Simple steps to take right now to fix your credit score

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Four simple ways to fix your credit score now before you start your holiday shopping.

The holidays are coming up and if you are thinking you can't purchase any big ticket items because of your bad credit, you need to fix it. Can you do it fast? Well, that depends.

The most well-known ways to start cleaning up your credit score are to request a free credit report from each of the big three credit reporting company, and to start paying down balances. It's important to know that 30 percent of your credit score is based on the amount you owe.

Here's something that can help your score: Pay twice a month. That doesn't mean paying double. If you are paying $100 a month, break that payment up to keep your balance lower throughout the month since your debt is reported monthly.

Increase your credit limit. By doing so, your ratio of debt to that limit shrink. The key is to not actually use any of your new credit.

Open a new account if you can't get a credit increase. This will also help your ratio since your score lumps all of your open lines of credit and balances together.

An important thing to note, don't open a bunch of new accounts. Keep it at one or two so you don't look desperate.

Finally, if your credit is in collection, negotiate outstanding balances. You can't wipe out past mistakes from your credit report, but you can do some damage control by settling them. So, make the call and start negotiating.

RELATED: Major changes coming to how your credit score is calculated
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Major changes are coming to the way your credit score is calculated.

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