Improving your credit score takes time, but the results are well worth the effort. Follow a series of steps especially designed to help you boost your credit score and keep it as high as possible.
Steps to Repair Your Credit Score
FICO score repair can be accomplished in many different ways. Start by reviewing your credit report and then systematically move through these steps to start improving your score.
Review Your Credit Report
- Consumers denied credit or employment as a result of credit history if a copy of the report is requested within 60 days of receiving the official decision
- Unemployed individuals planning to seek employment within 60 days
- Welfare recipients
- Identity theft victims
If you find inaccuracies in your credit file, contact the credit reporting company via a dispute letter notifying them about your findings. Submit the completed document via certified mail along with a copy of the credit report that clearly identify the items in question.
The credit reporting company must conduct research and provide you with a copy of their findings within 30 days. If they do not rule in your favor, you can request that a statement of the dispute be include as an addendum to future reports and the actual credit file.
Make Timely Payments
A large portion of your credit score is determined by payment history. Past due payments can negatively affect your credit file for up to seven years if reported by the creditor. If you are having a difficult time remembering to remit payments in a timely manner, consider using the auto-recurring bill pay feature if it is offered by the creditor.
Stop Applying for Unnecessary Credit
If you submit a large number of credit applications within a short period of time, creditors may not be willing to extend new accounts as you may pose too much of a risk. This is especially true if you are new to the credit world. Excessive inquiries on your credit report can also bring your score down.
Refrain from Closing Old Credit Cards
Although many financial experts recommend otherwise, you should refrain from closing out old credit cards if your main objective is to raise your score. The longevity of your credit accounts helps boost your credit score, as does having available credit; an older open credit card account with a zero balance can help raise your credit score faster than if you close the account.
Reduce Your Debt
A large portion of your credit score is determined by the amounts owed to creditors, so excess funds should be allocated toward outstanding obligations to decrease debt balances. Start with those debts that have the highest APR and work your way down the list. During the process, be sure to continue making the minimum payments on all other outstanding accounts.
Beware of Scams
Scam artists work around the clock marketing bogus credit restoration services to consumers who are unaware of how the process actually works. In many instances, agencies who employ these fraudulent practices often encourage individuals to refrain from contacting the creditor to keep in the dark about what is actually taking place.
Repairing your credit score takes time, so do not trust companies that make the claim that they can fix your credit in a short amount of time for a fee. Instead, follow the steps above to repair your credit on your own or seek the assistance of a non-profit credit counselor.