How Long Does It Take To Repair Credit? Finally The Truth!

By Mark Huntley, J.D.

Real estate investor, lawyer, personal finance writer, and Co-Founder of Credit Knocks

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Summary: We review how long it takes to repair credit and include five steps you can take to start fixing your credit today. 

A while back, I found myself with a credit score around 475 and was unable to qualify for basic daily needs like an apartment, cellphone, or utilities. 

Today my credit score hovers around 700, and my goal of this article is to answer a question we get a lot. 

‘How long does it take to repair credit?’

Unfortunately, the answer varies from person to person because no two credit files are the same. 

For instance, I improved my credit score over 100 points in the first 60 days when I started my credit journey. 

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I was super aggressive and used a combination of repair and credit building tools, including credit repair services, online store credit cards like Fingerhut, and authorized user tradelines

In this article, we will review how these tools affected my credit score and how long they took to work. 

By the end of the article, you should have a better feel for that nagging question everyone seems to have...

‘How long does it take to repair your credit?’

Free Credit Score & Credit Monitoring Services

First, you will need to know your credit score and get a look at your credit reports. 

There are many places to get free credit scores. Credit Sesame is our top choice because they also provide free credit monitoring services along with a free TransUnion and Equifax VantageScore. 

Every year you are entitled to receive a free credit report from the big three credit agencies.

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To get your annual report, go to the government website AnnualCreditReport
and obtain copies of all three because each can be very different from the other. 

Be sure to carefully review your credit reports for anything that doesn’t look correct.

Print it out and highlight or make notes of all negative items to make it easier for you to address these issues. 

This first step should only take you a few hours, and it shouldn’t cost you any money, just time.

Free credit score and credit monitoring with Credit Sesame

Hire A Credit Repair Company

I like the idea of not spending money and fixing my credit on my own without any help. 

The problem with do-it-yourself credit repair is that frankly, you probably don’t know enough to do it properly. 

I don’t care how many of these articles you read. The bottom line is that there are people who repair credit for a living because it takes a full-time job to figure this stuff out. 

Most people will simply log in to the three credit agencies and arbitrarily dispute every negative record, which can cause more long-lasting damage to your credit than just leaving the bad records alone.

Wanna Know the Easy Way to Repair Your Credit?

In a recent study, we found that *48% of paying, credit repair clients got a 100+ credit score gain or more.   Get help from the pros! ​Check out our #1 choice for professional credit repair.

The complexities used by the credit agencies are not by accident, according to Jason Kaplan, Attorney-at-Law, and the Owner of The Credit Pros, one of the largest and most respected Credit Repair Companies in the United States. Kaplan explained how the credit bureaus E-Oscar dispute matrix works and why you have to ‘be careful about the language you choose in dispute letters.’ 

Kaplan told us that when the credit bureaus receive a dispute letter that they assign it a three digit specific credit bureau code based on the language used in the letter. ‘If the dispute does not correlate to a specific code, the dispute will be bucketed into a catch-all category, and the tradeline will have a lesser chance of deletion due to its lack of specificity.’

Once the first dispute is denied, Kaplan said it, ‘is a full-time job to understand all the different forks in the road.’

‘If a dispute is denied,’ where you start depends on several factors, Kaplan explained. For instance, ’Was the debt verified with documentation and if so is the documentation provided in line with Federal Trade Commission guidelines and state law?’ Or maybe, ‘Was the dispute deemed frivolous, and if so, what did the creditors or credit bureaus use to decide arbitrarily?’

These are just a few of the questions that have to be asked after a credit dispute is denied. 

Mr. Kaplan further told us, ‘There are specific judicial decisions that will apply depending on your jurisdiction. Has the denial decision been covered in subsequent settlement agreements like the one in 2015 between the New York Attorney General’s office?’

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As you can tell, disputing records on your credit report is hugely detail sensitive. 

We paid for a study of credit repair customers and found that 48% of them increased their credit score 100 plus points in six months.

