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How to Repair Your Bad Credit Score Fast: With Service or by Yourself

by: Sean Michaels

Update: 10/2019

 

How to Repair Your Credit Score Fast

Page Contents

Why You Need to Repair Your Credit Score Fast

 

Credit scores are a tricky subject – in some ways, you may feel like your credit score is out of your control. It’s vital to have a good credit score if you want to move forward financially – it can help you gain access to financing and ensure you receive competitive interest rates. While all items on credit reports disappear eventually, this can take years to happen. If you need to improve your score quickly, it’s essential to take considerable action.

In this article, we take an in-depth look at how to repair your credit fast. Our company is dedicated to helping our readers better understand their credit improvement options. Improving your credit score quickly isn’t impossible or particularly difficult, it just takes the right knowledge. Check out our content below if you need help boosting your score.

The Myth: You Must Wait Years for Your Credit Score to Improve

So, how long does it take to repair credit? Damaging your credit score doesn’t take long – if you miss a few payments or forget to pay a debt, you can impart considerable damage on a healthy score. While it can take years to build up a solid credit history, it can take just a few weeks to ruin it. Many people give up when they damage their scores – they figure there’s no chance of considerably improving their score without waiting for items to disappear.

Most significant items stay on your credit score for up to seven years, while some smaller items tend to impact your score for 12-24 months. If you have a missed payment, or you default on a payment, it will most likely remain on your score for seven years. For this reason, if you want to improve your credit score quickly, you can’t just wait around for things to change.

There are a variety of strategies that people use to improve their credit score quickly – there are many different components that contribute towards your credit score. It’s important to approach the process depending on the type of problem you have with your credit score.

Step 1: Assess Reasons for Your Low Score

So, how do I repair my credit file? The first step in repairing your credit is determining the reasons your credit score is low. If you want to improve your score quickly, you need to focus on attacking the components of your credit score that are damaging your report. You don’t want to waste time trying to repair the wrong components of your report.

Some forms of credit issues are much easier to fix, others will take more time. The types of problems on your report will help determine how fast you can improve your score and move forward financially. Below we will take a look at some of the most common problems that might be leaving you with a low credit score.

High Outstanding Debts

If you carry a large amount of outstanding debt on your credit cards or lines of credit, you may find that your credit score is impacted drastically. The amount of debt isn’t as important as the ratio of debt to available credit. For example, if you have $1,000 of debt on a card with a $1,500 limit, this is much worse than having $1,000 worth of debt on a card with a $12,000 limit. This is called credit utilization – you want to utilize as little credit as possible, it shows lenders that you are a responsible borrower.

Typically, you want to keep your utilization below 30%, but if you can keep it even lower than this, it is much better for your score. Depending on the credit reporting agency, your credit utilization tends to comprise about 30% of your score. If you currently carry high balances on your credit cards or lines of credit, this could be one of the many reasons that your credit score is so low.

How to Repair Your Credit Score Fast

Defaults

If you don’t pay back your debts and your lender has to use a debt recovery company to try and recover their money, this will damage your credit score. If you want to avoid serious problems with your credit, this is one of the primary credit report items to avoid. These defaults may stay on your credit report for up to seven years and can damage your score by a significant amount.

Lack of Credit History

Another critical problem that many people face is a lack of credit history. If you don’t have a long payment history or any loans or credit cards, it’s hard for lenders to trust that you will repay your debts. It’s important to start building a credit history if you want to ensure that you are able to borrow money in the future.

Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest problems to fix in a quick amount of time. At the end of the day, you’ll need to open accounts and maintain payment history if you want your score to improve due to lack of history. This is why people begin to build credit histories from a young age, even if they don’t need to borrow money at the time.

Late Payments

Another common problem that many borrowers have is late payment issues. If you pay your bills or credit cards late, you may have a late payment registered on your credit report. Typically, your bill has to be 30 days late or more for it to be registered as late on your credit report. If you’re someone that has late payments on your credit report, they may stay on your report for up to seven years.

Even if you don’t default on the late payment, it will still stay on your report. That’s why it’s vital to pay back your bills as quickly as possible. Don’t get yourself into a situation where you damage your score because of negligence. If you have a lot of late payments, this is probably one of the major factors impacting your credit score.

Credit Inquiries

Credit inquiries are a credit report item that is next to impossible to avoid. Every time you apply for a credit card, the lender will typically pull your credit report to check if you are eligible – the same goes for other forms of loan applications. If you apply for a lot of loans, you will end up with a glut of inquiries on your report.

