Rebuilding Credit After Debt Settlement, If you’ve recently settled some debts for less than you originally owed, your credit has likely taken a hit. But with strategic effort, you can rebuild credit after debt settlement. By taking specific positive steps, you can demonstrate responsible behaviors and see your credit scores steadily improve over time.
Regularly Check Your Credit Reports
- Payment history (35%) – The most influential factor. The more on-time full payments, the better.
- Credit utilization (30%) – How much of your available credit you use. Keep this low.
- Credit history length (15%) – The longer your credit accounts have been open, the better.
- Credit mix (10%) – Having different types of credit like installment loans and credit cards.
- Credit inquiries (10%) – Too many credit checks by potential lenders implies risk.
Review your reports frequently to monitor your progress as you work to rebuild your credit.
Apply for New Credit Wisely
If you now only have a few or no open accounts, you may want to apply for a new credit card or small installment loan to start rebuilding credit. But take it slowly – too many new applications in a short period can actually hurt your scores. If you’re having trouble qualifying for unsecured credit, consider applying for secured credit cards. Retail store cards are also typically easier to obtain as you work to re-establish positive history.
Become an Authorized User
Pay All Bills On Time and In Full
Payment history is the single biggest factor that goes into calculating your credit scores. Develop the diligent habit of paying all bills – credit cards, loans, utilities – on time and in full every month. Set up autopay if it helps you avoid missed payments. Even minor delinquencies can hurt, so stay sharply focused on due dates for each account.
Mix Up Your Credit Types
Having different types of credit – installment loans, mortgages, and revolving accounts like credit cards – demonstrates you can successfully handle multiple lines of credit. Consider taking out a small installment loan from a credit union to establish a more diverse and positive credit history.
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Give It Time To Rebuilding Credit After Debt Settlement
The negative influence of those settled debts will diminish over time, especially as you consistently build new positive credit history month after month. Be patient and persistent in following responsible money management habits, and your credit scores will gradually but steadily recover. Check your progress periodically.
While debt settlement may damage your credit initially, rebuilding and rehabilitating your scores is very doable with focus and diligence. By zeroing in on these essential credit repair steps, your financial life can bounce back even after debt settlements.