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Having a bad credit score can haunt you for the rest of your life. It can prohibit you from getting the house, or car, or from taking the vacation you would like to take.

Here are some quick ways to help higher credit scores.

1. Bargain

Just because your credit card report says it doesn’t mean that you have to accept it. Don’t be afraid to call up the credit card reporting agency and dispute any charge or infraction you might have. Legally, if you dispute a claim, the credit report bureau has to find the data and report it back to you. If it can’t be proved, it must be removed from your credit report.  Avoid credit card counseling organizations and debt settlement companies, as they are scammers praying on your finances, and most charge a fee—some of them over $5,000. And if you have enough to pay the fee, you might as well just use that money to pay off your debt. Instead of hiring a company, call up your credit card issuer and ask them if you can pay a lump sum in exchange for reduced monthly payments. If it will keep you from the collections agency, then the credit card issuer may just go for it.

2. Pay It on Time

This should be engrained it your heads by now. This is the single most important factor in changing your credit score is paying your bill on time. According to a Credit-Land representative, “Your credit score can shoot up about 50-to-60 points when you pay all your debts on schedule.” The debt won’t go away unless you pay the bill. If you have a lot of revolving debt, pay off the most affordable amount. If your on a budget, paying off the card with highest interest rate makes the most sense, but if your trying to raise your score, pay off the card that is closest to the limit. “At any given time, you only want to be occupying 30 percent of your credit.”

3. Call Someone

If your bad credit is the result of excess debt, a free credit card counseling organization can help you work out a debt management plan. Many of these organizations such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling are non-profit, and generally want to help consumers find their way out of debt.  Debt-laded consumers can meet with budget counselors over the phone or in person. Budget counselors go over finances and set up plans to reduce consumer debt, and ultimately eliminate it.  Budget counselors also have access to unsecured credit card lenders, and can make arrangements to get interest rates and late payment fees lowered.