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We've all made mistakes when it comes to our credit. Life happens and we can't always control it. Here are some ways to get your credit report back in good standing as quickly as possible.

1. Correct All Errors Found on Your Credit Report.

Contact creditors that are reporting inaccurate late payments, defaults or worse yet...fraudulent activity. First, call them by phone and ask them to fix and/or investigate the mistakes. Second, follow up with a letter/email making the same request. Next, notify all credit reporting bureaus of the pending changes. Lastly, make sure creditors know the bureaus have been notified. This will help motivate them to do their job.

2. Consider Becoming an "Authorized User".

If you have family members who have great credit on either a credit card or on a line of credit with available credit, you could ask them to put your name on the account as an "authorized user". By becoming an authorized user on an established account, your available credit may rise, which in turn can lower your debt-to-income ratio. This helps boost your credit score quickly. However, make it official. Write up a contract with your loved ones that protects them from being put into any potential awkward positions in the future.

3. Raise your Available Credit.

To help elevate your credit score, consider requesting a higher credit limit from an already-established creditor. With a good credit history, many creditors will consider this a win/win for both of you.

4. Negotiate.

If you find yourself on the brink of really messing up your credit, consider negotiating with your creditors. Ask creditors if they would accept a partial payment for a debt that is in collections, and if they in return will reclassify the debt as “paid.” Either they will agree to settle for a partial payment, or they will make a counter offer. Whatever you two agree to, make certain the agreement is in writing. Also, only pay the debt once the written agreement is in hand. In some cases, if you are a long-time customer, a creditor may provide a good-will adjustment to forgive a few late payments. If they are forgiven, it can raise your credit score in 30 days.

5. Reduce Your Debt-to-Income Ratio.

When making a decision about a loan, creditors will look to see if you can afford to pay your outstanding minimum loan payments from loans you already have. You could be declined the new loan because they fear you're already stretched too thin. To change your debt-to-income ratio, consider stopping all credit card activity and don't rack up any additional borrowing.

6.Have A Healthy Mix of Debt.

Never have all your debt be either unsecured or secured. You need a healthy mix of both because creditors will be suspicious of your ability to pay a secure loan if all your debt is unsecured. Mixing your type of debt creates the potential for a more favorable credit score that will also attract more lenders to you.


Don't wait until all your negative information is off your credit report to start rebuilding your credit. Keep in mind that no active credit score means a negative score. You need at least one active credit account reporting. Without one, the computers that calculate credit scores can only generate a negative credit score because they have no data to show how you are currently using credit.


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