Technically, credit repair is a process that involves fixing your bad credit score in any way that you can, whether it’s on your own or with the help of a financial advisor. Some people think the term “credit repair” refers to the whole process of disputing errors on their credit reports. That is one of the things that’s involved, but not the only one.
Credit repair is important for raising your credit score so that you can get loans easier (with lower interest rates), open up certain new job opportunities, allow you to rent that apartment you love in the city, and much more. If you plan to start your own business or you just want the security of knowing that you can borrow money when you have to, then you should always look into repairing your credit, if your score is too low.
Rebuilding your credit score, whether you’ve been through a divorce or a bankruptcy, or whether you’ve made costly mistakes with your money, doesn’t have to be complicated. If you’re patient and create an effective plan, you can always rebuild your credit scores and eventually obtain a good credit rating. Here are 6 steps you can take toward repairing your low or bad credit:
1. Check Your Credit Report
You should know what your position is, financially. Check your credit report so you can see the areas that you should improve on. Do you have a lot of late or missed payments? Is the debt utilization very high? All these clues will assist you in figuring out the items that you should tackle first. You’re entitled to free reports from all credit bureaus every year.
2. Catch Up On Payments
Payment history is one of the most important factors that affect your credit rating. If you’re behind on the payments, then you will not be capable of improving your credit situation. You should try bringing all your accounts up to date. If, however, your debt is too old, do not start making payments on it, because then that debt will restart again and you may not be able to contest it to get it off of your report. Check with your state to see how long something can stay on your report that negatively affects your score.
In case you cannot afford to update everything at once, then you should contact your creditors to work out a payment plan. You should be honest when you contact them, explaining your current situation and letting them know that you’re interested in paying your obligations. Your creditors should be made aware of the amount that you can pay, and the time you expect to have paid things off completely. In most cases, it is possible to come up with a great arrangement that all parties involved can live with.
3. Pay New Bills On Time
As you move forward, your main objective should be paying your bills on time, including the non-credit bills. This is because your late rent and missed utility payment records can be taken to the credit bureaus. Your payment history is very important, as it aids in creating a good and reliable paying pattern that can help rebuild your credit. You should try as much as possible to avoid late payments so it won’t affect your credit report. To achieve that, you should set up automatic withdrawals so that if you are too busy to remember, it will be taken care of for you.
4. Avoid Closing Credit Card Accounts
Try to do away with the idea of closing your credit card accounts. This is because having a long credit history helps in bettering your scores. The only problem comes when you are far behind with your payments. Most people are sometimes forced by their payment plans to cancel their credit cards, but that’s not recommended. It’s advisable to keep the credit records of your older accounts so you can fix and retain a good and substantial credit history.
5. Pay Down Debt
Another crucial thing with credit scores is the utilization of your credit. Credit utilization is expressed as a fraction of the available credit that you’re using. If your total available credit is $1,000 and you’re using $750, the percentage of your credit utilization will be 75%. If you’re using a good deal of the available credit, it can count against you, and you will create debt a bit faster.
To be honest, you have to deeply evaluate your expenses and use your saved cash to minimize your debt. To reduce your bad credit, you should maintain a credit utilization percentage of less than 30%. Reducing your debt will improve your credit utilization score and finally help your credit.
6. Use Secured Credit Cards
The best and fastest way to create a payment history is by the use of secured credit cards. Having a secure line will give you a step up, in case your credit prevents you getting just a regular credit card. To get a secured credit card, you have to save your money in a linked savings account. Since your money is already in there, it will be easy for you to get this credit card, mostly for when you have poor credit. With this card, your payments are always reported to the credit bureaus each month. A secured card will play a big part in proving that you pay your debts regularly.
Follow the above listed steps, and you’ll be on your way to repairing your credit. However, don’t forget to be patient. Credit improvement does not happen overnight. If you need to hire a financial advisor in the areas of San Bernardino and Riverside, read more about it.
Based on how bad the credit score is, it might take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to get an excellent credit score. However, if you keep up with it, you’ll be rewarded with many benefits, and will save thousands of dollars in high interest rates.