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How Long Does It Take to Repair Your Credit?

December 23, 2022

As many as 16% of Americans have bad credit, so if your credit is less than great, don’t freak out. It’s essential to understand how bad credit can affect your entire life. 

Generally, bad credit is indicated by a score that falls in the 300 to 650 range.

Bad credit can negatively affect you in many ways. It might affect your ability to secure loans with reasonable terms, as lenders view bad credit scores as an indication that the borrower may not honor their debt obligations. It causes you trouble renting an apartment, getting a job, etc. Therefore, having a good or excellent credit score is essential for those seeking financial security.

Sit tight and keep scrolling if you’re ready to boost your credit score this year. We’ve got all the information you need about credit repair, including which steps to take to clean up your credit report.

How Long Does It Take to Repair Credit?

It’s important to understand that repairing credit can be a long and complex process, as credit score reflects certain credit decisions one may have taken over the years. The time it takes to repair credit varies and depends on factors including:

  • Your overall credit situation
  • The length of your credit history,
  • Any credit repair services you use

In most cases, it can take months or even years to improve credit significantly. However, by taking a few initial actions, you can boost your score by about 35 to 50 points within a couple of weeks (for example, by reporting your past rent payments to the credit bureaus). Likewise, if you use credit repair services, you’ll find that most promise to help you see a boost in your score within 30 days (although you have to be careful with these services).

Overall, it’s tough to say with certainty how long it will take to repair or rebuild your credit score. It depends on how poor your score is and why it’s so low. In general, with dedicated, thoughtful action, you can expect a slight boost in your score within a few months.

Frequently Asked Question: Can I fix my credit score in three months? Generally speaking, improving your credit will take anywhere from 3-6 months. However, this is just a broad estimate, and your actual timeline could vary depending on how much damage needs to be repaired. 

How to Repair Your Credit Score

If you’re just starting your credit repair journey, your first step will be to obtain a copy of your credit report. While certain credit monitoring apps like Credit Karma or Float Credit can help you see your score, you’ll need to get a full credit report to get a good financial picture of what’s affecting your score.

Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report

You can get a free copy of your credit report by contacting the three national credit bureaus: 

  • Experian
  • Equifax
  • TransUnion

It's easy to request a free annual credit report from each bureau; simply visit their websites and provide some basic information. Your free credit report should arrive within 15 days of submitting the request.

Likewise, you can go to Annual Credit Report and request your free credit report.

Identify Errors & Mistakes

It's essential to be vigilant when reviewing your report, ensuring you’re looking for any inaccurate information such as:

  • Late payments
  • Incorrect balances
  • Incorrect personal details
  • Duplicate accounts

If you identify potential errors on your credit report, you can contact the relevant provider to dispute the information and begin the process of rectifying it. For example, if you notice that you have duplicate credit accounts showing you owe $5,000 when in reality, you owe $2,500 (and they’ve listed it twice), contact your credit card issuer to correct the report.

We know this sounds tedious. Remember, a healthy credit rating is required for most life milestones, so staying up to date with potential issues is vital.

Dispute Inaccurate Information

Once you have reviewed your report, identify any errors and dispute them immediately. The credit bureau will investigate the dispute and may contact the creditor for further information or to verify the dispute. Once the dispute is resolved, you'll receive a revised version of your credit report that reflects the correction. 

This process is essential as inaccurate credit reports can damage your score and negatively impact your finances. The bottom line? It’s necessary to take action now to ensure that all your credit information is up-to-date and accurate.

Frequently Asked Question: How long does it take to dispute a credit report? According to Consumer Finance, credit bureaus typically have to review disputes within 30 days of receiving them. This increases to 45 days if you receive your annual credit report. Once they’ve investigated the claim, they have five business days to respond to you.

How Long Does Negative Information Stay On My Credit Report?

What happens if you see negative or “bad” information on your credit report that you can’t remove? How long does it take to clear a bad credit history? It depends on the type of information — some negative marks stay much longer than others. 

Generally, bankruptcies can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years, paid or unpaid judgments for 7 years, tax liens for up to seven years, and late payments for seven years. 

That might seem like a very long time to clear a bad credit history, but that’s only one part of what factors into a good credit score. Knowing the timeline of when specific bad marks may clear off your credit report is vital in understanding how you can improve your credit rating in the future.

Best Ways to Build Your Credit

Regardless of what’s on your credit report, there are smart ways in which you can build your credit quickly. Building good credit is one of the best ways to access low-interest finance like auto or home loans and credit offers. Here are a few of the best ways to fix credit sustainably:

  • Aim to pay all of your bills on time. Payment history contributes to about 35% of a person’s credit score, which will significantly impact your credit. 
  • Try to reduce any outstanding debt to lower your debt-to-credit ratio. Utilizing only a small amount of your available credit line is the best way to quickly improve the score from this aspect.
  • Open new lines of credit if needed. Sometimes, this can help show lenders that you can handle more responsibility when paying a debt. 
  • Don’t close old accounts. The length of your credit history can be affected if you close accounts (along with your total available credit). So, avoid closing old accounts as you work to repair your credit unless necessary.

All these best methods combined will help boost your credit ranking noticeably over time. However, there’s one last great way to boost your credit score quickly.

Get a Credit Builder Loan From Cheese

A credit builder loan is a great option for repairing credit. By taking out the loan, you are able to show creditworthiness by a trustworthy lender, which is beneficial for credit scores. This type of loan also allows you to build credit history more quickly because monthly payments are reported to credit reporting agencies, meaning your credit score will keep improving with regular repayment.

With customizable terms, get started with Cheese and a credit builder loan for as little as $500, and select either 12 or 24 months, whatever works best for you. Once you get rolling, our autosave feature kicks in, so you don't have to worry about manually setting up payments. We take care of all that. With no credit check and no upfront fee, click here to learn more about how it works and to get started!

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