5 effective ways to fix your credit fast (2024)

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MoneyWatch: Managing Your Money
5 effective ways to fix your credit fast (2)

When it comes to ensuring the health of your finances, your credit score plays a big role in the equation. But while your credit score is a crucial component of your finances, your score doesn't just impact your ability to borrow money at a favorable interest rate. It can also play a role in whether you're able to buy a home, rent an apartment or even land your dream job.

That's a large part of why so much emphasis is put on making sure your credit score is as high as possible. But while a good credit score is important, the reality is that late payments and maxed-out credit cards happen. And when these types of issues arise, they can have an outsized (and negative) impact on your credit, making it a lot more difficult to navigate your finances.

So how do you repair the damage that's done to a less-than-stellar credit score? Well, the good news is that there are ways to take control and improve it quickly. If you want to improve your credit now, there are a few strategies you can use to do that.

Explore your top credit repair options online now.

5 effective ways to fix your credit fast

If you want to improve your credit quickly, the following strategies could help:

Use a reputable credit repair service

One of the quickest ways to kickstart your credit repair journey may be by enlisting the help of a reputable credit repair service. These companies specialize in identifying and disputing inaccuracies on your credit report. That can be a quick fix for your credit because inaccurate information, such as errors in account balances, late payments or accounts that don't belong to you, are common but can significantly drag down your credit score.

Credit repair services employ professionals who are well-versed in navigating the complex world of credit reporting. They scrutinize your credit report for discrepancies and work with credit bureaus to rectify any inaccuracies promptly. While this option comes with a cost, the investment may be worthwhile if you need fast results and lack the time or expertise to navigate the credit repair process on your own.

Find out how a credit repair specialist could be the key to repairing your credit quickly.

Prioritize and pay outstanding debt

If you have outstanding debts, prioritize them based on interest rates and amounts owed. Focusing on high-interest debts first can save you money in the long run. You can also consider negotiating with creditors for more favorable repayment terms, such as lower interest rates or structured payment plans. If you can't determine how to navigate this on your own, it may benefit you to get in touch witha debt management company for more support.

By making regular, timely payments on your debts, you not only reduce the outstanding balances but also send positive signals to credit bureaus. And, if you're paying off credit cards, doing this may also lower your debt-to-credit ratio in the process, which positively impacts your credit score and demonstrates to lenders that you are a responsible borrower.

Explore secured credit cards

Secured credit cards can be a powerful tool when it comes to rebuilding your credit quickly. These cards require a security deposit, which then becomes your credit limit. By using a secured credit card responsibly – including making timely payments and keeping balances low – you can showcase your ability to manage credit responsibly.

Secured credit cards are often more accessible than other lending products when it comes to applicants with lower credit scores, making them an excellent option if you're looking to rebuild your credit. And, as your credit improves over time, you may be eligible for unsecured credit cards with higher limits and more favorable terms.

Become an authorized user

If you have a family member or close friend with a strong credit history, you can also consider asking them to add you as an authorized user on their credit card account. Becoming an authorized user allows you to benefit from their positive credit history, potentially boosting your credit score.

However, it's crucial to choose a responsible and trustworthy person for this strategy. While your credit won't be impacted by late payments or defaults to the account you're an authorized user on, the goal is still to showcase responsible credit card usage. You should also ensure that the credit card issuer reports authorized user activity to the credit bureaus for maximum impact on your credit score.

Develop a budget and stick to it

Taking control of your finances is another fundamental step toward fixing your credit. Start by creating a realistic budget that outlines your monthly income and expenses. Identify areas where you can cut back on non-essential spending and allocate more funds toward paying down outstanding debts.

A well-managed budget not only helps you make timely payments but also demonstrates financial responsibility to creditors and credit bureaus. After all, consistent, on-time payments contribute positively to your credit score over time.

The bottom line

While there is no instant fix for your credit, the strategies outlined above can set you on the path to a healthier credit score if used the right way. Whether you choose to leverage the expertise of a credit repair service, adopt responsible financial habits or explore credit-building tools, the key is consistency. By taking proactive steps and remaining committed to your financial goals, you can make significant strides in fixing your credit fast and securing a brighter financial future.

Angelica Leicht

Angelica Leicht is senior editor for CBS' Moneywatch: Managing Your Money, where she writes and edits articles on a range of personal finance topics. Angelica previously held editing roles at The Simple Dollar, Interest, HousingWire and other financial publications.

