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Whether you want to buy a car, purchase a house or go on an unplanned vacation, having a good credit score is vital when it comes to reaching your goals. But when you have bad credit, most banks won’t even speak with you, and people who have poor credit scores are often left feeling hopeless and alone. The good news is that you can take steps to improve your credit score, but the amount of time that it takes to reach your desired outcome will depend on your current situation. No matter who you are, you can always start moving in the right direction.

Pay Your Credit Card Balance

The credit reporting agencies refer to the amount of credit that you use from a revolving account as credit utilization, and it plays a big role in the way that your credit score looks. For example, if you have a credit limit of $2,000 and charge $1,000, you are utilizing 50 percent of your available credit. If you are in this situation, you might feel as though paying off your entire balance would be the best choice, but it’s not. When you want your credit score to rise, keep your credit utilization between 10 and 30 percent.

Raise Your Credit Limit

If you are unable to reduce your credit card debt, increasing your credit limit can work wonders for your score. At first, this concept does not make sense, but raising your limit also reduces your current credit utilization. If your request is approved, ensure that you avoid the temptation of making additional charges to your card.

Dispute Errors

Because your credit report contains information that impacts your future, you hope that each record is accurate. But many people are shocked when they discover that their credit report contains errors. These errors can lower your score more than you might think, and if you see a mark on your report that you believe is false, you have the right to file a dispute. Getting incorrect data off your credit report is one of the fastest ways to fix your credit.

Negotiate

If you place value on your credit score, missed and late payments will impact your life in a negative way. Most finance companies, though, are more interested in getting their money than harming your credit rating. Try calling your bank and asking the loan officer if he is willing to adjust the terms of your loan. In some cases, your bank might agree to remove the negative mark in exchange for payment.

Rather than taking their word for it, always get the agreement in writing to avoid problems. Some lenders offer to compromise but later discover that they can’t make the required monthly payments. Before finalizing any deal, ensure that you can uphold your end of the agreement. Although your bank won’t always work with you, you don’t have anything to lose by asking.

Final Thoughts

Even though fixing your credit might seem impossible at times, staying focused on your goal and learning the proper methods will allow you to enjoy the best possible results. Fixing your credit is about showing the reporting agencies and the finance companies that you are responsible with your budget.

Reducing your credit card balance will provide you with positive results within a month or two, but don’t forget to check your credit report for errors that could be holding you back. When you earn a positive credit score, living your life will get much easier, so you must never give up on your mission.