The average cost for these six months was around $500, and a year later, many of their scores had continued to increase. 

Consider speaking with a professional agent at our top-rated credit repair company before beginning your do-it-yourself credit repair campaign.

Or visit our review of the best credit repair companies of 2021

Repair Credit By Building Positive Credit History

The length of time it takes to repair bad credit takes much longer than someone who has no credit or has just started their credit journey. 

However, you can repair bad credit or start building new credit by adding the right type of tradelines to your credit file.

In a recent study, we found that *48% of paying, credit repair clients got a 100+ credit score gain or more.   If you don't have serious time to devote to your dispute letters, we recommend you hire the pros to help.  Check out our #1 choice for professional credit repair. 

Fingerhut Credit Card For People With Bad Credit

If you are looking to repair your credit fast, consider applying for a Fingerhut Credit Card issued through WebBank

If you receive a credit card, the money you borrow from it is a revolving loan. 

The total amount of all of your revolving loans is your revolving credit limit, and the more you have available, the higher your credit score will be. 

Fingerhut specializes in giving credit to people who have a low credit score due to adverse credit records or for lack of credit history.

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When I applied for my Fingerhut credit card, I had a credit score around 550, and they gave me $1,000 in unsecured credit.

Absolutely, no one else is going to give that much credit to someone with such a low credit score. 

Even if you have a lower credit score, you can still expect to at least qualify for their fresh start program, which will allow you to build credit and improve your credit score, too. 

Applying for a Fingerhut credit card will not cost you any money or an annual fee.

If you want to start building credit and improve your credit score, the Fingerhut online store credit card is the way to go. 

When I received my initial credit limit, I saw my credit score jump almost 40 points in 30 days, just from Fingerhut. 

If you make your regular monthly payments, they will continue to increase your revolving credit limit. 

Over the past year, I have seen my credit limit rise from $1,000 to $2,100 with Fingerhut alone.

I can track almost 100 point credit score gains to my new Fingerhut tradeline

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Increase Your Credit by 100+ Points

In a recent study at Credit Knocks, we found that *48% of clients who used a credit repair company got a credit score increase of 100+ points.

Consultation is quick, easy, and free.

Keep in mind that each person's results will be different, but my results were with a thick credit file and bad credit so it would not be unheard of for someone new to credit to see a much higher gain. 

How long does it take to repair bad credit? 

With Fingerhut, you will see the most significant gain in the first 30 to 60 days and incremental increases as you continue to make your monthly payments, and they raise your credit.

Become An Authorized User

As we continue our deep dive into ‘How long does it take to repair your credit,’ we would do you a disservice if we didn’t discuss becoming an authorized user on a credit card. 

You can become an authorized user by being added to a credit card account. 

When you are added as an authorized user, your credit file inherits the payment history of that credit card. 

So if you purchase an authorized user tradeline that has been opened for many years, your credit file will inherit all of that positive payment history. 

The credit agencies keep track of your history for seven years, purchasing multiple authorized user tradelines can really help repair your credit quickly by diluting any old late payments. 

Imagine if you have three credit accounts, and you have a couple of late payments to each one over the past couple of years. 

These late payments can drag your credit score down over 100 points.

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But, if you were to purchase three authorized user tradelines that were seven-plus years old, you would add over 250 on-time payments to your credit file. 

This method completely dilutes those couple of late payments and will help to build credit and increase your credit score. 

The great thing about purchasing authorized user tradelines is that they work extremely fast, like within 30 to 60 days.

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We have partnered with the top-rated Tradeline company in the U.S. They have excellent customer service and the best prices you will find on the internet. 

Start repairing your credit by purchasing a package of authorized user tradelines today!

How Long Does Credit Repair Take?

Hopefully, this article helped to shed some light on how long it takes to repair your credit. 

Rebuilding your credit can be done relatively quickly if you follow the steps I laid out for you. 

Give all of these credit-building tools up to six months, and you should find yourself jumping credit score categories!

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