How Fast Can You Rebuild Your Credit?

How Fast Can You Rebuild Your Credit
Mike Randall
By: Mike Randall
Updated: July 25, 2014
Experts share their tips and advice on, with the goal of helping subprime consumers. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

It’s one of the financial facts of life in our credit-driven world: Our credit scores slowly take an escalator up, but they quickly take an elevator down.

What I mean by this is our credit scores seem to rise gradually, even if we’re doing all the right things. But when we have a few blemishes on our record, our credit score can fall like a rock.

So what do you do if you find yourself in this situation? How fast can you rebuild bad credit?

Well, as you might imagine, your bad credit won’t be rebuilt overnight. Fortunately, there are things you can do to accelerate the process.

By knowing a little about how credit scores are calculated and what the rating agencies are looking for, you might be able to get a head start toward restoring your credit and bringing your score back up.

1. Get a copy of your credit report and review it.

Challenge any errors you may find or late payments that look as if they may be inaccurate. You may be surprised at how many items in your credit report are not actually yours.

2. Keep your credit cards.

If you have decided to give up on credit cards because you’ve gotten yourself into trouble with them, I’m afraid to say this isn’t the way to go.

You need to have credit cards you occasionally use and pay off in order to begin rebuilding your credit.

In fact, one of the biggest factors affecting your credit is the ratio of debt to the amount of credit you have available. If you have no available credit, your score suffers.

“You shouldn’t expect your credit

score to improve overnight.”

3. Contact your creditors.

Ask each of them if they are willing to give you what’s called a “goodwill adjustment” on your credit report.

If you have made payments on the account recently, they will often overlook one or two late payments and have them removed from your report. Even having a few of these removed can have a huge impact on your score.

4. Become an authorized user.

If a close friend or family member has excellent credit, ask them to add you as an authorized user to their account. This can have an immediate and positive impact on your credit score.

Of course, there has to be a good amount of trust in order for someone to be willing to risk their good credit on you.

5. Lower your debt-to-credit ratio.

Remember, this is a big portion of your credit score and can work in your favor if it’s brought back into positive territory.

Like I said at the beginning, you shouldn’t expect your credit score to improve overnight. But if you follow these tips, you are likely to rebuild your credit faster than you think.

Also, remember your credit score is recalculated each time there is a request for it, so check your score every once in a while until you see it improving.

If you do this, as well as keeping current on your payments, you’re likely to be back on the road to good credit in no time.

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