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jean1959

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i want to fix my credit
what i need to do to fix my credit and bring up to a good score

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That depends. A good place to start is to review your CK report card. What are your lowest scoring areas. If it's credit utilization then work to decrease the balances on your cards (i.e., STOP using them and START paying down the balances), if it's delinquencies then contact the creditor and resolve the issue (I would only do this on delinquencies that are relatively recent because the older ones will drop from your credit within 7 years. Those are likely the easiest things to do that will give you the fastest result, but I would focus on paying off existing revolving credit and then go for the delinquencies. And make sure your payments are always on time (pay a little extra if you can, even if it's $5 over the min).

Admitting that you have debt is scary but putting a plan in place to resolve the issues is the first step towards fixing them.

To prioritize what to pay off first put everything down on paper. Every credit card, every loan, etc (do not include your mortgage). Then list today's balance with the interest rate next to it and your minimum monthly payment for each.

Then put all of them in order from smallest balance to largest balance. If you have two with the same balance then put the one with the highest interest rate first.

This is the order in which you're going to attack your debt. Start with the smallest balance and put every extra nickle you have towards it on top of the minimum you already pay. Pay the minimums on everything else.

Once that has been paid off, roll that monthly payment into the next debt on the list. You're now adding the $ from debt 1 onto the minimum of debt 2. Once debt 2 is paid off take the total you were paying on debt 2 and add it to the minimum of debt 3. And so on until everything has been paid off.

You must STOP using credit cards for this to work! Paying off in the order of smallest to largest provides you with a feeling of accomplishment that will motivate you to continue. Some people wil argue that you should go from the largest APR to the smallest to aviod paying extra interest, but for me I get overwhelmed and I need that feeling of accomplishment to stay motivated.

Continue to put any extra $ you end up with towards the debt you're working to pay off.

This is based on Dave Ramsey's approach as outlined in his book Total Money Makeover. If you haven't read it then I suggest taking it out of the library and reading it.

*Please note I am not a professional, I'm just a consumer who wants to help.

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jwsister

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I'll "second" SD4480's suggestion and I've never read Dave Ramsey's book, but I have done the same procedure over the years.  It works!!

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