Have low or bad credit? Then it is possible to increase your credit score by following some simple and easy steps. The easy steps could be to pay your bills on time, open up an account that sends reports to the credit companies and maintain a low balance. Other ways to improve credit include paying bills for popular streaming services, utilities, and cell phones. You could try to improve your credit score yourself or even get help from companies built to increase people’s credit scores.
It can be challenging to decide which strategy to follow and depends upon whether you are rebuilding credit or building credit from scratch. We have collected guidelines to improve your credit score yourself and companies that help build credit scores.
Is There Any Timeline to Rebuild the Credit Score?
There is no specific amount of time by which a credit can be rebuilt. Creditors, lenders, and loan providers can not provide a timeline by which the credit-scored will be improved. The time it takes depends upon the factors harming your credit and your steps to rebuild it. If you take decisive and practical steps, you could improve your credit within a single month.
For example, if the most significant thing hurdling a good credit score in your case is missing a payment once, it can be a short time to start rebuilding your credit as you make timely payments. Whereas, if it’s not a single payment you missed, but multiple costs and you try to catch up after going over 90 days behind, then it might take a long time before you start rebuilding your credit.
Even if you start rebuilding your credit, the negative things may remain in your credit report for a long time. Most negative marks begin to diminish and disappear altogether in 7 years. This means that they would stop impacting your scores, and you could improve your scores faster. There is a high probability that the negative terms like falling behind on loan payments and not paying your dues on time will become part of your credit report and stay there for almost ten years. These will adversely impact the creditworthiness of an individual. Moreover, some other negative terms that can negatively impact a person’s credit report will include bankruptcies and judgments.
But, letting time rebuild your credit is not the only option. You could follow some steps to rebuild credit or get assistance from a company to improve your credit score quickly. This article includes some easy steps that you could follow to rebuild your credit score at a fast pace.
How to Start Rebuilding Your Credit Score?
The next thing is to go through the actual steps that you could take to start rebuilding your credit. There are different paths an individual can take that will help them rebuild their credit score. A person can take one route to rebuild their credit by themselves, including taking financial matters into their own hands. The other method that a person can implement is to reach out to creditors and loan providers, including banks and financial institutions. They can help you store your creditworthiness to the point where you wish it to be. The former would save some money but may require more time and effort, while the latter offers peace of mind.
So, how to repair credit fast? First, we look at ways you could improve your credit score yourself.
How to Rebuild Credit Yourself?
Regularly Keep a Check on Your Credit Report and Score
The credit report is sent to the score calculating companies to determine your credit score. It contains basic information about whether you have paid bills on time and how you used your credit in the last ten years. Three bureaus have your credit report: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You should keep a check on all three of the credit reports to determine the factors harming your credit. The thing is to check your credit score from time to time from the credit scoring websites or credit card providers for free. Keep in mind that checking your score needs a soft credit inquiry that, in turn, causes no harm to your credit score.
Submit Lesser Credit Applications
To build your credit file from scratch, you need to open an account. But if you send credit applications very often, this could lead to a hard credit inquiry. These inquiries can hurt your credit score and keep on having a negative impact over time. So, you should limit how often you apply for a new account. One more way of damaging a person’s credit score would involve limiting the average age of the accounts of that individual.
Hard inquiries on your part and a decrease in the average age of your accounts can be considered minor factors that have less impact on your credit score than the other factors. But, if you are struggling to rebuild your credit, you must consider the minor factors too.
Make Timely Bill Payments
One of the most significant factors towards making or spoiling your credit score is paying the bills on time or delaying them. Timely payment of bills ensures that creditors and lenders will get a better credit score from you. Around 35% of the FICO Score comprises timely bill payments. If you miss a payment or make it late, it can become a problem that would take a while to get fixed.
- Step 1 – Bills should be paid promptly: The primary step involving the betterment of credit scores revolves around paying dues on time would lead to a positive attitude. This positive attitude is directly proportional to the creditworthiness of any individual that is seeking to improve their credit. Late payments and missed payments could negatively impact your FICO and other credit scores. You could set up payment reminders on the banks’ online portals to remind you about paying bills regularly. Another beneficial option is getting enrolled in automatic payments via credit card. You should also enable the loan providers to automatically debit the payments from your bank account.
