There is no quick "fix" for rebuilding your credit history. The length of time it will take depends on the severity of your previous difficulties. However, with time and patience, you can rehabilitate your credit history and improve your credit scores.
Here are several steps you can take now to start building a more positive credit history over time.
- Check your credit report. Start by getting a copy of your credit report from Experian and the other national credit reporting companies. If you find information you believe is inaccurate on the reports, you can submit a dispute to correct the information.
- Make all of your payments on time every time. Payment history is the most important factor in credit scores. Bringing accounts current and continuing to pay on time will have a positive impact on your credit scores.
Late and missed payments will significantly reduce your scores and can stay on your report for seven years from the date of the delinquency. With time, the negative information will eventually be deleted and the positive information will remain, improving your credit scores.
- Reduce debts. Reduce your balances on credit cards and other revolving credit accounts. Having a high credit utilization rate, or balance-to-limit ratio, can negatively impact your credit scores. It's a good idea to keep your credit utilization rate below 30 percent. However, the lower your utilization rate, the better. People with the best credit scores have utilization rates of less than 10 percent. Ideally you should pay the balance in full each month.
More tips on how to fix your credit report can be found on the Ask Experian blog.
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Scoped on: 1/31/2017
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