If you’ve had credit problems in the past, you know that dealing with them is a pain. And if you listen to the experts, you think that you just have to sit back and wait for them to disappear in 7 to 10 years.

But you can recover from bad credit using these simple credit repair tips right away. The process does take a little time, organization, and follow up. But it’s your credit, And you have a right to make sure it is as accurate and positive as possible. So here are five tips you take that can improve your credit score:

Request Your Credit Report

But don’t get it from one of the ads you see on TV. The ads for free credit reports require that you sign up for some type of paid service to make it free. Even if its just a trial, there is a simple way to get a free credit report with no strings attached. How? Go to annualcreditreport.com, and you can get a free copy from all 3 major credit bureaus annually. This is the only website authorized to release free credit reports. Based on the Fair Credit Reporting Act, a legislation that protects your rights as borrower, you are entitled to get an annual credit report for free from the three major reporting agencies- Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Check For Errors

Obtaining a copy of your credit report is necessary in the recovery process, as not all information in the report is accurate. In fact, statistics shows that up to 75% of the reports contain erroneous details. Check for discrepancies. See to it that the information is true and belongs to you. From the report, you will also know what went wrong with your credit rating. This way, you will have an idea how to resolve your dilemma. Circle or highlight all of the errors and inaccuracies, and all of the negative items such as late payments.

File Your Disputes Right Away

If you find flawed information on your credit report, you need to file your dispute right away following the guidelines set by the reporting agencies. You may wish to visit their official websites to check on these guidelines. The law gives you the right to dispute unreliable and inaccurate information on your credit report. You just have to observe the reporting agency’s protocol. Since it is more likely that there is an expiration date for filing of disputes, file it immediately or as soon as you detect these erroneous items in your report. For all negative items, ask for written verification. By law, if they cannot provide it they must remove the item. This is the way to get even the worst credit removed, as the credit bureaus often have trouble providing written verification.

Organize Your Debts & Pay On Time

It is not always easy to do, especially when money is tight. But explore all possible options such as finding new sources of income to meet the amount you need to pay off your balances, or current debts into one new single loan. It is like getting a new lease on your financial life. With debt consolidation, you merge your existing debts and start a new consolidated loan with single interest rate, usually fixed, payable at the terms and condition you have agreed upon with your creditor. And helps keep your debts manageable.

Develop Good Credit Habits

Repairing your credit does not end with clearing your credit report. It is crucial that you develop and practice good habits in borrowing. This will prevent you from falling into the debt cycle trap repeatedly. For instance, instead of paying low money on your credit cards, pay the entire amount due. Or at least pay as much extra as possible. Better yet, practice paying in cash as much as your budget allows. This will enable you to lessen your dependence on credit cards and will keep you away from the temptation of using your plastics for unnecessary purchases.

These are simple credit repair tips you can do immediately. Keep in mind that your credit reputation is important not only for securing loans at lesser rates, but it can also affect the cost of your insurances as well as influence your chances of getting your dream job. So keep your credit as good as possible.

Kris Bickell shares the lessons he learned about getting out of debt and fixing credit problems at Debt-Tips.com. You’ll learn real tips that helped him pay off his credit card bills and get his credit back to normal.