If you need to repair bad credit, statistics show that in part, you’re in good company! Sure, there are deadbeats who simply don’t meet their financial obligations, but times have changed. During the economic boom of the 90s, a bad credit rating was something no one would like to admit to, as it seemed to imply that a bad credit score was due solely to financial irresponsibility. However, now we’re in a new century, with some pretty ugly economic conditions, worldwide. Identity theft has also been added to the mix, resulting in some monumental problems for people who previously had a good credit rating. With so many people having a bad credit rating, there’s been a significant rise in companies claiming to repair bad credit quickly, easily and painlessly for a substantial fee. The fact is that, if you need to repair your bad credit and get back on track in the credit world, it’s a doable project, one you can do yourself, with relatively little expense. Depending on how bad your credit rating is, and why, dictates the amount of time this project will take. Let’s take a look at how to approach this DIY financial project with an eye to a streamlined, effective plan.
Your first move is to obtain a copy of your credit report. You’re entitled to one free credit report per year. You can obtain your report online, but if you feel squeamish about the possibility of this sensitive data being circulated to who-knows-where, you can just go directly to your local credit bureau and obtain a copy on the spot.
Now, you’re ready to begin your operation repair bad credit project. Examine your credit report, item by item, to be certain that all debts listed are yours. You may be shocked to find more than a few which do not belong to you. You want to immediately draft a letter to each creditor, stating that the debt is not yours. By law, the creditor must provide proof that the debt is yours within 30 days. If they do not?or can not?provide proof, the item must be removed by the reporting credit agencies. This is your legal right. You are also entitled to place remarks in your credit report. In this case, you may want to insert a short comment stating that this isn’t your debt and you have requested the creditor to provide proof or remove the item.
Save copies of the letters you’ve sent and follow up. In 30 days, without creditor proof, operation repair bad credit produces results.
Concurrent with your initial examination of your credit report, scrutinize each entry for accuracy. Do the amounts agree with your own records? If not, squawk! You’d be surprised at how many gross inaccuracies are out there. For example, many years ago, a creditor I’d paid off years before was claiming I owed in excess of $2,300! I was outraged to the extent that I sprung for the phone call to Virginia (from California) to demand an immediate accounting. They sent a very convoluted accounting of the loan, replete with phony charges and left out a great number of payments. Every single payment had been made on time and I had the records to prove it. Ultimately, they were forced to rescind their accounting and remove this from my credit report. This did take about a month to accomplish, but it sure did repair bad credit wrongly attributed to me!
Now, how about the bad marks that are yours? Credit cards are often the worst. In today’s cash-strapped economy, it’s easy to miss a payment, resulting in higher APRs and fines a-plenty. If you’re buried in credit card debt, your best bet to repair bad credit of this type is to consult a debt consolidation organization. They can approach your creditors?they typically have a network of contacts they deal with on a regular basis?and negotiate reduced APR rates and sometimes even get the lender to forgive certain fines. Debt consolidation usually means you’ll be able to make a single payment each month which is substantially less than paying each individual lender. Your cash flow sees an immediate improvement and, as long as you make those payments, without fail, each month, your credit score will go up as well.
Other components of your DIY operation repair bad credit include cleaning up small debts which you may simply have overlooked or forgotten. Get strict with your monthly budget, cutting unnecessary expenses as you can. Most of us have several items we pay for each month that we could do without. Find yours and get out the scissors!