Repair Your Credit Yourself - How to go from Bad Credit to Excellent Credit!

By Lauren Harmon - Friday, November 12, 2021

I definitely don't claim to be a financial expert, I'm not well-versed in finances, and my credit history could be viewed as spotty at times - but that's why I wanted to make this post.

I brought my credit score from a scary number (that literally caused multiple declined applications) to a "nearly perfect" score without help from any paid service or individual. If you're in the same boat, I want to help YOU do the same. I was able to finance a house this year, bought a car last year, and I have some high $$$ credit cards now and I'm proud of this - I "worked" on my credit to get here and I think everyone deserves to know how to fix their credit score.

You may think this is a sponsored post, encouraging you to sign up for x,y, or z... but it's not. I legit want to share how I changed my life and help you change yours.



We'll start with finding out your credit score (if you don't already know).


I personally use CreditKarma.com, you may have heard of this website and that's great! It's completely free and they help you keep tabs on your credit without dinging your credit or showing a "hard pull". I should mention, as we were going through our loan officer for our home loan I was told that your "actual" credit score and the one Credit Karma offers you vary slightly - in my case, my actual score was higher than what CK had on file, but he said it can and does happen the other way around. Either way, it's a good way to ball park where your credit stands and help you evaluate what your next steps should be.

Credit Karma pulls your Transunion and Equifax credit scores, which are two of three well-known credit reporting agencies. My scores on the two services they use often differ slightly, but are close enough that I'm comfortable relying on them.

I love that you can click on each credit score and see which accounts are listed, what they are reporting, etc. I check my credit weekly to make sure I don't miss a thing and I honestly recommend everyone else does the same.

Beyond how the service works, let's get to the point.



I repaired my credit with CreditKarma by:



1. Disputing - The first step I took in repairing my credit was disputing the untrue or outdated information on my credit report. Do you have "bad credit" or "bad debt" that's more than 7 years old? Dispute it! Are you fighting medical collections that you've already paid in full? Dispute it! Did someone steal your identity and those dings are still on your report? Dispute it! Luckily, CK makes this process super easy, with both major credit companies.

You'll simply click the accounts tab, then click on any item you wish dispute and follow the directions from there.

You may wonder if that bill you forgot about in 2007 is worth fighting to get off your credit...? Let me tell you, it 100% is worth fighting! It takes a few minutes to fill out the form to dispute an account and it could raise your credit score tremendously.

Obviously, you can only dispute the untrue or outdated items on your report - but disputing some of the accounts on my credit saved my score so it's definitely the first thing I advise anyone looking to repair their credit to do.

2. Opening - This may seem obvious but opening and utilizing credit is a huge way to build your credit. I'm not suggesting you go out and get a card and go buckwild... But open a Visa & use it for gas purchases, then pay off a majority of the balance each month. That rotating credit will do your score wonders. It may "ding" your credit at first to open a new account, but if you are paying it almost entirely off then you'll soon reap the rewards!

Be mindful when opening credit cards (or any line of credit). You'll want to watch for annual fees and the interest rate being offered - don't be fooled by a great introductory offer, shop around and find a card that fits your life!


3. Pay Off - Hard work pays off and so does paying off debts in the smartest way possible. I'm going a little Dave Ramsey on you here, even though I don't fully follow (or support) his ideology. I think his snowball method to paying off debt is genius, while some of his other advice isn't for me. With that said, his idea towards debt is to pay the minimum monthly payment on all debt, except for the lowest debt you have. So if you have a school loan totaling $30,000, a car loan totaling $15,000, and a couple of credit cards with balances ranging from $5,000 to $500. You'd quickly pay off that $500 credit card while paying the minimum for all other debts - then work your way up on the scale of debts from there, applying larger payments as you pay off your debts and don't have to pay so many debts.

It sounds complicated, but it's actually fairly simple. It's more rewarding psychologically to pay it off this way since you are ridding yourself of debt in a faster manner but there's other methodologies you may be interested in as well - debt avalanche methodology being one that is "less rewarding" in the short-term but extremely helpful in avoiding excessive amounts of interest.

Regardless of which methodology you choose to pay off your debts, make a plan and adhere to it and your credit score will begin rising!

4. Keep it up - This one is a given, but continuing all the above and monitoring your credit score is a must. Recognize what's helping your score and continue doing that, whether it's paying down your balances, opening up a few cards and starting to rotate balances, or removing untrue remarks - you'll need to keep on top of your score and keep on working at it.


So tell me, have you had trouble in the past with your credit? Are you ready to try and repair your mistakes? Let's hear about where you stand in the comments below!




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