- Step 2 – In case of missed payments: The second thing is to try not to miss any payments. But, if you miss out on any fees or make them late, try to pay the subsequent bills on time. If you try to pay the following statements on time, the missed payments will stop hurting your credit score. The impact of past payments would gradually fade on the FICO scores, and the recent timely payments would improve your credit score.
- Step 3 – Paying off a collection amount: If you pay off a collection account, remember that some items stay on your credit report, and some fade away with time. The collection amount is part of the credit report for up to seven years. So it will stay there for a specified amount of time and fade away when that time has passed.
- Step 4 – Contact your creditors: If you face any difficulties, a good option is to see a legitimate credit counselor or contact your creditors. This gradually increases your credit score but may not have rapid effects. The good thing is that if you seek help from a professional, it will not hurt your FICO score.
Fix Errors on Time
People sitting at credit bureaus are humans, and they may make errors while calculating your credit score and making your credit report. So, if you see any errors, then make a complaint fast as getting a loan can become troublesome and costly with an erroneous credit report. So, know your credit and your credit report and fix or remove errors if you find any.
Build a Suitable Credit File
The first step to building a credit file is to open a new account. Open an account in banks that report to the major credit bureaus, and it is good to send your report to all three credit bureaus via the lenders and card issuers. This automatically starts to build your credit report, and if you have several open and active accounts at the same time could lead to a better credit report.
If you have a low credit score or are starting to build credit from scratch, having secured cards or credit-builder loans could be an excellent way to establish a high credit score. If any of your customers responsibly use their credit card, getting yourself added as an authorized user on their credit card can also be a helpful thing. A person has the choice to go for those credit cards that offer better terms, including factors like no annual fee needs to be paid by the customer. Moreover, the customer would also receive favorable rewards, but these rewards differ from one card provider to another.
Don’t Take Out Credit Unnecessarily
Whenever you apply to take out credit, the creditor runs a hard credit check, which can drop your credit score from one to five points. Therefore, to prevent this credit score, you should always think twice before taking out credit. If a person decides to take out credit (for personal use), it will adversely impact their credit score. The impact is directly proportional to the average age of the accounts. So, it is advised by financial experts to never apply for credit unless you seriously need it.
Instead of Other Credit Cards, Use a Secured Credit Card.
Financial experts advise that people seeking to improve their credit score should apply for a secured card. By doing that, those people will rebuild their credit efficiently and effectively. The working of these credit cards goes like this: You pay a cash deposit before using the card, and the deposit amount is usually equal to the credit limit, and you can make safe purchases. After making the deposit, you could use the secured credit card like any other credit card, and if you make payments on time, this will help build your credit.
If someone is opening a new account or wishes to make the past mistakes fade away, then having a secured card can effectively increase the credit score.
Keep in mind that you should look for a secured card with reporting enabled for all three major credit bureaus. There is a type of credit card termed alternative credit card. The distinctive feature of these credit cards is that they do not need a security deposit, so you should consider this option.
If you continue to make on-time payments, having a secured credit card would increase your score with time and may take several months.
Don’t Have a Credit Utilization Ratio of More Than 30%
The credit utilization ratio is calculated by comparing your overall credit card limit against your credit card balances. Lenders also consider this ratio and the credit score to determine how good you are at managing your finances. It is deemed suitable if you have a 0% and 30% credit utilization ratio.
Pay Revolving Account Due on Time
If you are paying your bills on time but have a high balance on revolving credit accounts, this can ultimately damage your credit score by creating a high utilization rate. It is important to know that the revolving accounts consist of credit lines and different cards. So it is apparent that paying due on a revolving account is essential to improve the credit score of any individual that wants to improve their creditworthiness. You could improve your credit score by maintaining a low balance on revolving accounts compared to their credit limits. People aiming to attain a high credit score try to keep their credit utilization ratio below 30%.
Don’t Stay Indebted
If you are under debt, an excellent way to improve your credit can be to pay off the debts. This helps reduce your credit utilization ratio and thus improves your payment history.
Two ways can be used to pay off the debt a person owes to the creditor. One method is known as the snowball method, and the other is called the debt avalanche method. The snowball method works when the smallest debt is paid first, and then the individual moves towards the larger debt, which is paid net. While the avalanche method works the opposite way, it focuses on repaying your high-interest debts first and then moving on to the lower-interest ones. You could analyze your situation to find which method would work best for you.
