Be on your way to a better credit score with these 5 easy steps

1. Figure out where you stand
Before you begin repairing your credit you’ll want to get copies of your full credit reports from all three bureaus Experian, TransUnion and Equifax.

2. If you find errors, dispute them
Write a letter to the specific credit reporting agency that shows the falsehood, whether it is Experian, Equifax or TransUnion. Explain the mistake and include a copy of the

highlighted report along with your documentation. Be sure to get them notarized before mailing.

3. Stop the bleeding
Once you deal with any errors on your credit report, it’s time to ensure you’re not still spending more than you can afford each month.

4. Pay all bills on time going forward
If you want to fix bad credit, you need to start

paying all of your bills on time, period! If you’re behind on any bill, get caught up as soon as you can. On-time payments are the single most important factor to your credit score.

5. Pay down credit card balances
Take charge of your credit cards by paying down their balances.

If you have any outstanding balances, make room in your budget to pay down these debts bit by bit, every month until they are gone.

Tip… Fixing Credit with a Secured Credit Card

If you have a poor credit history or a lack of credit history, a secured credit card may help you repair your credit and raise your credit scores. These require a deposit that generally serves as your credit limit. If you don’t pay your bills, the card issuer can withdraw the deposit. If you open one of these cards, it’s important to make on-time payments and keep an eye on your credit utilization.

Depending on your situation, a secured credit card can help you start fixing your credit in as little as six months. However, it may take longer to see a marked improvement in some cases. If your credit history is limited and you have no credit, then a secured card may be your best route, because you have no negative information to start with due to nonpayment. However, this isn’t the case if the balance on which you default is higher than the amount of your security deposit.