Many Americans are dealing with the stress of being in debt and their credit score is suffering as a result.
There are a number of steps a consumer can take to improve their score on their own, says a report from KTAR radio in Phoenix. While some companies promise to fix consumer's debt for a price, more often than not they aren't capable of doing so, and if they are, it can take years and ruin the consumer's credit score in the process.
Any credit damage can be repaired by the consumer or with help from free services, the report said. All a consumer needs to do is start following three steps.
The first step, the report said, is to start paying bills on time, every time, making sure to pay in full so that there is no outstanding debt of any kind. The second step is to pay down any remaining debt and to stop charging until that debt is paid off. And when paying off debt, consumers must make sure to pay off the debt with the highest interest first because that's costing consumers the most money.
A recent report in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said that payment history makes up the biggest part of what goes into a credit score, a full 35 percent. Therefore, it is important that payments be made on time every time. Missing just one payment for more than 30 days can knock 50 to 100 points off a credit score.