How to Repair Your Credit and Increase Your Credit Score

Nov 04, 2023 By Susan Kelly


Struggling with a less-than-ideal credit score can feel like a never-ending cycle of rejection and frustration. Whether you're dealing with the aftermath of financial missteps or trying to overcome challenges beyond your control, the good news is that credit repair and score improvement are possible. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps necessary to rebuild your credit and watch your score climb.

Understanding Your Credit Score

Before embarking on the credit repair journey, it's essential to understand what a credit score is and how it's calculated. A credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness based on your past credit behavior. It considers factors such as payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, new credit inquiries, and types of credit used.

Obtaining Your Credit Report

The first step in repairing your credit is to obtain a copy of your credit report. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) through Review your report carefully for any errors or inaccuracies that could be dragging down your score.

Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report

If you find any errors on your credit report, such as late payments that were actually on time or accounts that don't belong to you, it's crucial to dispute them with the credit reporting agency. Provide any supporting documentation you have to back up your claim, and be persistent until the error is resolved.

Paying Down Debt

High credit utilization, or the amount of debt you have compared to your credit limits, can negatively impact your score. Focus on paying down your balances to improve this ratio. Start by targeting the accounts with the highest interest rates or balances first.

Making Timely Payments

Payment history is one of the most significant factors in determining your credit score. Set up autopay or reminders to ensure you never miss a payment, and aim to pay more than the minimum balance whenever possible.

Building Credit with New Accounts

If you have a limited credit history or are trying to rebuild after past missteps, opening new credit accounts can help. Consider applying for a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on someone else's account to establish a positive payment history.

Maintaining a Mix of Credit

Having a mix of different types of credit, such as revolving (credit cards) and installment (loans), can also positively impact your score. However, only apply for new credit when you need it and can afford the additional payments.

Monitoring Your Progress

Repairing your credit and increasing your score takes time, so it's essential to monitor your progress regularly. Check your credit report and score periodically to track changes and identify any new issues that may arise.


Remember, credit repair is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes consistent effort and smart financial decisions to see improvement. By following these steps and maintaining financial discipline, you'll be on the path to a better credit score and all the opportunities that come with it.


How long does it take to repair credit and increase a credit score?

The time it takes to repair credit and increase a credit score varies depending on the individual's credit history and the specific steps taken to improve it. Generally, it can take several months to a year or more to see significant improvement.

2. Can I repair my credit on my own?

Yes, you can repair your credit on your own by following the steps outlined in this article. However, if you find the process overwhelming or need professional guidance, you may consider seeking help from a credit counseling agency or hiring a credit repair company. Just be sure to research any company thoroughly before engaging their services.

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