4 Fastest Ways to Repair Your Credit in 2024


Your credit score is important, as it impacts quite a few areas of your life. For example, consumers with low scores have a harder time getting approved for housing. It’s harder to pass a credit check with a landlord, and if you’re buying a house, you could end up with a mortgage rate 1.5% higher with a low credit score.

It doesn’t take much to damage your credit. One late payment of 30 days or longer can drop your credit score by over 100 points and potentially take years to fix. The good news is there are also a few fast ways to repair your credit.

To start, you’ll need to find out your credit score. There are plenty of free tools online you can use, plus these show you the factors that are positively and negatively affecting your credit. You’ll also need your credit report. You can request yours free of charge through

With your credit report and score, you’ll know where you’re at and exactly what’s hurting your credit. Based on that, you can choose the credit repair options that apply to your situation.

1. Write a goodwill letter to get negative items off your credit report

A goodwill letter is a request sent to a creditor asking for it to remove negative items from your credit history. Let’s say you made a late payment on your credit card. You could write to the credit card issuer and ask that it makes a goodwill adjustment, removing that negative item.

This doesn’t always work, but there are many reports online of successful goodwill letters. Here are a few tips on how to write and send one:

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  • Include your name, address, account number, the negative item (or items) and the date it was reported.
  • Explain what caused the issue and what you did to correct it going forward. Creditors are often more lenient with those who provide a valid reason for the mistake, such as a job loss or medical emergency.
  • Keep it under a page. Your letter is more likely to be read in its entirety if it’s to the point.
  • Make a specific request. For example, you could ask the creditor to remove a late payment or a charged off account from your credit report.
  • Send your letter to the creditor’s address as listed on your credit report or through your creditor’s email. If you aren’t successful, try going up the chain — some people have even been successful writing to the CEO.

Getting negative items removed can easily add 50 points, 100 points, or more to your credit score. While it’s not guaranteed to be successful, it’s worth a shot.

2. Pay down credit card debt as much as possible

One of the biggest factors in your credit score is your amounts owed, meaning your current debt. This counts for 30% of your FICO® Score, the type of score used most by lenders.

Specifically, what has the greatest impact is your credit utilization ratio: Your credit card balances compared to your credit limits. For example, if you have one card with an $8,000 balance and a $10,000 credit limit, your credit utilization is 80%. The lower your utilization ratio, the better.

An 80% credit utilization is very high. Because you’re borrowing so much, that will lower your credit score. But this is also something you can improve quickly. Let’s say you make an effort to pay down your debt and get it down to $1,500 after six months. Your credit utilization would be 15% — near the optimal range, so your score would go up. Try to avoid using more than 30% of your available credit. 

3. Ask your card issuer for a higher credit limit

Paying down credit card debt is always a good idea, both for your finances and your credit score. But there’s also an even faster way to lower your credit utilization: Request a higher credit limit on all your credit cards. You can do this online with many card issuers, and if not, you can call the number on the back of your card.

If your request is approved, your new credit limit will help your credit utilization. Imagine you have a $5,000 balance and a $10,000 credit limit, for a credit utilization of 50%. You request a credit limit increase and get approved for $20,000. Your credit utilization would drop to 25% as soon as your new credit limit is reported, which would happen within a month.

By the way, make sure not to spend more if you’re approved for a higher credit limit. This tip only works if you maintain the same balance on your card (or even better, pay it down). If you charge more, your credit utilization will go back up.

4. Dispute any errors you find on your credit report

One of the reasons to review your credit report is to check that there aren’t any errors. These are more common than you might think. Back in 2021, a Consumer Reports investigation found that 34% of Americans had errors on their credit reports.

If you find any mistakes on your credit history, dispute it with the credit bureau that issued the report. Each of the three credit bureaus lets you do this online. Here are the dispute pages for each one:

If your dispute is successful, the negative item will be removed from your credit report. Just like writing a goodwill letter, this can make a big improvement to your credit.

There are other important habits to building credit and maintaining a high score. Consistently making on-time payments is the most significant factor in your credit score, but it can take over a year to build a strong payment history. Getting negative items removed from your credit and lowering your credit utilization can boost your score in a matter of months.

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