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How to Rebuild Your Credit



If your credit score has dropped after a financial problem, you’ll need to learn how to rebuild credit. It’s not always an easy process, but with enough time and effort, you can ensure your score bounces back.

Factors that influence credit

There are several factors that influence how your credit score is calculatedstyle=”text-decoration: underline”>. You can learn how each of these factors work below.

Payment history

Your payment history is your record of on-time and late payments. For a late payment to count against you, it must be at least 30 days past due.

Only payments that are reported to the credit bureausstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> apply to your payment history. Credit card companies usually report payments to at least one credit bureau, so it’s important to always make on-time payments.

Credit utilization ratio

Your credit utilizationstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> ratio is the sum of all your credit account balances compared to the total available credit on your accounts.

For example, let’s say you have three credit cards with the following balances and credit limits:

  • A $2,000 balance and a $10,000 credit limit
  • A $3,000 balance and a $15,000 credit limit
  • A $0 balance and a $5,000 credit limit

In this scenario, you have combined balances of $5,000 and combined credit limits of $30,000. Your credit utilization would be 16.67%.

Total debt

The total amount of debt you have, including balances on credit accounts and loans, can affect your credit score. As you’d expect, less debt is better for your score.

Credit mix

Your credit mix is the diversity of your credit accounts. It’s better for your credit if you have both a revolving credit accountstyle=”text-decoration: underline”>, such as a credit card, and an installment loan, such as a mortgage or car loan. Note that you shouldn’t open a new account solely to improve your credit mix. It’s possible to get an excellent credit score with even just one credit card.

Age of credit accounts

The older your open accounts, the better for your credit. Credit bureaus look at both the age of your oldest account and the average age of all your credit accounts.

Hard inquiries

When you apply for new credit, the creditor pulls your credit file to evaluate it. This is known as a hard credit pullstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> or a hard inquiry. Each hard inquiry can decrease your credit score. However, this is a minor drop. Hard inquiries have a big impact only if you apply for several accounts in a short time frame.

Public records

Your credit file may include public records that affect your credit. However, only certain types of public records are reported on your credit file. Two of the most common are bankruptcies and home foreclosures.

When do I need to rebuild credit?

You need to rebuild credit if your credit score has dropped due to financial missteps. Although building and rebuilding credit may sound similar, there’s a key difference between them:

  • Building credit is creating a positive credit history when you have limited to no information on your credit file.
  • Rebuilding credit is recovering from a problem that decreased your credit score.

How do I rebuild credit?

The two most important parts of rebuilding credit are paying on time and having a low credit utilization ratio. It’s easiest to do both with a credit card account. If you can’t qualify for most cards, other options include opening a secured account, recruiting a cosigner, or becoming an authorized user on another person’s account.

Here’s a closer look at each of these aspects to rebuilding credit:

On-time payments

Since payment history is the biggest factor influencing your credit, on-time payments are a must. You can avoid missed payments by setting up autopay. As long as you have sufficient funds in the payment account, autopay guarantees that you won’t miss a payment.

Credit utilization ratio

Your credit benefits when you maintain low credit utilization. How low should this be? There’s no magic number, but lower is better. Staying under 20% to 30% is a good goal.

Secured accounts

There are two types of secured accounts that can be useful for rebuilding credit: secured credit cards and secured loans.

A secured cardstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> requires a deposit upfront. Card issuers often set the card’s credit limit to the amount of the security deposit.

A secured loanstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> is a loan for which the borrower puts up some sort of collateral. Examples of collateral include the funds in a savings account or a vehicle.

The security deposit or the collateral gives the creditor something to collect if the borrower defaults. For that reason, secured accounts are easier to get approved for than unsecured accounts.


Having someone with good credit cosign on your credit card application can help you get approved for the card. The credit card company will use your cosigner’s financial information to decide whether to approve the application.

Authorized users

You don’t need your own credit account to improve your credit. You could also become an authorized user on another cardholder’s account. When you’re an authorized user on a credit card, that card’s activity goes on your credit file. If the primary account holder pays on time, it builds both their payment history and yours.

You’ll need to find a family member or friend willing to add you as an authorized user on their account.

How long does it take to rebuild credit?

It can take anywhere from under 30 days to over a year to rebuild credit. The time framestyle=”text-decoration: underline”> depends on what’s affecting your credit and how good your credit was before.

For example, high credit utilization is an issue you could fix within 30 days. Credit card companies report your balances every month, so if you pay down your cards enough, it can have a quick impact on your credit. Other issues, such as late payments, can affect your credit for much longer.

Negative marks remain on your credit file for a set amount of time, depending on what the item is. After that time frame, they fall off your credit file, meaning they no longer affect your credit. Note that an issue can also stop affecting your credit before it falls off your credit file; the amount of time a negative mark stays on your credit file is simply the maximum time period that it could affect your credit.

