Many people are almost out of high school before learning anything about their credit. Some never learn about their credit – how to protect or repair it. This article can help anyone, whether you never learned, or just need a refresher about credit repair.

Make sure you do not have too many consumer inquiries on your credit report. This happens when you apply for credit with several places, and those places all check your credit report as a “hard inquiry.” If you have your credit checked too many times in a certain period of time, then it has a negative impact on your credit score.

Don’t close a credit card account that has a balance. If the card is not in default and you close it, it will reduce your credit limit on that card to zero. FICO will factor in that card as if you are using one hundred percent of your debt availability, and that will lower your credit score.

Throughout the process of repairing your credit, keep in mind that there are no legitimate shortcuts to fixing your credit. Credit repair is a lengthy process requiring dedication and patience. Take quick-fix offers with a healthy grain of salt, and remember that credit solutions that sound too good to be true usually are.

Always pay your bills on time. The way you pay your bills accounts for almost one-third of your credit score. If you make a payment late it stays on your credit report and will affect your score for a whole 7 years. If you haven’t been paying your bills on time, start now.

When working to repair your credit, it’s important to consider the different ranges that different reporting agencies use. This is important to know, so that you know the meaning of your own score. The main scores used are FICO: 300 – 850, Experian: 330 – 830, Equifax: 300 – 850, and TransUnion: 300 – 850.

If you paid off an account, do not try to have it removed. Paid off accounts do have a positive effect on your FICO score, especially as they age. Every item on your report that shows that you have at some point made payments is a positive item.

Do not make credit card payments late. By remaining on time with your monthly payments, you will avoid issues with late payment submissions on your credit report. It is not necessary to pay the entire balance, however making the minimum payments will ensure that your credit is not damaged further and restoration of your history can continue.

Avoid paying a credit repair agency in advance. Many times, credit repair agencies are scams and should be avoided at all costs. You can usually take care of your credit problems on your own and without the help of a credit repair agency that will charge you an expensive fee.

Whenever you find a mistake on your credit report, it is important to contact the creditor as well as the credit bureau when you are trying to rectify that mistake. This can help any future problems by preventing that creditor from making the same mistake twice so you won’t have to go through it again.

Rather than avoiding a major debt you cannot pay, negotiate with your creditors and offer a partial payment. You should never ignore a debt that you do not have the funds to cover. You will find your creditors surprisingly sympathetic if you contact them, explain the situation and offer to put at least a little money towards repaying your debt.

So, aren’t you glad you took a few minutes to learn or remind yourself about credit repair? Remember it is never too late to apply the suggestions provided to protect or repair your credit.