[F]or people with bad credit, they are often looking for the easiest or best ways to improve their credit scores. While the quick-fix schemes promised by some companies don’t really work, there are some steps you can take on your own. You won’t see an improvement overnight, but your credit score will climb over time.
1. Get a Copy of Your Credit Report
You can’t fix anything if you don’t know what is on your credit report. You can go to annualcreditreport.com and request a free report from each of the credit reporting agencies. Review it and make note of any negative information.
2. Make Payments on Time
One issue that may be pulling your credit score down is late payments. While you may not be able to do anything about this information that is currently on there, you can show that you are now responsible by making payments on time in the future. This won’t improve your credit score right away, but it will help over time. When you have one year of on-time payments, you will notice in your score.
3. Pay Down Balances
Maxed-out credit cards also impact your credit score because it increases the amount of credit you’re utilizing. Start paying down your balances, and you’ll see an improvement in your credit score. This one step will have the most immediate impact. You just have to pay enough for it to be reflected in your score. Some goals to have would be pay off 50 percent, pay it down to 30 percent and then aim for 10 percent or less.
4. Pay Off Collections
Collections have a big impact on your credit rating. If you want your credit score to improve, you need to pay off the collections. While they won’t be removed from your report, they will show as paid. With changes in how credit scores are calculated, paid collections don’t have the same negative impact as unpaid ones.
You may not be able to tackle all of these steps at once, but if you work through them, you will see an improvement in your credit score.
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