Lenders view inquiries as indications that you are constantly seeking financing. If you’re someone who needs cash on a regular basis, they may look at this negatively. For this reason, most inquiries can knock your credit score down 5-15 points. This is why you should only apply for financing if you know you want to utilize the capital.

Bankruptcy

If you are unable to satisfy your large debts, you may have to declare bankruptcy. This is an extremely serious process that will damage your credit score significantly. This is probably the largest negative item for US credit reports. If you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, this is probably the most significant negative factor on your report. For this reason, it’s important to consider other options prior to filing for bankruptcy – it makes it very hard to apply for financing.

How to Repair Your Credit Score Fast?

Pull Your Credit Report

So, what’s the next step in how to repair your own credit? If you have a low credit score, but you’re not sure why – it’s very important that you pull your credit report. Most people know what their credit score is, but few actually look at their credit report. If you want to fully understand why your credit score is low, it’s important to look at all the details.

There are plenty of credit report companies online that offer you credit reports for a small fee – while this might seem like a good deal, it’s not. Each of the major credit reporting bodies is required to provide you with a free credit report each year. You can take advantage of this by heading to their website’s and asking for a credit report.

Sometimes it can take a few days to receive your report. If you’re really in a hurry, you may have to pay a small fee for immediate access to your report. Either way, make sure to avoid rip-off credit report companies that charge you significant fees to access your credit report – you can typically go straight to the source for much cheaper.

Primary Ways to Improve Credit Score Quickly

So, once you have assessed the different problems with your credit score, it’s important to tackle the problem straight away. As mentioned previously, it’s important to prioritize the sections of your credit score that are most damaged. It’s also important to find the parts of your credit score that can be easily fixed. For example, if you have a lack of credit history, this is quite hard to fix quickly – you’ll need to build your credit profile over the coming months.

In this section of our article, we’ll take a look at some of the top techniques that can help you fix your credit score quickly. Make sure to take some of these on board if you need a fast improvement for an upcoming credit application.

Pay Down Credit Card Debt

So, how does credit repair work if you have a lot of credit card debt? This is one of the easiest ways to improve your credit score in a quick amount of time. While some people will not have the money to pay down their credit card debt, those who do will benefit immensely if they reduce their credit card or line of credit balances.

If you can improve your current utilization rate, you’ll see vast improvements in your credit score in a very short period of time. Most credit card companies provide you with a bill with an updated credit card balance once a month. When your statement period is over, your credit card provider will also typically send your bill’s balance to the major reporting agencies. This will then update your credit score with your new utilization figures. This means that you could potentially increase your score significantly in a few days if your credit card statement period is nearing its close.

If you want to improve your score by 50+ points, paying off your credit card balances can help you achieve quick results. Keep in mind, if you don’t have bad utilization figures, the impact this will have is typically much less!

Expand Credit Limits

If you can’t pay down your credit card debt at the moment, expanding your available credit is one way to improve your credit utilization ratio. Call and ask your lenders if they can expand your limit. Don’t spend the extra available credit just because you have it – use this better ratio to improve your credit score.

Find Mistakes on Credit Report

Another quick way to improve your score is by finding mistakes on your credit report. Most people don’t realize it, but mistakes on credit reports are extremely common. If you want to ensure your credit score is where it should be, you need to be mindful of the items on your report. Sometimes, reporting companies can make mistakes when they put items on their reports.

In addition, sometimes lending companies can provide the wrong information – in this case, one of their mistakes might be damaging your credit. If you do find any mistakes on your report, you can submit requests for their removal. You will most likely have to provide proof that they are mistakes. If the mistake is because of lender error, you’ll need to contact the lender to ask them if they can remove the item via a request.

This is one of the many reasons it’s important to check your credit report. If you only look at your credit score, there’s a high chance you’ll have no idea that there are mistakes on your report. If you have items removed from your report, you may see an instant improvement on your credit repair.

Use Credit Repair to Remove Particular Items

In some cases, credit reporting bodies can be very difficult. In other cases, a lender might not be cooperating with your request to remedy a situation. If this is the case, you can use a credit repair company to try and remove the item. Credit repair companies specialize in putting pressure on reporting bodies and companies – they can give you the legal power to remove items from your report.

Sometimes it’s too hard to remove incorrect items by yourself. Using a larger company may cost a small fee, but it can save you considerable hassle in the future. There are hundreds of credit repair companies to choose from – make sure to check them out on consumer watchdog groups to see what past customers have thought of their work.

