How Do You Repair Bad Credit? What You Need to Know

how do you repair bad credit Credit score. It just makes me shiver to even think about looking at my credit score, knowing I likely have bad credit (or at least less than good credit). Nothing good can ever come of opening boxes that you know should stay closed! Except that your score is important. You need it to do everything from renting an apartment to buying a car. So I guess it’s important we understand what it is and know how to fix it. So, how do you repair bad credit? Here’s what you should know.

What is a Bad Credit Score?

Bad credit simply means that in the past you’ve failed to pay your obligations. Perhaps you’ve been late on your credit card payments, bills or other financial obligations. Things like legal judgments, tax liens and bankruptcies all count. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with anything below 650 considered to be “bad.” If you are considered to have a poor credit score, the consequences tend to lie within being unable to access additional financial opportunities such as credit cards or loans. It might even affect your insurance payments and new phone bills.

How Can I Repair My Credit Score?

Bad credit is totally fixable. Granted, it doesn’t happen overnight but with a little planning and some hard work you can absolutely move your credit score out of the bad and into the good. Fixing your credit score starts with knowing what it is. So, find out your credit score. The only federally authorized credit score you can get is on AnnualCreditReport.com. Though, you can find estimates elsewhere. Once you know what your score is, the following steps (that might take a while) will help to raise it:

  • Correct any errors. If there is any incorrect information file a dispute to try and get it taken off.
  • Pay off all of your debt. Since this isn’t going to be done tomorrow, try paying more than the minimum payment to help pay it off faster.
  • Increase your credit limit. This does not mean spend more, but it helps to lower your overall credit utilization and increase your score IF you pay everything on time and keep your balances low.

Note: paying off a collection doesn’t mean it goes away. It sticks around for another 7 years.

Managing Your Credit Score Going Forward

Once you have lowered your credit score, or more accurately while you’re raising your credit score it’s time you set yourself up for success. Going forward, doing one or more of the following can possibly help you keep your credit score on the good side:

  • Set reminders for bill payments and add automatic payments. This will help make sure your bills are paid on time, which is important to your credit score.
  • Keep your balance on all of your credit cards low, and make sure to pay them fully monthly.
  • Monitor your credit score on an ongoing basis. That way if there are drastic payments, you’ll know.

Having bad credit isn’t the end of the world. It’s not good, but if you take proactive steps and set up a strategy you can stave it off and save your credit score. Do you have tips for improving your credit score? Share them in the comments below!

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