Bad Credit Score? Improve Your Credit Score Into An Awesome One

by Nick Dubay

What's in the book?

Learn how to improve your credit score!

    • Introduction
    • Advice for Novices
    • Different Strategies for Paying Off Debts
    • Advice for the Experienced
    • Disputing Your Score
    • Smart Methods for Novices to Improve their Credit Score
    • Bankruptcy: When to and When Not to Declare
    • Common Mistakes and Insider Tips and Tricks
    • Important Terms
    • Conclusion
    • Sources and Additional Reading



Having a good credit score will save you thousands of dollars over your lifetime as well as give you the opportunity to finance many projects and purchases that you would otherwise not have access to. Your credit score also reflects your financial sense in that many employers and corporations use it to make judgments about you. Bearing these facts in mind, it is easy to see how improving your credit score immediately improves your access to money and better interest rates.

Raising your credit score is often a daunting task, at least in theory, since many people do not fully understand how a credit score is scored or what affects it, whether positively or negatively.  Relax, you’ve already taken the first step in fixing your own credit — you’re reading this ebook!  When it comes to your credit score, information and education are as crucial as establishing and maintaining positive financial habits.  

Your credit score is a snapshot of the potential risk you pose to those willing to lend you money, like a credit card company or bank.  It is merely one part or factor that helps determine your eligibility for a credit card, and is not a personal judgment against you.  Other factors that go into making a credit decision can include your total debt-to-income ratio, employment history, and income levels.  Even looking at mortgages and home loans, the consumer has to realize just how important a factor their credit score is in getting a loan — it requires the same degree of consideration that the loan’s interest rate and terms do. Here’s a San Francisco Chronicle article that talks about just that topic.

Because the world of credit scores is so murky, people often give up on even trying to understand it or trying to improve their financial positions and score.  It is really quite simple to improve your score and the following pages will give you a better understanding of how to make positive changes while empowering you to build and maintain an informed position on money and your finances.

There are dozens of credit score websites and products available for purchase.  Some of these products promise to help raise your credit score or help you monitor your score exclusively.  Know that by law you are allowed to access your credit score for free at least once per year.  Also, many of the products and services being offered to you are poor substitutes for a little education and research, just like you are doing here with this ebook.  There is nothing that a credit score service can do for you that you cannot already accomplish yourself with a little bit of knowledge and perseverance.  You do not need to spend a dime to effectively monitor and improve your credit score.


The next step after requesting your credit report is to better understand what goes into your score. The accounts on your credit score can count negatively against you for seven years. This means that if you had one late payment on one card or account six years ago, your score can still be affected.  But by understanding this time limit, you can also help dispute inaccurate or old information on your credit score.  To learn more about disputing accounts or information, please read further.

Accounts can be marked as 30, 60, 90, or 120 days late, depending on how far behind you may be in payments. The longer you are past due, the worse off your score. These accounts are past due or considered delinquent by the creditors.  Accounts that are charged off are those that the creditor has decided you are unlikely to pay, and charge offs should be avoided at all costs as they can negatively affect your credit score more than being 120 days late on a payment.  Here’s an excellent Forbes article about paying your bills on time, and how it affects your credit score.

Once you have access to this information on your credit report, it is a good idea to contact any creditors whom you feel may be reporting inaccurate information.  This can happen because of out of date information about an account, and these should be disputed with the creditors themselves.

You also have the option of negotiating with creditors to help lower minimum payments or even the balance owed.  This will help you to rebuild your credit score faster and help you save money.  Understand that negotiations can help your cause, but creditors are still looking to recover as much money and interest as possible from you.  Do not expect them to compromise halfway.  In fact, many creditors will cancel your card, lower your credit limit, or make other negative changes to your line of credit as a way to resolve any negotiation issues.  Creditors cannot leave you uninformed of such changes, so negotiating is always a good idea because it will help you eventually regain control of your credit score.

The next step in helping to rebuild your credit score is to begin planning your exit from the mountain of debt or poor financial behavior you may have exhibited in the past.  This plan should be based around a budget, and creating a budget should be the next major goal for you at this point.  It can be overwhelming to look at the total amount you owe your creditors, but knowing what you owe and whom you owe it to is a necessary step in getting your credit score back on track.

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