It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but bad things happen to good people every day. If you have found yourself in a bad situation with your credit, the good news is there are easy ways to fix your credit report. In this article, we will discuss three easy steps you can take to fix your credit report and get on your way to a brighter financial future right away.
The bureaus won’t provide your score for free (you have to pay them for that), but it is still important to see what information they have about your past credit transactions. That way, if something is wrong, you can correct it.After all, if you paid a bill on time — but it was reported by a collection’s agency as not paid — you’re going to want that false information removed.Make sure you have a credit card.There are two types of credit that are reported to the credit bureaus — revolving and installment credit.Installment credit is bills that you pay a certain amount towards each month — like your car payments, mortgage payments, student loans, etc.
Revolving credit means credit cards. It’s revolving because your balance due can change each month, depending on how much you charge to the card.The bureaus like to see that you have both revolving and installment credit, and that you pay both of bills on time each month.If you don’t already have a credit card, apply for one. If your credit score is too low to obtain one, go to your local bank and ask for a secured credit card. That means you’ll have to deposit money onto the card before you can use it. It’s not as helpful as a traditional credit card, but it still counts as revolving credt.
If these methods are not successful in getting a negative account removed from your credit report, you will want to do a pay for delete. This is where the creditor agrees to remove an account from your credit file in exchange for you paying the account in full.While you are working on credit repair, don’t forget that paying down revolving debt is one of the best ways to improve your credit score.You can improve your credit score yourself by disputing the personal information that has been compiled in your credit reports from the Big 3 Credit Bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.Your first order of business is ordering your free credit report online at annualcreditreport.com. There is no charge for this service.
Take out a small loan.If you take out a small personal loan from the bank, and pay it back over time, it can help your credit score.Once again, it will show all three major credit bureaus that you are responsible and pay your bills on time.Typically, local banks and credit unions will give you the best deal on a small loan, so consider stopping by and seeing what kind of deal they can give you.Use more than one card.Having a seldom-used card can’t hurt your credit score, but it also isn’t helping you either.Active credit accounts affect your score more, so instead of charging $500 to one card, put $250 on your normal credit card, and dig out that old one you barely use from dresser drawer and put the other $250 on it.
The third step is to carefully review these free reports and commence taking direct action to dispute inaccurate, outdated, or erroneous credit report information that you find in your credit history.The free credit report website annualcreditreport.com will not provide you with your current FICO score. You will have to shell out $5 to $10 at the time of your order to view your credit score. Yes, the credit report information remains free; the FICO score is still a chargeable item. To check your credit, you can always order your FICO scores online at myfico.com.
You should be aware that both the CRA and the business which provided originally submitted negative information to the credit bureaus are responsible for ensuring the reported information they are adding to your credit report remains accurate and timely. They have a vested interest in getting the story right. This is where you likely will find the errors, and where you will have the best opportunity to challenge black marks and derogatories hurting your credit score.
Improving your credit score is as easy as writing the letter to direct errors and outdated entries be deleted from your credit report. No, you won’t be able to challenge and have timely, accurate bad credit entries deleted from your credit history. These stay, sometimes remaining on your records for as long as 10 years. But many entries, such as 30 day late payments on credit card accounts and negative information in civil matters, must by federal law be removed after 2 years. These key derogatories will be what you will want to find and challenge.
One popular option for cleaning up your credit history is debt settlement. This works well, but be sure to know what you are doing. Be careful going with a debt settlement company. Many times they really don’t care about you; they just want your money.Debt consolidation is another option to bolster your credit history. Debt consolidation may be one of the quickest and most effective methods you can employ to reduce your debt load, and raise your score. Basically, debt consolidation simply combines your debts into a single payment, thus making it easier to keep track of and pay. But again, research this tactic carefully to see if it will work for you.
It’s never a bad idea to include one copy of your credit report, using a highlighter pen to make items in question stand out. Add notes in the margins. Send your letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the CRA received. Remember to keep a copy of your dispute letter and all related enclosures. Keep them in an oversized envelope, with the date you mailed them written on the outside of the envelope. This will help you track progress.Improving your credit score is worth the effort, because a higher credit score will help you qualify for better terms on a home or car loan, and it will also help you keep car insurance premiums in check, and may actually help you get hired for a new job.