Society often judges you more by your credit score than your personality, actions or resume. From mortgages to employment applications, the need for a good rating is higher than ever. If yours is lower than you want and you’re looking to repair it, read this article for some ideas you can use.
When deciding to repair your credit, get a copy of your credit report from all three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and EquiFax. These reports will show you where you stand with each debtor you have worked with. Once you know what is wrong, you can start working to fix it.
When using a credit repair service, be sure not to pay any money upfront for these services. It is unlawful for a company to ask you for any money until they have proven that they have given you the results they promised when you signed your contract. The results can be seen in your credit report issued by the credit bureau, and this could take six months or more once the corrections were made.
If you want to fix your credit rating, start paying off your debts. Pick the credit card with the highest interest rate and work on paying that one off first. Then move down the list until you’ve managed to pay everything off. You start with the most first since these are going to cost you the most if you let them sit.
If you have trouble remembering to make your monthly credit card payments, see if you can set up an automatic debit from your bank account. This way you never have to worry about missing a payment, and you can always pay extra if you want to.
If collection agencies won’t work with you, shut them up with a validation letter. When a third-party collection agency buys your debt, they are required to send you a letter stating such. If you send a validation letter, the collection agency can’t contact you again until they send proof that you owe the debt. Many collection agencies won’t bother with this. If they don’t provide this proof and contact you anyway, you can sue them under the FDCPA.
If you have challenged or denied negative items on your credit report and some still remain, you may be able to reduce that number even further by contacting the collection agency or creditor. By law, these companies need to provide written proof that the account is yours. This means a hard copy of a signed contract or other legally binding document, not just a printout of the information they have in their computer system. Many of these companies do not hold onto these documents. If they can’t come up with acceptable proof, they are required to remove the account from your credit report and stop all collection attempts.
Remind yourself to be persistent when you are trying to repair your credit on your own. These matters take time to be done properly because there are specific rules and procedures that you must follow when dealing with the credit bureaus. If you understand and follow these procedures correctly, you will see positive results.
If you are trying to repair your credit after being forced into a bankruptcy, be sure all of your debt from the bankruptcy is properly marked on your credit report. While having a debt dissolved because of bankruptcy is hard on your score, you do want creditors to know that those items are no longer in your current debt pool.
To improve your credit rating going forward, pay attention to the quality of your creditors. This doesn’t impact your credit as much as other factors, but having credit accounts with banks and auto manufacturers is better for your credit score than having credit accounts with general lenders like finance companies. You can often identify a general lender by the fact that it has “Finance” or “Banc” in its name.
As mentioned earlier in this article, a good credit rating can mean the difference between owning a house or renting an apartment. It can even decide some job opportunities. Clean up your credit reports and ratings with the advice from this article, and you’ll start feeling better about your financial future within minutes.