You may have probably read about folks who promise to help you repair your credit overnight. I advise that you don’t fall for any of these scams. Why is this? it is because you can actually fix it yourself by using simple do-it-yourself steps to repair your credit.
Bad or below-average credit may arise as a result of an overdue student loan, years of high credit card balances, collections accounts, or even a foreclosure. If you have poor credit, you may likely not be able to get approved for new credit products like credit cards. However, you may still be able to take out an auto loan or a mortgage but at a higher rate than if you had good credit.
Unlike a borrower with good credit, someone with poor credit can pay $50,000 more in interest on a mortgage. If you calculate that over an entire lifetime, you could end up paying over $200,000 more in unnecessary interest simply because of bad credit.
So I will be outlining some simple steps in repairing your credit:
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Check Your Credit Score
By checking your credit score, you will actually know where you stand credit-wise. You can do this by getting copies of your full credit reports from all three bureaus which are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You can get your reports for free once a year at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling other websites who offer free credit score check, even though the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) actually warns against these offers which are deceptive.
The credit score ranges from 300 – 850. A good score is between 700 – 740, depending on the scoring model in use. If you fall into this category, you are qualified for the best credit cards and the lowest mortgage rates.
Despite Errors If You Find Any
If you find incorrect information on your credit report, you have to dispute it to avoid it affecting your score. Even though errors are not common they sometimes happen.
To clean up incorrect information from your file do this:
Once you have a copy of your full credit report handy, check your identity information (social security number, the spelling of your name, and address) as well as your credit history.
Review the list of credit cards, outstanding debts, and other major purchases. If you spot any mistakes or questionable items, make a copy of the report and highlight the error.
Gather any information you have to back you up like bank account statements, and make copies of them, then write a letter to the specific credit reporting agency where the incorrect information came from.
Don’t Spend More Than You Earn
You must ensure that you don’t spend more than you earn. To do this, you can create a budget for yourself and work with it.
Make On-Time Bill Payments
Pay your bills on time if you want to fix bad credit. If you are behind any bill, try to pay it as soon as you can. Making on-time payments are the single most important factor in your credit score. Thus your credit won’t improve until you consistently pay your bills on time.
Pay Down Credit Card Balances
Where you have any outstanding balances, you have to draft out a budget on how you can pay down these debts. You can do this bit by bit every month until you are done paying.
Make sure you know your credit limit and ensure that you stay well under the maximum when charging items. Try to pay down debts instead of canceling them. The total amount of available credit affects your score even when you owe nothing.
Don’t Apply for New Credit
Try as much as you can to avoid opening a new credit card. Each time you apply for credit, it gets listed on your credit report as a “hard inquiry” and having too many within two years puts your credit score in jeopardy.
In conclusion, I will like to state that repairing your credit score will not happen in days. It may take a couple of months or even years for your credit score to improve, so be patient as you work it through.