Here’s how long the most common issues stay on your credit report:

Late payments

Late payments stay on your credit file for seven years, and it generally takes at least a year to recover from a late payment. If you had excellent credit before the late payment, it could take much longer for a complete recovery.

Another factor is how late your payment was. A 30-day late payment is better than a 60-day late payment, which is better than a 90-day late payment, and so on.


Collections reports stay on your credit file for seven years. They have much less of an impact on your credit score after two years.


A Chapter 7 bankruptcy stays on your credit file for 10 years. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy stays on your credit file for seven years. Your credit score can gradually improve during that time, but it will likely take several years or even the entire seven to 10 years for a complete recovery.

Civil judgments

Civil judgments could previously stay on your credit file for seven years, but these are no longer reported on consumer credit files.

Paid tax liens

Paid tax liens could previously stay on your credit file for seven years, but these are no longer reported on consumer credit files.

Hard inquiries

Hard inquiries stay on your credit file for two years, but they won’t affect your score for longer than one year.

Managing debt

Bad credit is often the result of debt. If you’re dealing with debt, then you’ll need to get it under control to repair your credit. Fortunately, there are options available to help you manage debt.

Credit counseling

This service involves discussing your finances with a credit counselorstyle=”text-decoration: underline”>. That counselor can go over your spending, improve your budget, and recommend ways to pay off your debt. Nonprofit financial counseling organizations usually offer credit counseling free of charge.

Debt management plans

A debt management plan is an agreement between you, your credit counselor, and your creditors. If you and your counselor think a debt management plan is a good idea, he or she can contact your creditors to negotiate. Credit counselors can request lower monthly payments, lower interest rates, or waived late fees. They typically don’t negotiate the amount you owe.

When a credit counselor has set up a plan with your creditors, you make one payment to the counselor per month. They then distribute that amount to the creditors.

Debt management plans usually have a setup fee and a monthly fee. You should start with credit counseling and progress to a debt management plan only if necessary.


Debt consolidation is when you use one credit card or loan to pay off all your debt. You then go from multiple monthly debt payments to just one. You could also get a lower interest rate on your debt.

If you’re going to use a credit card to consolidate debt, balance transfer cardsstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> are the most popular option. Many of these cards offer 0% intro APRs, which means you can avoid paying interest on the debt for as long as the card’s intro period lasts. However, the interest rate will increase after the intro period ends, so a personal loanstyle=”text-decoration: underline”> may be a better choice if it will take several years to repay your debt.

The road to recovery

Rebuilding credit isn’t complicated, but it will take financial discipline. You’ll need to work hard on making every payment on time, not using too much of your available credit, and getting any existing debts under control. If you do that, you’ll see your credit score begin to rise higher and higher.

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Letter: Vote for Kiesha Preston | Letters



The residents of Roanoke, Virginia, need to get out of the box of voting based on party affiliation. It’s time to vote for the best candidate to do the job.

Kiesha Preston is running as an independent and is the best choice for Roanoke City Council. When she was only three years old, she was troubled because a local Kroger store removed the kiddie carts. She asked me how to get them back so she could shop beside me. I told her to go to the manager and she did. She stated her case, and a few weeks later those kiddie carts were back in the store.

Kiesha also has presented a bill to Congress that was approved. The Virginia Domestic Violence Victims Protection Act prevents domestic violence victims from not being able to rent an apartment because of bad credit as a result of their abuser ruining their credit.

These are but two examples of Kiesha’s tenacity and getting results. We need people on council who have no agenda and are truly willing to work for the least of us.

Kiesha is not intimidated by those in power and will hold her own to help those who cannot help themselves. This is why she is the right person to get the job done.

Please do not be discouraged because you are tired of the same old same old where parties are concerned. You have another choice so please vote for Kiesha Preston. She has been working tirelessly on behalf of the people without being elected to an official office. Just imagine what she can do once she is officially on City Council.

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This One Credit Card Will Get You the Most Cash Back Right Now



Let’s admit it, choosing the right credit card can be a stressful process. There are so many variables to consider—from annuals fees to credit score requirement—not to mention the various rewards and benefits each card offers, and how those align with your lifestyle and spending habits. Then there are those hidden fees and interest rates you have to reckon with. In other words, it takes a lot of work to make a truly informed decision when it comes to choosing a credit card that’s right for you. Perhaps a good cash back program is high on your credit card priority list because, well, who doesn’t like some extra money in their pocket?

To help you decide on the credit card that is going to get you the most cash back, the experts at personal finance site WalletHub compared more than 1,500 current credit card offers. From that large pool, they narrowed down the field to the cards that offer cash back rewards, comparing those offers based on initial bonuses, rewards earnings rates, annual fees, and more. From that analysis, here are the best credit cards that will get you the most cash back right now. And for more money matters, check out This Is the State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.


Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

Best for: Cash back on all purchases

Cash-back rate: 2.5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00 for the first year; $99.00 after that

What kind of credit you need to get one: Excellent

Learn more about the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature credit card here.

If you are worried about having buyer’s remorse after choosing a credit card, put that into perspective by checking out What You’re More Likely to Regret Than Anything Else You Do.


Discover It

Best for: People with bad credit

Cash-back rate: 1-2 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Bad

Learn more about the Discover It credit card here.


U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

Best for: Cash bonus for good credit ($200.00)

Cash-back rate: 1-5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card here.

And to make sure you have money to pay off those monthly bills, avoid The Biggest Career Mistake You’ll Ever Make, According to Experts.


Chase Freedom Unlimited

Best for: No APR on purchases

Cash-back rate: 1.5-5 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card here.

And for more things that will help you and your family stay on the right financial track, check out The No. 1 Sign You Shouldn’t Buy That House, According to Realtors.


Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for: People with limited-to-fair credit and looking for low annual fee

Cash-back rate: 1.5 percent

Annual fee: $39.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Fair

Learn more about Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card here.


Citi Double Cash Card—18 month BT offer

Best for: Flat-rate rewards

Cash-back rate: 2 percent

Annual fee: $0.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Excellent

Learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card here.


Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Dining and entertainment

Cash-back rate: 1-4 percent

Annual fee: $95.00

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card here.


Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Best for: Most cash back overall

Cash-back rate: 1-6 percent

Annual fee: $0.00 for the first year; $95.00 after that

What kind of credit you need to get one: Good

Learn more about Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express here.

And for more helpful information delivered to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

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Possible Raises Series B and Moves Fully Remote | State



SEATLLE, Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Possible raises $11 million in new equity funding to expand the team and to provide additional products for its customers. Union Square Ventures led the round, with participation from existing investors Canvas Ventures, Unlock Venture Partners, Columbia Pacific Advisors, Union Bay Partners, Tom Williams, and FJ Labs. The company has also secured $80 million in new debt financing from Park Cities Advisors.

Furthermore, the company is now fully remote and recently onboarded software engineers from across the US and the globe. Possible is committed to distributed work and actively recruiting for a number of other remote roles.

Possible provides friendly access to capital and a simple way to build credit for people who otherwise would get a payday loan or get hit with a bank overdraft fee. The company uses real-time financial data, rather than a credit score, to qualify customers and provide funds instantly through its iTunes and Android apps. Unlike payday loans or overdraft fees, Possible loans are paid back in small installments over multiple pay periods to allow customers to catch their breath. By reporting on-time payments to the credit bureaus, Possible enables its customers to build credit history and eventually qualify for cheaper, longer term financial products. On average, customers with low credit scores see their scores increase by 70 points within 4 months.

Tony Huang, Possible’s CEO explains, “So many people who live paycheck to paycheck can’t afford to build credit history. We’re helping them do it for the first time while providing them with a friendlier and more affordable small-dollar loan.”

Since launching in June 2018, Possible’s given out loans to hundreds of thousands of customers, helping meet short-term cash needs while building credit history or establishing credit for the first time. These customers, often with bad credit or no credit history, are underserved by traditional banks. Possible fills that gap and provides financial access to those who need it most while giving them the means to climb their way out.

Gillian Munson, Partner at Union Square Ventures, explains the thesis behind their new investment, “Through tech innovation, data-driven insights, and a focus on the customer, Possible is well on its way to winning the hearts and minds of both consumers and regulators alike, and building a trusted brand that endures.”

A 2019 Experian study shows 34.8% of consumers are subprime and can’t access money when they need it. They pay $106 billion in punitive fees each year to the existing financial system for short-term credit products. These consumers are trapped in predatory debt cycles of payday loans and overdraft fees without the means to rebuild their credit or improve their financial health. While there has been a number of new tech-enabled products in this space, most lead to similar debt cycles and don’t address the harder issue of improving long-term financial health. That’s where Possible comes in.

Since the company is now fully remote, Possible is actively hiring talent across the globe. Tyler, Possible’s CTO, explains, “Being fully distributed allows us to access the talent pool of the entire world. Our success so far is a reflection of the quality of our people, and we believe hiring globally will allow us to find exceptional people to join us in achieving our mission.”

About Possible

Possible is a fintech company based in Seattle, Washington. The company provides a friendlier and easier way for customers to access capital while also building credit history and improving long-term financial health.

About Union Square Ventures

Union Square Ventures is a thesis-driven venture capital firm based in New York City. USV manages over $1 billion in capital across seven funds and focuses investments in portfolio companies with the potential to transform important markets.

About Park Cities Advisors LLC

Park Cities Advisors LLC (“PCA”) is a privately held, SEC-registered alternative credit manager based in Dallas, Texas. PCA is focused on private lending across the specialty finance and FinTech sectors and provides debt capital to companies across a variety of industries through asset-based financing transactions.

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