Credit Revelation

How One Woman’s Credit Score Went From Awful to Approved

If credit scores were like golf scores, Rachel Lawson’s low FICO score would have put all others to shame.

Unfortunately, Rachel’s score was more like a double bogey than a hole-in-one. Poor decisions after high school, a repossessed car in her early twenties, and more late payments than she could count had left Rachel’s credit score in shambles.

But that was when she was a little younger and a lot more reckless with her credit. Today, Rachel has a credit score that tops out between 740 and 760, varying slightly between the three big credit reporting agencies.

So how did Rachel get her score from a dismal 463 to a credit score that offers her more borrowing options, easier credit approval and phenomenal interest rates that ultimately save her money?

Saving Her Credit Score

When Rachel finally made the decision to climb out of the bad credit abyss, she knew it wouldn’t be an overnight accomplishment.

“My bad credit habits went on for a few years before I finally decided to make a change,” Rachel said. “When I realized how important it was for me to fix my credit score, I knew that it was going to take a little time.”

Rachel was right; building good credit – especially when recovering from years of having a low credit score – takes time. Building a reputable credit score should be approached like a marathon, not a sprint.

Rachel’s case just goes to show that with the right mindset and determination, anyone can recover from a low credit score. Here are the three steps that Rachel took toward building a great credit score.

  • Check your credit score. Before getting started, Rachel checked her credit score to see exactly where she stood with the three major credit bureaus. Checking your credit score allows you to see where your credit currently stands, while also making sure that you haven’t become a victim of identity theft. Federal law states that everyone in the US is entitled to one free credit report each year, and you can get your free report online now by visiting

  • Pay off your smallest balances first. Experts refer to this method as “the snowball method” – paying off the smallest card first, then using the extra money that went toward the first card to pay off the second, and so on. Rachel used this method to get rid of so-called nuisance balances, which in-turn helped raise her credit score. It also gave her a much-deserved confidence boost every time she paid off another card.

  • Pay on time, every time. For Rachel, paying on time consisted of making some big changes. Once the self-proclaimed Queen of the Grace Period, now Rachel pays many of her bills days in advance by keeping a monthly calendar of due dates and smartphone reminders that alert her long before bills are due.

For Rachel Lawson, going back to the old way of living in debt with an unsavory credit score isn’t an option.

“It’s really no way to live,” Rachel stated, “and it’s amazing how simple it was to clean up my credit score once I decided to sit down, make a plan and just stick with it.”


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