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Restoring Your Credit

When it comes to building and maintaining your credit, sometimes there are speed bumps along the way. After all, things happen. A reduction in income, unexpected expenses, identity theft, and so forth — all can have potentially negative impacts on your credit that can affect your ability to obtain and use credit. But, even if you’ve had some credit issues in the past, there are a number of ways to rebuild it. Here are a few tips that will help you on the road to recovery and give you greater oversight into your overall credit situation.

Make sure your credit report is accurate
A credit report contains the information used to calculate your credit score. And just like with a car repair, you need to know what needs fixing before you can fix it. If you don’t know what’s in your credit report, it will be more difficult to know where to focus your efforts. Plus, it’s important to check your credit report as it may contain errors, such as incorrectly listed late payments, amounts owed, or wrong information related to identity theft. You can request a free credit report once every 12 months from each major credit bureau.

Make your payments on time
It almost goes without saying, but making your payments on time, every time, is key to rebuilding your credit and reducing debt. But if you have multiple accounts open with different amounts due, it can be overwhelming. Start by reviewing your credit report or account statements and make a list of all your accounts and the total amounts due for each, and their minimum required monthly payments. This will help to rebuild your credit by demonstrating a history of making on time monthly payments.

Close accounts you don’t need anymore
We’re not talking about credit cards or lines of credit you use seldom, such as an emergency credit card. This would be the line of credit opened for you such as when you financed a jewelry purchase at a retail jeweler, paid it off, then never purchased anything from them again. The financing institution might have opened a line of credit for you that still exists and will show up on your credit report. If it’s an account you’re certain you won’t ever use again, you might consider closing it just to reduce the number of accounts to keep track of.

Rebuilding credit takes time, patience, and a commitment to following good credit management practices. Applying these guidelines should help improve your credit over time and get you back on the road to credit success.

"How to repair my credit and improve my FICO Scores." FICO 2001 – 2017.
"Building your credit." Wells Fargo Dealer Services, 2017.
"Tips for Managing Debt." Wells Fargo, 2001 – 2017.

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