These days, people are looking for solutions to help rebuild their credit score. There are several different ways you can accomplish this. One important thing you will need to know is what your credit score is, currently. This information can easily be obtained by ordering your credit score through one of the credit reporting agencies. You will also need a full copy of your credit report. A tri-merge report works best when a person is trying to repair credit.
A credit report will have a list of different accounts you have had dealings with, the payment histories of those accounts and important dates or information related to the accounts. When reviewing the list, you will be able to tell which accounts are good, and which ones are hurting your credit. Always check your credit at least a couple of times a year to make sure that your credit history is accurate.
More often than not, negative information is reported incorrectly on the reports, and incorrect information can seriously damage a person's credit. A person can expect to pay thousands more in interest payments for loans and credit extension that they have if their credit score is less than stellar.
Another way to improve your credit score is to pay your bills on time by not letting them go past the due date. Most people think this doesn’t hurt their credit, but it does. If you have problems paying them on time, be sure to call the creditor immediately to see if they have a solution that might help you without hurting your credit. Sometimes companies will allow you to lower your payments to where they can be affordable.
While using credit cards isn't the best idea if they are not used responsibly, having a card with a low limit amount can actually help your credit score. A good rule of thumb is to only charge what you are able to pay back each month so that you are not hit with high interest rates or hefty finance charges. If your credit is bad you can still get a secured credit card that could help repair your credit. This is where the limit of money depends on how much you put on the card.
If you go this route, make sure that the card issuer reports to all three credit reporting bureaus. People seem to go overboard with credit cards, so the best thing is to have one or maybe two, this way you know you will be able to handle the responsibility of making the payments on time. Keeping the debt under 20% is a great way to help improve and build your credit score. This ensures that you pay back your bills easier, as well as on-time, and also keeps you from stressing out each month (not fun).
If you do not think you can repair your credit score on your own, you can look into a credit repair company. These businesses help people fix their credit over time. Before you just pick any company you will want to get information on how each one works, as well as look into the company to see if there are reviews about them. It's probably best to make sure that you use reputable companies with good reviews, by real people. Beware of fake reviews!
Some ask for a large fee either upfront or monthly. You want a company that is going to help you improve your score, not add more stress by having to pay them a fee as well. Once you find the company that you are comfortable with, they will go over how they work and what all you need to do on your end. Over a period of time, your score should improve if you stick to their plan.
Before we go any further, I'm going to assume that you have pulled your free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com, which is a free service that you are legally entitled to once per year. Pull all 3 reports and save them to your computer for future reference. Take notes of any issues (as explained below) and keep them handy.
Some ways to improve your Credit Score are:
- Look for erroneous or inaccurate information on your credit report. This can be misspellings, wrong addresses, accounts that do not belong to you, or even wrong employers listed under your name. These mistakes can cost you big time, which means you have every legal right to dispute them as inaccurate. Do so immediately and watch your credit score jump up!
- Apply for a secured credit card. These cards can be from your credit union or a company such as Capital One. They work great and, if used responsibly, will help you improve your credit score by 30+ points in some cases.
- After your credit score increases to above 690 or so, apply for some unsecure cards, such as a Discover Card. These cards are easier to get when you're around 700 or so, which means that you will also be able to improve your score by another 20 points in some cases.
- If you are making payments for other services that you believe should be on your credit, you can add tradelines on your report to help you out. This is a bit beyond the scope of this article, but you can find out about this subject at sites such as CreditKarma.com or CreditBrite.com.
Monitoring your credit closely is another way to keep your score from dropping, and even allowing you to spot any suspicious activity, such as identity theft. You can use services such as CreditSesame, Credit.com or CreditKarma. These services are definitely worth the effort and they are free and safe!
Credit Repair isn't a simple, one-time process. It usually takes a bit of time and patience to get it right. However, since your life could depend on your credit, it's important that you take care of it to ensure that it doesn't come back to haunt you in the future.