Also, there are some items that can be removed on technicalities. If you have a lot of inquiries on your credit report, a credit repair company may be able to find loopholes to have them removed. They can also question the validity of other items on your credit report. Credit reporting bodies and lenders have to abide by strict guidelines if they want to add items to your report – if there are any slip-ups, a credit repair company may be able to remove them.

Many credit repair companies are actually law firms – they use legal loopholes to find any issues on your report. If you want the expertise of a legal team on your side, it’s important to use a credit repair company that is also a law firm.

Your Credit Score: The Gateway to Financial Freedom

If you are able to increase your credit score, you’ll have much more available access to finance. This can help you take advantage of opportunities as they arise. If you are currently unable to access finance, or you can’t refinance your debt, you’re losing out on potential profit.

Reasons for Repairing Your Credit Score Quickly

There are a variety of specific reasons for improving your credit score. If you want to understand the specific benefits of repairing your credit, it’s important to look at some financial situations that require solid credit scores. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the top reasons you should repair your credit as quickly as possible!

Applying for a Mortgage

Purchasing a home is one of the most important investments you can ever make – it can also be one of the most expensive. If you want to avoid overpaying for your mortgage, it’s important to reduce your interest rate as much as possible. Many lenders assign higher interest rates to people with lower credit scores. Considering many mortgages are fixed over prolonged periods of time, it’s important to make sure that you have as low of an interest rate as possible.

Make as much of an attempt to raise credit score numbers before you shop around for a mortgage. It will give you much more bargaining power in negotiations.

Applying for a New Credit Card or Car Loan

If you want to apply for a new credit card or car loan, it’s important that your credit score is in top shape. Credit card companies often provide instant replies after applications – they almost entirely decide on your creditworthiness via your credit score. The same goes for car loans, you can apply for auto loans online.

For this reason, you need to have as good of a credit score as possible if you’re in the market for a new credit card or auto loan. If your application is denied, you’ll end up with added inquiries on your report which will then lower your chances of being approved in the future. Prepare your credit score adequately if you want a hassle-free application process.

Refinancing Current Debt

If you have a lot of high-interest debt, you may find that you’re in a position that you can’t afford your current debt. One of the best ways to reduce your overall debt liability is to refinance the debt through debt consolidation. This allows you to pay off your debt with a loan, and then pay back your new loan at a lower interest rate. It also helps you move all your payments into a single payment.

If you want to refinance your debt, it’s essential to improve your credit as quickly as possible. The entire purpose of refinancing is obtaining a lower interest rate. Since many refinancing loans are unsecured, it’s important to try and reduce the interest rate as much as possible. The lower your interest rate, the more you will save on your refinancing repayments.

Keep Up the Good Work

So, now that you know how to repair credit yourself, it’s also important to keep up the excellent work. You don’t want to slip back into the same problems you had before. If you want a solid credit score for long into the future, it’s important to stay conscious of your score. Check your credit score and report regularly to make sure there aren’t any glaring issues.

Also, keeping your credit card balances low or expanding your available credit can also improve your score – make this a habit, so you don’t have to worry about it when you want to apply for a new loan. Once your credit score is in good shape, it’s important to keep it that way.

Verdict: Start the Process

After reading this article, you should have a solid idea of how to repair bad credit fast. If you have an upcoming loan or financing application, improving your credit score quickly can save you a lot of money. Remember, if you use some of the techniques mentioned in this article, there’s a high chance you won’t have to wait a considerable amount of time to repair your credit history.

As modern borrowers, it’s essential to do everything we can to improve our credit score. While a long history of good behavior is the best way to guarantee a solid score, short-term plans can also help you improve your standing if you need improvement quickly!

FAQ

Almost everyone shrieks at the sight of their credit score dropping. Your credit score is so important to your financial future that even a slight drop can have long-turn impacts. Just one or two late payments could take up to a year to recover from. Thankfully, there are several credit repair companies and different methods you can use to repair your credit. Defaulting on a loan or missing one payment isn’t the end of the world. There’s no doubt that repairing your credit score is difficult, however, there are some ways you can do it quickly. The below questions are geared towards consumers who have suffered hits to their credit score but want to improve their financial standing.

