How Long Does It Take to Fix a Bad Credit?

By Angela Monroe - June 28, 2019

The length of time it takes to fix your bad credit score depends on the severity of debt mismanagement and how gravely they’ve damaged your score. Sometimes, it not only takes months but years to rebuild creditworthiness.

The sooner you start fixing your bad credit score, the sooner you can rebuild and improve your credit profile. The first step towards this goal is getting a copy of your credit reports to review and dispute any errors. 

Requesting for Credit Reports: 10 Days

You can get a free copy of your credit reports from the national credit reporting bureaus (CRBs) once a year. Other than this, you can request a free copy under the following circumstances:

  • You have applied for and been refused credit within the past 90 days.
  • You need to correct information on your report as recommended by a CRB or lender. 

After request, you have to wait for a maximum of 10 days to receive the reports. However, you can get them earlier for a fee. Check with the CRB about the charges.

Reviewing for Errors and Inaccurate Information: 1-2 Hours

Go through the information in your credit reports and check the accuracy. Do you find incorrect payment statuses and outdated information? Are there any fraudulent charges and withdrawals that you are not aware of before? It usually takes about an hour or two to review all reports from the three national CRBs, especially if you have never done it before. Lists all the erroneous information that you can find and start drafting your dispute letters.

Disputing Credit Report Errors: 1 to 6 Months


If you find any error on your credit report, identify which CRB reported the erroneous information. Then, send a dispute letter asking them to correct the mistake or delete any offending account from your report. If all three CRBs recorded the same error, send a dispute letter to all three agencies. Send your dispute letter via certified mail with a return receipt so you have proof of the delivery date.

If you’ve been charged for fraudulent activities, also include in your dispute letter the copies of your credit report highlighting the fraudulent activity, ID Theft Report, and proof of your identity. You can also include a request for a credit freeze and/or fraud alert on your reports. A freeze temporarily denies access to your reports while a fraud alert allows access as long as creditors take steps to verify your identity.

You can also send your dispute online. However, the reasons are often pre-populated so you might find it hard or impossible to explain your side of the story in detail.

The time it takes to prepare and send your dispute letters depends entirely on your sense of urgency and organizing skill. If you have in hand all the financial records and supporting documents that prove your case, the process may only take a few hours or a day to complete.


After sending your dispute to the CRBs, you will have a maximum of 30 days to wait for their response. During the one month period, the CRBs contact the creditors who sent the data in question to verify the information and respond to the dispute. The CRBs will then get back to you with a decision. Sometimes, however, they may need more documentation for verification before finally deciding to reject or accept your dispute. Thus, you might have to spend more than 30 days of back and forth correspondence before getting the decision.

The number of errors in your credit reports also affect the length of the waiting period. If you have identified a lot of information to be disputed, you would need to file many dispute letters. In extreme cases, you would need to send disputes in sets.

Generally, it would take you about three to six months to resolve all disputes. The more information in your credit reports you want to dispute, the longer it will take to resolve. The process may also be time-consuming, leading some borrowers to seek help from credit repair companies. If you have representation from one, ask them how long it would take to resolve your case.

How to Fix Bad Credit If You Have Nothing to Dispute

If your bad credit score is simply a result of poor financial decisions and debt mismanagement in the past, it can take you longer than 6 months to rebuild your credit. 

Pay attention to the factors in your credit report that are currently affecting the number. If you don’t know where to begin, start with your payment history, which is the most important factor in determining your creditworthiness. Pay off any outstanding debts and bring past-due accounts up-to-date. Set up regular payments to keep all credit accounts current.

Also, reduce or pay off any balances on your credit cards and settle your entire loan balance if you can. This will help reduce your credit utilization, which is the second most important factor in calculating your credit score. The lower your utilization rate and the more sustainable your debt is, the more your credit score increases.

A Bad Credit Loan Can Fix Bad Credit Rating

A bad credit loan can help rebuild your credit score, aside from giving you access to funds despite a terrible credit rating. Designed especially for borrowers with bad and insufficient credit scores who cannot qualify for standard consumer loans, a bad credit loan disregards your credit score. Instead, it requires other conditions for approval. This typically includes:

  • Collateral – Valuable asset that can be repossessed and sold by lender if the loan is not repaid on the agreed terms
  • Large Downpayment – Around 20% or more of the purchase price
  • Proof of Income – Income tax return and recent pay stubs for the employed borrowers; income tax return, pension, alimony, investment earnings, dividend income statements and proof of other sources of income for the self-employed

Because of the high risk for lenders in granting you financing despite your history of poor credit use, you will need to pay a higher interest rate for the loan. However, if you stick to your monthly repayment terms and consistently show good account conduct, your credit score will eventually recover.


Loans For People With Bad Credit provides a second chance for people with bad or insufficient credit history. Our equitable and sustainable finance options can help you get funds for personal or business endeavours while building your credit score. Call us on 1300 769 384 or get a Bad Credit Loan Pre-Approval now.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.


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