5 Ways to Fix Your Credit Score After a Late Payment

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 27, 2021

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August 26, 2019

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Sometimes, you get wrapped up in a financial mess. In no time, your good credit scores can by dinged by late payments. But there is hope. You can repair your credit and improve your credit score in several ways.

Be wary of companies offering to repair your score overnight! Tricks don’t cut it. Here are five tips to help you repair your damaged credit score.

The sooner you address your credit issues resulting from late payments, the better. First, get your credit reports and note your score. You can get your reports for free at various credit report agencies like Equifax, Experian or Transunion. Request reports from all three, as they use different factors to calculate the scores.

You can get your score online for as low as $1 from credit monitoring services. Credit reports will inform you what is dragging down your scores.

Note that lenders may not be able to calculate your scores if you have a limited credit history. In that case, request a thin file that will showcase your credit history, if any.

When you’ve your reports ready, sift through them. Point out any anomalies and request follow up with the companies that have misreported your expenses. Then, file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to fix the errors in the reports. You can look to one of the legitimate credit repair companies to help you fix errors as well.

Once you have settled on your bills and debt, it’s time to run up your score. Gearing up for a rise of 100 points won’t be easy. But the surest way is having a credit card and not using it.

Keep your credit utilization ratio low to bolster your scores. The ratio depends on your revolving credit – credit cards plus other lines of credit. If your credit limit is $15,000, spend no more than 25% of your limit. Keep paying off your debts, too. And become an authorized user on another person’s credit account. This will significantly boost your scores.

Once your scores start to soar, avoid late payments, foreclosures, bankruptcies, short sales, repossessions, tax liens, and charge-offs. Keep off any individual factors that can negatively impact your scores.

Start fixing your credit score early as. It impacts on your interest rates, insurance premiums, and eligibility for loans. A higher credit score secures your financial freedom. If you’re finding it difficult to do it on your own, you can always choose a top-rated credit repair company.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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