After any person pays a debt, there can be a temporary fall in the credit score. But it would help if you didn’t worry about this as the credit score will increase after a short while.
Don’t Close Your Old Credit Cards
When a person pays off the old credit card, the next step is to close them. But, you shouldn’t do it this quick as it could decrease your credit score. While keeping the old credit cards open helps you establish your credit history. This, in turn, constitutes 15% of your entire credit score.
But, this cannot always be a good thing for you. A person should make a sensible decision and close down the card and all forms of transactions like it if they have to pay a fee to keep it operational. It is seen that some users wish to close all kinds of activity on the credit card after some time. So it is a choice that you should not keep as a liability if you don’t need it anymore. Consequently, if a card provider sees that a card has been active for some time, they will shut it down too.
Credit Companies to Help Build Your Credit
The next thing is to get assistance from professional credit building companies. You have to spend less time and energy building credit, and they offer peace of mind for the credit holders.
1. Credit Saint
Credit Saint is considered the Best overall credit building company. The credit repair agency based in New Jersey was founded in 2004. Since then, it has helped people build their credit scores, and the company has maintained an “A” rating since 2007. Credit Saint offers a friendly and knowledgeable yet free consultation that you could take before getting started with Credit Saint.
The working of Credit Saint goes like this: they first find out the incorrect and trouble-causing items on your credit report. Then they take necessary measures to remove them and prevent any further damage to your credit report. A famous identity theft and credit monitoring company works with Credit Saint, namely CreditSquads.com. If you are eligible, the experts at Credit Saint will open your account on this company to better understand your credit reports and improve your credit scores even further.
The best things about Credit Saint are:
- Free consultation for credit repair
- Accredited by the Better Business Bureau
- The package includes credit monitoring
- Money-back guarantee of 90 days
- You could monitor your progress through a private dashboard
A single disadvantage of Credit Saint is:
- You have to pay higher first-work fees as compared to the other companies
2. Experian Boost
Experian Boost is the best credit-improving company for adding Netflix and Phone bills to your credit.
The best things about Experian boost are:
- The firm has experience of more than two decades
- You could add water bills, Netflix, phone bills, etc. to tour score
- You can choose which things you need to add to your credit score
- Considered among one of the major three credit bureaus of US
- They offer a free credit boost service
- The average FICO score rises by 12 points
- You could follow it easily
- They do not include negative payments in the credit report
The few disadvantages of Experian are:
- They only improve the Experian report and no other reports
- You need to give them bank login details
- They do not provide Equifax or TransUnion reports
3. Lexington Law
Lexington Law is considered the firm with the whole experience in repairing credit. The Utah-based law firm was founded in 2004, and it has removed more than 56 million items from the clients’ credit reports since then. Lexington Law has undoubtedly helped millions of people to improve their credit scores by repairing their credit history. The law firm is not accredited anywhere and is also given a low ranking by the Better Business Bureau.
The credit repair specialists at Lexington Law work with the three credit bureaus. They explore the reasons that include the items which cause a decrease in the credit score. And as a result, work with the customer to remove it and rectify the credit score. The company also sends a cease-and-desist letter on your behalf. This helps in stopping excessive calls from creditors and creditor harassment. The duration of credit repair varies for every client, but on average, it takes about six months for Lexington Law to repair the credit report.
The best things about Lexington Law are:
- They offer free credit analysis and consultation
- They provide complimentary education on consumer credit
- The firm has experience of serving clients for more than 16 years
- The firm has a tremendous legal staff
- Seeing your credit circumstances, they will devise a specialized plan for you
- They have removed more than 10 million negative items up to now
- The firm has served more than 500.000 clients
The few disadvantages of Lexington Law are:
- They don’t offer a money-back guarantee
- They are not affiliated with BBB
- They don’t promise to remove negative items or raise your credit score
4. The Credit People
The Credit People is considered the best credit-building firm in terms of a money-back guarantee.
The best things about the credit people are:
- They offer a money-back guarantee
- They had about 100,000 clients in 20 years
- They provide an online dashboard
- They offer discounts for couples
- Free credit education and consultation
- They come with a minimal “first work” fee
- They offer unlimited disputes
- They come with a single no-frills plan
The few drawbacks of hiring The Credit People is that:
- They have a C+ rating at BBB
- Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau
- They have an email-only customer service for 9 hours ( from 8 am to 5 pm), with a response window open for 24 hours
CreditRepair.com is considered the best credit-building firm for extras.
