How Long Does It Take to Repair Bad Credit?

Published September 2021
Repairing credit score

How quickly you can rebuild your credit score depends on how badly it’s damaged. Learn what you can do now to repair bad credit as soon as possible.


Key Points:

  • How long it will take you to repair your bad credit depends on the type and extent of the damage.
  • Missed payments, collections, and bankruptcies inflict lasting damage.
  • Bad credit utilization and frequent hard inquiries are easier to address.
  • There are some steps you can take immediately to begin rebuilding your credit score.

Poor credit scores can prevent you from qualifying for loans, force you to pay higher rates for rent or utilities, and even raise the interest you pay for loans for which you do qualify.

If your credit score is in bad shape, it’s natural for you to question how long it will take to repair it and how to go about doing so.

The answer to the first question is not a simple one. The time it will take you to rebuild your credit depends on your personal circumstances and the type of credit issues you have.

For example, if you have a recent bankruptcy on your credit report, it will take years for that damage to be repaired. On the other hand, if you only have a couple of old missed payments, you can rebuild your score much faster.

How Long Do Credit Incidents Stay on Your Record?

Here’s a quick guide from Experian, one of the three credit bureaus, regarding how long various incidents affect your credit score.

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What You Can Do to Repair Bad Credit As Soon as Possible

Rebuilding your credit score, especially if the damage is profound and lasting, is a marathon rather than a sprint. There are, however, measures you can take right now to begin the rebuilding process.

BlogImage_BuildingBlocksCreditScoreStart rebuilding your credit score right now.

Review your credit report. Your goal is to clean up your financial activities, and you have to know where to start. Get a free copy of your report. Some of the credit bureaus attach a series of risk factors to the document. These can tell you which problems to address first.

Make all your payments in full and on time going forward. Payment history is the heaviest-weighing factor in your credit score. It makes sense to keep it on track.

Create a budget and build an emergency fund. Such a fund can keep you from missing payments and damaging your payment history again.

Pay attention to how you manage your credit cards. By making purchases and payments on time, you prove yourself a creditworthy person. Take advantage of the opportunities credit cards give you in this respect. Don’t cancel old credit cards. By doing so, you could further hurt your credit score. Don’t try to address a debt problem by just getting rid of your credit cards. Look for other options instead.

Stay on top of your credit utilization ratio. Don’t let it exceed 30%.

Pay serious thought to whether you need new credit and when you need it. Unnecessary hard inquiries can hurt your score, staying on your credit report for up to two years.

Review your financial situation regularly. Know where you stand. Set achievable goals.

Address your debt. Even if you feel overwhelmed by your debt, there are always credit card debt relief options that can help you.

Repairing your bad credit score is a worthy undertaking. It is a long-term investment in your financial future.

If you don’t know how to address your consumer debt, call a ClearOne Certified Debt Specialist now at 866-481-1597 and get a free savings estimate.

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The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide financial advice. ClearOne Advantage is not a lender, credit repair or consumer credit counseling company. ClearOne Advantage doesn’t provide lending or credit advice. Please consult a certified financial advisor for individual credit and lending advice.

Topics: Financial Education