Sinking into a bad credit situation often happens when it's least expected. You may be aware of a few unpaid bills, but you’re sure everything will be okay next month - or maybe 2 months down the road. Unexpected health care or car emergencies might set up back even more. After months of mounting debt and spiraling credit scores, you find yourself in a bad place and it’s time: you need to fix your credit.
Bad credit affects almost every aspect of one’s life. Single or married, childless or child-heavy, bad credit is a pain, and it will only get worse if you don’t take action to improve it. Most people don’t want to involve other family members, spouses, or partners; this can create toxic relationships with the people you love most. Some people would like to try fixing their credit themselves. If you’re willing to go through the process of fixing your own credit and completely revitalizing your financial situation - here are some tips for going at it alone as provided by Jeanine Skowronski at Credit.com.
1. Verify the Information
Errors, unfortunately, have been known to keep credit scores down (you can find more about why there are errors on credit reports here), so if you’re unfamiliar with the item that’s affecting yours, you’ll want to verify its authenticity. You can typically do so by contacting the creditor listed on your credit report or asking a debt collector that’s calling you for written verification of the debt.
If it turns out the information doesn’t belong to you or you think it’s inaccurate, you can dispute the item with the major credit reporting agencies, or get someone like a credit repair company to do it for a fee. Removing that negative, inaccurate information can restore your good credit relatively quickly.
2. Ask for a Reprieve
If you are responsible for a misstep that’s damaging your credit, you may want to contact the creditor who is reporting it to the credit bureau(s). Credit card issuers, for instance, may agree not to report a first missed payment to three major credit reporting agencies — particularly if your track record up until that point has been stellar. Some debt collectors, too, may similarly waive reporting an account if you agree to a payment plan. You can find some tips for negotiating with creditors here and more about removing collection accounts from your credit report here.
3. Accentuate the Positive
If you can’t get a do-over, don’t be too hard on yourself. The effects of any negative information on your credit report will lessen over time and your score should start to rebound relatively quickly, especially if it was previously in good shape and all your other payment behaviors are positive. To steadily rebuild a damaged score, be sure to make all your payments on time, keep credit card balances low (below at least 30% and ideally 10% of their credit limit) and refrain from generating any new credit inquiries that could subsequently ding your score.
4. Institute Preventative Measures
You may be able to set up alerts with your credit card issuer that let you know if a bill is coming due or if your credit card balance is coming within a certain amount of its credit limit. You also may be able to set loan or other bill payments to auto-pay from a linked checking account before their due date every month. (Just be sure to continue to monitor statements for fraud or inaccurate charges.) Finally, be sure to keep an eye on your credit report so you spot any new issues early on and can readily address them. You can pull your credit reports for free each year at AnnualCreditReport.com and view your credit scores for free each month on Credit.com.
Although it’s possible to fix your own credit situation, and there are some happy endings, the path to complete credit repair can be long and arduous. Many consumers and professionals will tout the benefits of utilizing a professional credit repair company. Whatever your goal, explore all options and choose the right path and the right company for your needs.
Visit us online at www.Credit Repair ProgramCredibility.com or call us at 877-335-9043 today!