The best things about this company are:
- They have experience of repairing credit for more than eight years
- They have resolved more than 19 million disputes and challenges
- They offer the customers a choice of 3 service packages
- They offer free credit education and consultation
- They have specialized tools for credit analysis
- You get a personal online dashboard
- The average time of improvement in 60 days
The few disadvantages that come with CreditRepair.com are:
- You have to pay a high first-work fee
- Not accredited by the Better Business Bureau
- They offer no money-back guarantee
How to Start Building Credit Scores?
There are some cases in credit scoring when a person does not even have a credit report or has such low credit information that the credit scoring models do not even assign them a credit score.
The criteria to have a credit score varies from company to company. For FICO Scores, you must have a bank account as old as six months, and there has been some credit activity going on during the past six months. Whereas, for VantageScore, the criteria are different. When an account appears on your credit report, you can have a credit score.
If you don’t meet the criteria specified by the credit scoring companies, they won’t calculate your credit score, and you are termed as “credit invisible.” This suggests that creditors and borrowers won’t determine your credibility and check your credit scores and pose difficulties in opening a new credit account.
Some people who have recently opened their accounts with creditors send the report to a single bureau. To obtain a credit score in this case, the credit will have to request a credit report and score from that bureau.
How Do Different Companies Calculate Credit Scores?
Different companies such as Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion send credit reports to FICO and VantageScore, using computer algorithms to analyze the information and calculate the credit score. Different scoring models consider other factors and weigh them differently to calculate. Here are some standard features of other companies:
The higher your credit score is, the less are the chances that you will fall behind on a bill. The reverse statement is also true.
The information present in the credit reports indicate how high or high low your credit score is.
The scoring models try to estimate for the next 24 months the chances that a cardholder will be 90 days late in bill payment.
Most lenders use the credit scores calculated by FICO and VantageScore to determine credibility. The lenders use the scores from the abovementioned scoring models to decide whether or not they qualify for a loan or not. The recent score range is from 300 to 850, and if you have a score in the mid-600s or higher, your score is considered a good credit score. The industry-specific score range created by FICO is from 250 to 900.
It can be clearly said that different companies use the same factors to determine your credit score. These things suggest that if you take steps to improve one of your scores, then the same steps would improve all of your credit scores calculated by different companies.
For instance, paying bills on time will improve all your credit scores, while spending too much can hurt all of your credit scores. A possible way to improve the credit score involves using the steps mentioned above and putting them into practical use. Different companies can be reached out that will help you improve your credit problem. Employ the most effective measures to increase your credit score quickly.
Having a high credit score is a necessity and finding the right way to build your credit score is a much-needed thing. You could try some steps to make your credit score by yourself or get assistance from credit repair companies. Both ways, the aim is to remove negative items from the credit report and ultimately boost the credit score.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does “Credit Repair” Mean?
Credit repair means the removal of unverified, negative, mistaken, and erroneous entries present on your credit reports. This is similar to repairing a house or a car and involves various effective methods.
What Is The Fastest Pace to Raise Credit?
If you have low or bad credit, it’s time to find ways to increase your credit quickly. Timely payment of bills is, and the least credit is considered one of the most potent ways. Using effective ways to raise credit could help you increase your credit in a short period of 30 days.
Can I Get Judgments and Bankruptcies Removed From My Credit Report?
Some things are tough to remove and can be termed impossible. These negative items include judgments and bankruptcies. They will be part of your credit report for almost ten years.
What Are Ways to Raise Credit Score Fast in a Month?
The most effective ways are to pay down the balance and pay the bills on time on your credit card. The credit card issuers send a credit report to the credit bureaus once every month, which adds to the improvement in the credit score as the credit bureaus take into account all the reports. Hence, taking such decisive steps will yield positive results in a month.
Is There a Way I Could Increase My Credit Score up to 100 in a Single Month?
Are you concerned with your low score? Read the abovementioned methods to increase the credit score and the different credit companies to help you attain this. The thing is to determine why your credit score isn’t growing and then resolve the problem. This way, you could increase your credit score up to 100 points during a single month.