10 Tips to Restore Your Credit Score Quickly

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By: Aquib Nawab


1 - Review your credit reports and dispute any errors

Request free credit reports from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Go through each report closely and highlight any inaccurate information like late payments, loans that don't belong to you, or incorrect balances. Draft dispute letters to each credit bureau with evidence proving the inaccuracy. This can improve your score within a few months if errors are fixed.

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2 - Pay down your credit card balances

Having credit card balances over 30% of the limit can drastically hurt your credit score. Make a concerted effort to pay down balances, especially on cards that are maxed out. Getting balances down to less than 10% of the limit can boost your score in as little as one billing cycle.

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3 - Become an authorized user on someone else’s account

Ask a relative or partner with a long credit history, high limits, and excellent payment record to add you as an authorized user to their credit card. Their positive credit behavior will start being reflected on your credit reports and can improve your score in as little as 1-2 months.

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4 - Limit new credit applications

Each new credit application can drop your credit score by a few points. Try to avoid applying for too many new credit cards in a short period of time. Space out applications by 6-12 months to give your score time to recover. Too many new accounts at once raises red flags.

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5 - Pay bills on time

Set up calendar reminders or automatic payments to ensure all bills like utility bills, cell phone bills, etc get paid by the due date. Payment history has a major impact on your score. Just one 30-day late payment can drop your score by 50-100 points depending on your history.

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6 - Pay off collection accounts

Contact collection agencies to see if you can settle or pay collection accounts in full. If the original creditor agrees to remove the collection notation from your credit reports after payment, your score could improve significantly. Just paying it is not enough - work with them to remove the negative mark.

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7 - Increase credit limits

If you have cards with very low limits and high balances, ask issuers for higher limits. As long as you don’t increase spending, higher limits will lower your credit utilization for a quick boost. Beware that requesting limit increases on cards with high balances may result in denial. Pay down balances first, then ask for increases.

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8 - Consolidate high interest debt

Transferring scattered high-interest debts like store cards or personal loans to a new consolidation loan can simplify repayment. Transfer balances to a lower interest card or take out a debt consolidation loan at lower interest to save on finance charges long-term. This can help you pay down debt faster.

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9 - Monitor your credit regularly

Sign up for free credit monitoring services or download a monitoring app. Staying on top of your reports and score helps you catch identity theft or new issues before they snowball. Don't obsessively check your score every day. This can feel discouraging. Aim for every few months to monitor progress.

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10 - Be patient

Bad marks on your credit report generally take 7-10 years to fall off. Consistently practicing good credit habits will gradually improve your score over time. Eventually diligent credit management will be rewarded. Don't take on unnecessary debt just to build history faster.

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