No Quick Fix To Improving Your Credit Score

There are no quick fixes to repair bad credit. Only time and prompt payment of credit obligations can fix a poor credit history. Yes, it takes time to undo credit damage and restore good credit, but here are a few suggestions on how to speed up the process and improve and rebuild your credit:

Start with a credit card that has a low credit line, or use a secured credit card that is backed by your own personal savings. Many people start rebuilding their credit this way.

Credit unions and local hometown banks are probably the best two sources for these. Make sure that the results are reported by credit bureaus as a revolving account like any other card. You want to get your credit report cleaned up, and you also want to start adding new, positive credit info as soon as possible, and a low-limit or a secured credit card is an excellent choice to do just that.

Know what your new card's credit limits are, and keep balances way below 50 percent of this, as this practice -- plus prompt payment of all your bills -- will help raise your FICO credit score in the long run.

The term "secured credit card" is what it sounds like: you will be securing your line of credit with your own money. The card issuer's risk is minimal, they are pretty much guaranteed to get their money.

Mark you credit card payment due dates on your calendar, and pay your bills at least one week before they are due. This means writing a check, putting it into an envelope, licking a stamp and applying it to the envelope, and dropping it into a mailbox TWO FULL WEEKS prior to your due date. Get in this habit, and eventually, you will write the check and mail it the day after you receive your bill. You will get one full month ahead on your payments, and you'll never have another late fee, nor will your credit suffer from delayed "the check is in the mail" crisis.

Experts point to the fact that new accounts with regular on-time payments even for only a matter of months, tends to really put a shine one a credit report score.

A bank passbook loan is yet another way to improve your credit. You borrow from a bank and pledge your own savings account monies as the collateral behind it. Yes, you will lose interest on your savings, and you will pay interest on the amount of money you are now borrowing, but the ultimate goal is to rebuild your credit. It's worth the cost.

To get started, you'll need to have the savings to cover this sort of loan, and you might need to turn to a family member or close friend to help seed you the money to do this; the good news, again, is these accounts are reported and paid as installment loans, so your credit report will start to improve.

Having a mix of credit cards (low-limit or secured) and personal, installment loans, is important to maintain, since one factor in a good credit score is having different types of credit. If all you've ever borrowed and paid back are car loans, lenders reason, you might not do very well with a business loan or a mortgage loan.

Before you take out a loan through your local hometown bank or your local credit union, one of your most important questions to the loan officer is to ensure they report accounts to all three major credit bureaus. You don't want to go through all this trouble and not be able to rebuild your bad credit.

Retail-store credit cards are yet another option to consider, as they can be easy to acquire, they get reported to credit bureaus, and they carry low lines of credit. This will take some real discipline. Only pull out and use these types of charge cards only when you already have saved up the money to pay for what you've bought.

We'd recommend that you pay your monthly balance in full. But if you carry a balance, remember that you'll need to keep it below 50 percent of your available credit. Make timely payments are agreed, pay the bills early to avoid late fees from slow moving mail delivery, and check your credit report every 4-6 months to see that positive information is being added to your credit files.


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