You Can “Fix” Your Credit Report Without Help

Dear Experian,

This is the first time in a long time that I am daring to try to fix my credit report. Can I fix it myself, or do I need assistance from somebody else?


Dear PAE,

You can fix your credit report yourself. It will just take willpower and time.

In fact, you really can't "fix" a credit report. What you really must do is rehabilitate your credit history.

The first step is to get copies of your credit reports">get copies of your credit reports from Experian and each of the other national credit reporting companies. If you find anything to be inaccurate, follow their dispute instructions to have it corrected. You can also get your free credit report from Experian and dispute any inaccuracies at any time.

How to Improve Your Credit Scores

The next step is to reduce or pay off any debts you have. Beginning now, make all of your payments on time. Eventually the negative information will be deleted. Only positive information will be left.

Continue to use at least one credit card and pay it in full each month. That will demonstrate that you can manage your spending. Eventually, your credit report will once again appear sparkling to lenders.

I know that is easier to say than to do. It requires that you change your credit management and spending habits. That can be very difficult.

Credit Counseling Can Help You Change Old Habits

A reputable credit counseling service can help. A good credit counselor will not just negotiate payment plans and take your money. Quality credit counseling services are often non-profit and charge little or no fee for their services. They will offer, and in some cases require, that you complete budget training and money management courses as part of their programs.

If all a credit counselor offers is to negotiate a debt repayment plan or to set up a "debt consolidation" plan, look elsewhere. Unless you also learn to manage your credit, you will end up with the same problems or find yourself even deeper in debt in the future.

I'm confident that you can take control of your credit!

Thanks for asking.
The "Ask Experian" team

The purpose of this question submission tool is to provide general education on credit reporting. The Ask Experian team cannot respond to each question individually. However, if your question is of interest to a wide audience of consumers, the Experian team may include it in a future post and may also share responses in its social media outreach. If you have a question, others likely have the same question, too. By sharing your questions and our answers, we can help others as well.

Personal credit report disputes cannot be submitted through Ask Experian. To dispute information in your personal credit report, simply follow the instructions provided with it. Your personal credit report includes appropriate contact information including a website address, toll-free telephone number and mailing address.

To submit a dispute online visit Experian's Dispute Center. If you have a current copy of your personal credit report, simply enter the report number where indicated, and follow the instructions provided. If you do not have a current personal report, Experian will provide a free copy when you submit the information requested. Additionally, you may obtain a free copy of your report once a week through December 31, 2022 at AnnualCreditReport.