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Rebuild or Improve Your Credit

Take steps today to better your credit

Building and improving credit is an ongoing process. Whether you want to improve your credit report, or take your score from good to great, it’s possible to do with some careful planning.

Video — How do I rebuild my credit?

The best way to improve it is to start building positive credit habits now. With a bit of work and time, you can get your credit back on track.
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Check your credit report to see where you stand

Review your credit report for accuracy, and see what opportunities you have to repair or improve it. You can get a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each of the 3 major credit reporting companies (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) at  annualcreditreport.com.

 Tip 

Instead of ordering all 3 credit reports at once, consider ordering from a different reporting company every 4 months. That way you can check for issues more frequently.
 

Start rebuilding damaged credit

First, stabilize your situation

To prevent your credit situation from getting any worse, start by creating a budget that allows you to:

  • Pay every account on time. Make at least the minimum payment, but also try to reduce the overall amount you owe by paying a bit extra — starting with higher-interest accounts.
  • Bring any delinquent accounts current. Talking to your creditors can help you to determine exactly what you need to do to catch up.
  • Avoid taking on any new debt. Try to minimize the amount of credit you use.

Next, start the rebuilding process

As soon as your finances are stable enough, you should start moving forward. Even though you may have fewer credit options now, it’s important to find ways to show positive credit activity.

  • Become an authorized user on the account of someone you know and trust. This could help you start building positive credit without an account of your own.
  • Consider a secured loan or secured credit card, which may be good alternatives to unsecured credit as you rebuild.
  • Apply for a store or gas card, which may be easier to qualify for. If you can’t qualify on your own, see if a friend or family member with strong credit can cosign.

Above all, remember to use your new accounts in moderation, make all payments on time, and keep your balances low.

 Tip 

If you're having trouble with payments, lenders want to work with you. Visit Wells Fargo Assist or the National Foundation for Credit Counseling for help.

 

Take your credit from good to great

Even if your credit is already solid, it pays to keep improving. A higher score (especially above 760) can give you more options — and better rates — if you ever need a car loan, mortgage, or home equity line of credit. Here are some tips to help you improve:
  • Keep track of where you stand. Review your credit report regularly to make sure it’s accurate, and to look for areas where you can improve. Order yours free at annualcreditreport.com.
  • Always pay bills on time. It may seem obvious, but a history of consistent on-time payments is one of the biggest factors in building a good score.
  • Keep balances low. How much credit you have available is another important scoring factor, so keep balances as far below your credit limit as possible.
  • Keep unused accounts open. Open accounts with no balances mean you have more available credit, so it can help your score to keep them open even if you don’t plan to use them.
  • Be careful about opening new accounts. If you need a new credit account and can comfortably manage the additional payments, great. But avoid anything that might strain your budget.

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