Repairing Your Credit Score

The worst thing about credit is that it drops and whole lot faster than it increases. Missing a few payments can cause your credit score to plummet. Some people feel like they’re out of choices when they hit rock bottom. Even if you have a “poor” credit score now, climbing back into the “good” category is possible. Repairing your credit scores requires executing a budget, paying off old debt, and even securing additional debt. To help you learn more about repairing your credit score, we’ve answered some of the most common questions:

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How to repair a low credit score?
You can repair a low credit score by first focusing on past-due payments and working to get those balances cleared as soon as possible. Contact the creditor to see if they would be willing to rescind the late payments.
How to repair my credit score myself?
An effective way to repair your credit score yourself is to pay your bills on time. The bills that affect your credit score the most include rent, utilities, cell phone payments, and cable.
What is the best way to repair your credit score?
The best way to repair your credit score is to make payments on time and pay off your revolving debt. Since revolving debt plays a big part in your credit score, it’s best to minimize it.
How to repair your credit score now?
The quickest way to repair your credit score is to review it for any errors and file a dispute. You should expect a response from the credit reporting agency within two weeks.
How long does it take to repair my credit score?
The amount of time depends on your credit history. If you start taking steps to improve your credit score now, such as paying off debt, you could see a slight increase within a few months.
How to repair credit fast?
You can repair credit fast by lowering you credit utilization. Stay well below your credit limits each month and start making small payments each month to keep your balances down.
How do I repair my credit score for free?
You can repair your credit score for free by obtaining a report and then examining it for errors. Once you find an error, the next step is to file a dispute for free with the credit reporting agency.
How to repair credit score after short sale?
Repairing your credit score after a short sale requires you to take on normal “good credit” practices. This includes paying bills on time, reducing your outstanding debt, and avoiding taking on new credit.
How to repair credit fast yourself?
A trick that many people use to repair their credit score fast is by requesting an additional credit line. By having more available credit, your credit utilization ratio will decrease, and your credit score will increase.
How to repair your credit score in 30 days?
While it might sound counterintuitive, raising your credit limit can increase your score in 30 days because it lowers your debt utilization ratio. This ratio makes up 30% of your credit score.
How many months does it take to repair credit?
It can take up to six months before you see improvements in your credit score. To fully repair your credit score, it can take several years depending on where your credit currently stands
How many years does it take to repair credit?
It depends on your financial history and your current score. It can range anywhere from one year to ten years. A chapter 7 bankruptcy, for example, won’t fall off for ten years.

Fixing Your Credit After Defaulting or Making Late Payments

Hardships sometimes seem like a domino effect. You lose your job and then can’t make payments, or even worse, end up defaulting on your loan and risk foreclosure. Financial events like filing for bankruptcy, settling debt, making late payments, and defaulting on loans typically stay on your credit report for seven to ten years. The below questions will help you understand how to raise your credit after taking a big hit to your credit score.

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How to repair credit score quickly after 5 years bankruptcy?
Since a bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years, it will still affect your score five years after. The best way to repair your credit is to create a strict budget and stick to it so you avoid taking on too much debt.
How to repair credit score after collections?
You can send a goodwill to a creditor to kindly ask them to remove the collection notice from your credit score. If that doesn’t work, the next best way is to make sure you pay off the balance due.
How to repair your credit score after debt settlement?
A popular way to repair your credit score after debt settlement is to get a secured credit card. Upon signing up for the card, you’ll have to make a deposit which will determine your credit limit.
How to repair credit after charge offs?
A charge off will stay on your credit report for seven years. One way to improve your credit is to talk to the original credit directly and ask if they will remove the charge off if you pay them.
How to repair damaged credit?
One of the best ways to repair damaged credit is to carefully review your credit report and see if there are any incorrect late payments or other negative marks that you can dispute.
How to repair credit after chapter 7?
A good way to repair your credit score after chapter 7 bankruptcy is to take out a secured loan. Since a lender will be hesitant to lend to you without putting down an asset, a secured loan helps you rebuild your credit.
How to repair credit after foreclosure?
Working to maintain a low debt-to-income ratio will help you boost your credit in the long-term. Expert say that this ratio should be 36% or less as a standard rule-of-thumb.
How long to repair credit score after foreclosure?
A foreclosure will appear on your credit report for seven years. Depending on your financial habits, it might only take a few years to repair the damage done to your credit.
How to repair credit after repossession?
Getting a secured credit card and making timely payments on your other debt will help you repair your credit score after repossession. However, you should try to negotiate with your car lender before your car is repossessed.
How to repair your credit after chapter 13?
An instrument that will help you repair your credit after chapter 13 bankruptcy is a credit builder loan. With a credit builder loan, you put the principal amount in a CD and then make payments against it.
How to repair your credit after identity theft?
The first step to repair your credit after identity theft is to file a police report and call all your lenders. Dispute all fraudulent charges to mitigate the effect they will have on your credit score.
How long to repair credit after debt settlement?
Since debt settlement stays on your credit report for seven years, it can take a few years to start gradually building your credit back up. The exact time depends on your financial activity after the settlement.
How long to repair credit after closing credit card account?
That depends on your account’s standing before closing the credit card account. If you settled the debt with the credit card company, it could take up to five or six years to fully repair your debt.
How long does it take to repair your credit after loan default?
A defaulted loan will typically show up on your credit report for seven years. If you work directly with the lender and make regular payments, you could have the default removed within a year.
How long to repair credit score after late payments?
A late payment will stay on your credit report for two to five years, depending on how late the payment was. Granted you don’t make late payments again, it can take a few years to fully recover.
How to repair credit score in 6 months?
It is possible to significantly raise your credit score in 6 months if you consistently pay your bills on time, avoid taking on new debt, and pay off the balance on your credit cards.
How to repair credit score after bankruptcy?
If you can, take out a debt consolidation loan to help pay off your other outstanding debts. Even though bankruptcy stays on your credit report for ten years, you can increase your store by reducing your outstanding debt.
How long does it take to repair your credit after deed and lieu?
A deed and lieu will stay on your credit report for seven years. It takes between two and three years for you to rebuild your credit up enough to get loans (such as a mortgage).
How long does it take to repair credit after debt relief?
The average consumer takes between three to six to fully recover from debt settlement. On the other hand, debt consolidation can actually help your credit score.
How long does it take to repair credit once you are current?
Just because you’re current doesn’t mean there aren’t other things that can affect your credit such as bankruptcy or debt settlement. It could take anywhere from a few months to a few years.
How long to repair my credit after a sudden drop?
The amount of time it takes to repair your credit depends on why it dropped. You can improve your credit in about six months by making payments on time and paying off debt.
How long to repair credit after buying house?
Buying a house can hurt your credit score when lenders inquire about your credit before giving you a mortgage. On average, it can take up to a year or more to recover from this ding.

