes.

Sometimes the rating agencies add wrong information that incorrectly drags down your score. For example, they may have forgotten to remove a debt you already paid off.

If you see a mistake, contact the rating agency and ask to have the error removed.

From here, see what you did in the past to get your low score. Make the necessary adjustments in your life to avoid these problems in the future.

If you missed some payments, set up a payment schedule so that stops happening. If you have too much debt, make a payment plan to get your debt under control.

“If you can avoid making more credit mistakes,

your score will eventually repair itself.”

2. Pay down debt.

Part of your credit score is based on the amount of debt you have outstanding compared to your total credit limit. If your credit cards are nearly maxed out, you can improve your credit score by paying down these balances.

Ideally you should pay your balances down to 25 percent or less of your total credit limit, as this is best for your credit score.

3. Re-establish credit.

To fix your credit score, you need to re-establish credit as soon as possible. This gives you the chance to make on-time payments and build up your rating.

While your bad credit score will disqualify you from most loans and credit cards, you still have options. There are cards called secured credit cards that take all applicants.

To use these cards, you need to deposit money to back up your credit limit. These cards still build up your credit score, so they are a good place to start when you have bad credit.

4. Give it time.

If you have negative information on your credit report, like records of a bankruptcy or a missed payment, there’s nothing you can do to get this information removed.

The good news is the rating agencies will take this information off for you after some time. Most negative records are removed after seven to 10 years.

If you can avoid making more credit mistakes, you score will eventually repair itself.

Don’t feel discouraged by a bad credit score. If you follow this advice, you’ll be able to fix your score in not time.

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