How Can You Get Help with Your Credit?

You can look into nonprofit credit counseling if you need help getting your finances in order.

"Nonprofit credit counseling organizations like those that are part of the NFCC will look at a consumer's whole financial situation," says Coleman. "We'd help them look at their income, their debts, and their living costs, and then give them suggestions for how to improve their situation based on what we found."

Some suggestions could be to get a second job or work part-time, or to stop spending money on things that aren't necessary. Coleman also says that the CFPB and the FTC are reliable government sources of information that consumers can use to improve their financial situations.

Yates says that people can also think about programs like Experian Boost. Experian Boost is a free service from the credit bureau Experian that lets payments like cell phone and utility bills count toward your credit score.

Yates says, "That's something someone could do if they want to raise their credit score quickly: just add more payments to the ones that are used to figure out their score."

How Much Time Does It Take to Fix Your Credit? says that when mistakes on your credit report are fixed, your score will often go up.

After you fix any mistakes, it will take time for your score to get better. Coleman says, "Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes." "Time is needed. But if they make payments on time and keep their balances low for six months to a year, their credit score will usually start to improve, and it will keep getting better over time."

Most bad information stays on your credit report for seven years, but things that happened more recently have a bigger impact. "The things on the credit report that were reported in the last 24 months or so are usually given the most weight," says Coleman. "If (consumers) start today to improve their credit, they will see results sooner rather than later."
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