A sudden drop in your credit score can be alarming and frustrating. Major dings typically happen due to missed payments, exceeding credit limits, or opening several new accounts too quickly. Rebuilding after a plunge takes time and diligent effort. But you can recover and even improve your score with the right strategies.

  1. First, identify and address what caused the drop. Review your credit report for any inaccuracies and dispute errors with the bureaus. If the damage was self-inflicted through missed payments, get back on track with on-time payments going forward. Bring any past due accounts current if possible. 

  2. Reduce credit utilization by paying down balances. Try to get utilization below 30%, and below 10% on any individual card. This may require making more than just minimum payments for a period of time. Stop using credit until balances decrease.
  3. Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account to add positive history. Make sure they have excellent credit and low utilization. Avoid being added as a joint account holder.
  4. Limit new credit applications until your score recovers. Too many new accounts can signal risk and further hurt your score. Wait at least 6 months before applying for any new credit. Let your profile stabilize.
  5. Consider contacting creditors directly to request removal of negative marks if they were illness-related emergencies. While not guaranteed, a goodwill deletion may be granted if you explain the circumstances. 
  6. Pay all current bills early or in full each month – not just credit cards but utilities, rent, etc. Consistent on-time payments will slowly help offset past missteps.
  7. Monitor your credit regularly so you can intervene quickly in case of any new issues. Use free services to check reports from all three bureaus. Watch for errors or suspicious activity.

Rebuilding credit scores requires diligence and patience after a plunge. But taking the right steps now helps ensure your access to affordable credit in the future.