Credit Repair Services

Sometimes the best way to fix your credit is by using credit repair services. These companies analyze your credit report and help you identify and correct errors. In addition, they provide counseling services that will help you better manage your debt and find new lines of credit to improve your credit score. While these companies can be very helpful for some, your score won’t jump 100 points overnight.

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Can you pay someone to repair your credit score?
Yes, there are many credit repair companies you can pay to help you repair your credit score. These companies help guide you and monitor your credit score.
Do credit score repair companies work?
Yes, credit score repair companies do really work. While they can’t fix your credit overnight, they do use legitimate techniques that will help boost your credit score over time.
How do credit repair companies boost score?
Credit repair companies help you boost your score by analyzing your credit report and helping you remove errors and aged items. In addition, they provide credit consultation services.
Does credit repair hurt your credit score?
No, credit repair does not hurt your credit score. Credit repair helps you find errors on your credit report and manage your debt – all of which will help you increase your credit score.
Who is the least expensive FICO credit score repair?
For a $69 initial fee and $69 charge every month afterwards, Sky Blue Credit Repair is one of the most affordable FICO credit score repair companies. You can also get your credit score report monthly for $14.95.
How much does credit repair cost?
Using a credit repair service usually costs between $60 and $100 per month. You don’t have to use a credit repair service to boost your credit – there are ways to do it for free.
Why does my credit score fluctuate during credit repair?
Just because you started to repair your credit, doesn’t mean your score will magically jump. Normal behavior (such as late payments) can cause your score to fluctuate during credit repair.
How long should a credit analysis be for a credit repair service?
A credit analysis’s length depends on how complex your financial history is. Someone with a simple background would get a quicker analysis than someone with multiple lines of credit.

Fixing Your Credit to Take Out Additional Loans

When your credit substantially drops, it becomes much harder to take out a loan. Buying a car, renting an apartment, and taking out a mortgage is nearly impossible with bad credit. With a few smart techniques, you can take out additional loans and watch your credit increase slowly each month. We’ve compiled the below questions to help portray ways to fix your credit if you need additional lines of credit.

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How to repair your credit to buy a house?
If you want to repair your credit to buy a house, stick to a budget that will let you pay off outstanding debts. Reducing outstanding debts shows a lender that you can make a mortgage payment.
How do I repair my credit, so I can get a low interest vehicle loan?
You can repair your credit for a low interest vehicle loan by maximizing your pre-existing lines of credit, signing up for a secured credit card, and paying off your outstanding debt.

Sean Michaels

Sean brings a decade worth of experience in credit repair to our company. Sean started his career working in an accounting department for a major credit card company. This was a natural fit, given his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting.