How do I rebuild my credit?

To improve your credit scores, you need to keep using credit and making good decisions. If you don’t, your history freezes where it is and won’t show any progress. The best way to improve it is to start building positive credit habits now. With a bit of work and time, you can get your credit back on track.

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How do I begin to rebuild my credit?

Work with your lenders to bring accounts into good standing
Make the minimum payments on time for every account
Reduce your overall debt, starting with the highest-interest accounts
Check your credit report for errors regularly

How long does it take to build good credit?

Each person’s situation is different, so there is no exact answer to how long it will take to build your credit. It’s better to think of it as an ongoing process that you should always be working to improve. Your credit score takes into account a whole bunch of information, and much of it takes time to affect your score. This just makes it more important that you work to build your credit wisely.

If you are experiencing a debt crisis

If you are going through a major life event that you are worried might affect your credit, do not wait. Act now to get help and advice. With the right actions, you can often minimize or completely avoid the damage to your credit history. Learn more about how to handle a debt crisis >

The benefits of a secured card

Secured Credit cards give you the convenience of paying with a credit card. That’s really nice to have when you don’t want to carry cash, you want to make a purchase by phone, online or you have a minor emergency.

Also a secured credit card can help you build positive credit history when it’s well managed. Secured credit card usage activities are reported to the credit bureaus — the companies that calculate credit scores. Over time, positive activities like paying on time and staying within your credit limit (while responsibly managing all of your other finances) can help improve your credit score. That’s something you don’t get with other payment tools like debit or prepaid cards.

The journey of a credit rebuilder

Jill had some credit trouble in the past, and now she's ready to start improving it.
Step 1: Jill’s credit accounts are no longer available to use for additional credit. Step 2: She makes payments on her accounts so they are all up-to-date. Step 3: Working with her bank, she opens a secured credit card. Step 4: Jill makes her new secured credit card payments on time. Step 5: She starts to see her credit improve over time. Step 6: Jill is able to qualify for unsecured credit.

The journey of a credit rebuilder

Jill had some credit trouble in the past, and now she's ready to start improving it.


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Follow these guidelines and use your credit responsibly, and you’ll be on the path to good credit.

For more about building and managing your credit, visit our Smarter CreditTM Center.


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