In most cases you can easily improve your credit score by at least 100 points within a month. The key to doing this is focus, organization, and having the right techniques. I have counseled thousands of people over the years on how to successfully use the techniques outlined in this article in order to quickly improve their credit score. Now let’s get into it so you can do the same.
Before we get into the techniques, there are a few things you’re going to need to do. First, you need a current copy of your credit report. In addition, I recommend that while you’re in the process of credit improvement you sign up for a credit monitoring service. This allows you to pull your credit report and credit score every day to see what progress you’ve made.
There are several good credit monitoring services out there, so it’s up to you which one you want to use. Personally, I use TransUnion and it’s worked well for me. None of the credit monitoring services are free, but they are pretty cheap and you can always cancel it after your credit score is improved.
Once you’ve got your credit report in front of you, let’s start going through it.
Identify all the negative entries on your credit report
The first step is simply identifying the negative items on your credit report that need addressed. When I say “addressed”, I mean that we’re going to attempt to get them completely removed from your credit report. That’s right —100% removed, as if they were never there.
Here are some negative entries you should be looking for on your credit report:
- Late Payments
- Charge offs
- Tax Liens
If you’re like most people, you probably have a few late payments and perhaps a collection or charge off. If you have more serious negative items, don’t worry, there are removal techniques for these too. That said, let’s start with the most common negative entries.
How to challenge late payments, collections, and charge offs
I have written many articles on the specifics of removing late payments, collections, and charge offs so I don’t want to get super specific, but rather give you a general overview and then point you to the articles that will tell you specifically how to execute the techniques.
Basically, in order to remove these negative items, you’ll need to follow a couple of steps. First you need to write the original creditor a “Goodwill Letter”. This letter will simply explain the situation that led up to the late payment, collection, or charge off. At the end of the letter you’ll ask that they consider making a “goodwill adjustment” and remove the entry from your credit report. Simple.
If you try this technique and it doesn’t work and they refuse to give you a goodwill adjustment, you need to follow more advanced techniques to get the negative entry removed.
The advanced techniques are outlined in each one of the following articles depending on the type of negative entry:
- 3 Ways to Get a Late Payment Removed From Your Credit Report
- 3 Steps to Remove Collections From Your Credit Report
- How to Remove a Charge Off From Your Credit Report
Removing late payments, collections, and charge-offs will probably make your credit score easily go up 100 points, but if that’s not enough, let’s get into the next steps you should take in order to further improve your credit score.
Optimize your debt-to-credit ratio for huge credit score improvements
Many people don’t know this but a large part of what determines your credit score is how much credit you’re using of all your available credit. Let me explain this a little more simply.
If you have a credit card with a $1,000 credit limit and your balance is $800, you’re using 80% of your available credit. This negatively impacts your credit score.
Simply put: You want to keep your debt-to-credit ratio under 30% on all of your credit cards. Don’t be confused, however, that this means you can have an 60% balance on one card and a 10% balance on another and be ok because the average is below 30%. Nope, each card should be under 30% individually. Very important thing to keep in mind.
So to see quick credit score improvements, pay down credit cards with a balance above 30% of the available credit.
Quickly build positive credit history with a secured credit card
Now that you’ve removed negative entries and optimized the debt-to-credit ratios on your credit cards, the last step is to start building positive credit history. While some of the negative entries are still falling off your credit report, you might find it difficult to get approved for a traditional credit card. This is where secured credit cards come into play.
Back when I had bad credit, I got myself a secured credit card and this kick started my journey to a perfect credit score.
If you don’t know what a secured credit card is, let me explain it. It’s basically a credit card that everybody gets approved for regardless of if they have bad credit. The reason why everybody gets approved is that it’s “secured”. In other words, you deposit money into the account and it sort of acts like a debit card. The difference between a secured credit card and a debit card however is that a secured credit card gets reported on your credit report. Therefore it’s the gold standard for building positive credit history when you have bad credit.
There are hundreds of secured credit cards to choose from, so it’s really up to you. I’ve reviewed quite a few secured credit cards on this blog and you can read those reviews for some guidance on picking the best one. That said, my personal favorite is the Open Sky Secured Credit Card.
Well, that’s about it. I hope you find these techniques useful on your credit repair journey. Please let me know down in the comments which techniques worked best for you.
One last thing… You can have a professional improve your credit score
I should probably mention that the easiest and quickest way to improve your credit score is to have a professional take care of it. For this I suggest you check out Lexington Law Credit Repair. They’ll take care of you. Give them a call at 1-844-764-9809 or Check out their website. (They are open on weekends)