5 effective ways to fix your credit fast (2024)


What are five 5 tips for improving your credit score? ›

Here are five credit-boosting tips.
  • Pay your bills on time. Why it matters. Your payment history makes up the largest part—35 percent—of your credit score. ...
  • Keep your balances low. Why it matters. ...
  • Don't close old accounts. Why it matters. ...
  • Have a mix of loans. Why it matters. ...
  • Think before taking on new credit. Why it matters.

What is the fastest way to fix your credit? ›

Reduce the amount of debt you owe

Pay off debt rather than moving it around: the most effective way to improve your credit scores in this area is by paying down your revolving (credit card) debt. In fact, owing the same amount but having fewer open accounts may lower your scores.

What is the only proven way to improve your credit score? ›

Pay on time.

One of the best things you can do to improve your credit score is to pay your debts on time and in full whenever possible.

How can I improve my credit score in a hurry? ›

4 tips to boost your credit score fast
  1. Pay down your revolving credit balances. If you have the funds to pay more than your minimum payment each month, you should do so. ...
  2. Increase your credit limit. ...
  3. Check your credit report for errors. ...
  4. Ask to have negative entries that are paid off removed from your credit report.

What are the 5 C's of good credit? ›

The five Cs of credit are important because lenders use these factors to determine whether to approve you for a financial product. Lenders also use these five Cs—character, capacity, capital, collateral, and conditions—to set your loan rates and loan terms.

What are 4 ways to improve your credit score? ›

You can improve your credit score by opening accounts that report to the credit bureaus, maintaining low balances, paying your bills on time and limiting how often you apply for new accounts.

What habit lowers your credit score? ›

Recurring late or missed payments, excessive credit utilization or not using a credit card for a long time could prompt your credit card company to lower your credit limit. This may hurt your credit score by increasing your credit utilization.

How can I clean my credit report myself? ›

How to clean up your credit report
  1. Request your credit reports.
  2. Review your credit reports.
  3. Dispute credit report errors.
  4. Pay off any debts.

What brings your credit score up the most? ›

Paying your bills on time Is one of the most important steps in improving your credit score. Pay down your credit card balances to keep your overall credit use low. You can also phone your credit card company and ask for a credit increase, and this shouldn't take more than an hour.

Can I pay someone to fix my credit? ›

You can always try to repair your credit yourself; however, depending on your financial situation, working with a reputable credit repair service may save you time and provide a better outcome in the long run.

How do you get rid of hard inquiries in 15 minutes? ›

If you identify an unauthorized hard inquiry, here's a detailed approach on how to remove hard inquiries in 15 minutes:
  1. Dispute with the Credit Bureau: Initiate a dispute online or via mail. ...
  2. Contact the Creditor: Engage with the lender or creditor responsible for the inquiry. ...
  3. Safeguard Your Credit:
Oct 10, 2023

Can you speed up credit score? ›

Keep paying your bills on time.

In many credit scoring formulas, your payment history has the greatest effect on your overall credit scores. So, it's critical to make payments on time. Even if you can't afford to pay your balance in full every month, try to pay the minimum — your credit scores will thank you.

What credit score is needed to buy a house? ›

Generally speaking, you'll likely need a score of at least 620 — what's classified as a “fair” rating — to qualify with most lenders. With a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan, though, you might be able to get approved with a score as low as 500.

How quickly can credit score go up? ›

How long does it take for your credit score to go up?
EventAverage credit score recovery time
Missed/defaulted payment18 months
Late mortgage payment (30 to 90 days)9 months
Closing credit card account3 months
Maxed credit card account3 months
3 more rows
Jul 27, 2023

What are the five 5 components that make up your credit score? ›

What's in my FICO® Scores? FICO Scores are calculated using many different pieces of credit data in your credit report. This data is grouped into five categories: payment history (35%), amounts owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and credit mix (10%).

What are the 5 key factors of how a credit score is scored? ›

Knowing how credit scores are calculated can help you boost your standing if you pay close attention to these five criteria:
  • Payment history.
  • Amounts owed.
  • Length of credit history.
  • New credit.
  • Credit mix.
Dec 30, 2022

How can I raise my credit score 5 points? ›

  1. Pay credit card balances strategically.
  2. Ask for higher credit limits.
  3. Become an authorized user.
  4. Pay bills on time.
  5. Dispute credit report errors.
  6. Deal with collections accounts.
  7. Use a secured credit card.
  8. Get credit for rent and utility payments.
Mar 26, 2024

What 5 things are worst for your credit rating? ›

Here are five ways that could happen:
  1. Making a late payment. ...
  2. Having a high debt to credit utilization ratio. ...
  3. Applying for a lot of credit at once. ...
  4. Closing a credit card account. ...
  5. Stopping your credit-related activities for an extended period.


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