Bad credit can seriously ruin your life. If you let your credit score fall too low it can prevent you from doing things like buying a car, a house and even getting a job you wanted. Many people allow themselves to fall into debt and wind up seriously dinging their credit.
If that’s the case you may be wondering if there are any quick fixes to your situation. You may be wondering if you can erase bad credit instantly or if there are any ways to help rebuild.
Can You Erase Bad Credit Instantly?
No. Sadly, you can’t erase bad credit instantly. A poor or bad credit score is considered to be 619 and below. You can work to increase your score over time though and you can increase it in small increments fairly quickly. (Check out how to raise your credit score by 200 points.) Outside of taking the small steps to increase your score a little bit, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score greatly.
How to Rebuild Your Credit
Although there is no way to erase bad credit instantly you do have options and there are steps you can take immediately to start improving your score.
- First, make sure you know what your score is and be sure everything that is appearing on your credit report is accurate. Sometimes there may be something on your credit that you did not authorize (someone may have gotten your information) and you can dispute the transaction.
- Next, if you are behind on payment, arrange payment plans to get caught up. Most of the time lenders and other companies you pay monthly will set up a payment plan that will work with your current financial situation. This will begin to help your score within a couple months.
- Don’t make any more late payments (and don’t miss any either). Late and missed payments greatly affect your credit score and, while it won’t erase bad credit instantly, paying your bills on time will help you increase your score.
- Pay down your debts. If you have debts you should work to pay them down. Once you’ve caught up on your bills and are back on track you can begin to pay more than the minimum payments each month and increase your credit score over time.
- Open a secured credit card. These types of credit cards usually require a cash deposit but they are a great way to begin building credit or help you repair bad credit. It won’t erase bad credit instantly but it will help you raise your credit score and learn to use a credit card account responsibly.
Things That Will Damage Your Credit
The tips mentioned above will all help you increase your credit score over time, however, there are some things that you will want to avoid if you are trying to rebuild your credit. Since there’s no way to make bad credit just disappear you’ll want to steer clear of these:
- Avoid closing accounts. Closing credit card accounts or any other credit account can negatively effect your score. If you don’t want to use the credit card any more many people cut the card up and trash it to avoid using it. This way the account remains open (not damaging your credit).
- Don’t make too many inquiries. Making to many inquiries on your credit will hurt you too. If you are denied for a credit card or loan don’t immediately apply for another. This will hurt your credit.
If you follow the tips above you will be well on your way to improving your credit score in no time.
Have some additional thoughts or ideas? Share them with us in the comment section!
Photo: Jim Shorkey Auto Group
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Amanda Blankenship is the Director of Social Media for District Media. In addition to her duties handling everything social media, she frequently writes for a handful of blogs and loves to share her own personal finance story with others. When she isn’t typing away at her desk, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, husband, and dog. During her free time, you’re likely to find her with her nose in a book, hiking, or playing RPG video games.