Easy Ways To Get Your Credit Back On Track

Friday, March 9th, 2018
Updated: March 9th, 2018
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

If your credit is less than perfect, you might be wondering how you can ever get it back to where it used to be – or even better than it’s ever been before. A great credit score is helpful in all kinds of situations, including buying a home, a car, getting a business loan, renting an apartment, and even getting a job. The good news is, it’s always possible to repair your credit, no matter how bad it is. Here are a few things to know if you’re on the journey to excellent credit.

1. Nothing stays on your credit report longer than ten years. Even filing for bankruptcy – the worst thing that can happen to your credit – won’t stay on your credit report for more than a decade. Other negative information, such as late payments or over-the-limit charges, will come off much more quickly. Seven to ten years is generally the limit for how long negative information will continue to affect your credit score. That’s not to say it will take that long; usually you can repair your credit quicker than that. But a decade is the longest it can possibly take, if you start making the right credit moves now.
2. You can still get a credit card, even with bad credit. A secured credit card is a good solution for many people trying to get their credit back on track. With this type of card, you put down a deposit, which will be equal to your credit limit. This deposit acts as collateral, so the bank is protected in case you default on the amount you owe. A good secured credit card will report to credit bureaus so that your responsible card use makes a positive impact on your credit score.
3. The most important thing to do if you’re trying to improve your credit is to make all your payments on time. On-time payments count for 30 percent of your credit score, so making every payment before the due date is the easiest and best way to begin repairing your credit. You can set up automatic payments that will deduct either the minimum amount due, the entire amount due, or another amount from your checking account each month. This way you never have to worry about missing a payment due date, and your credit will slowly begin to rebuild.
4. Other ways to nudge your credit score up include keeping your total amount of debt to less than 30 percent of your entire available amount of credit, keeping your accounts open as long as possible to provide for a long credit history, having a few different types of credit on your report, and not applying for too much new credit in a short time.

Bad credit can happen to anyone. Remember, no matter what your situation is, it’s always possible to get back on track. If you’re having trouble getting approved for an unsecured credit card and you need a way to rebuild your credit, look into getting a secured credit card.

All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.

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