In today’s day and age, it is not uncommon to hit “rock bottom” and be in need of credit repair advice. Reaching this point can make you feel like there is no where to turn, and no way to get back on track again. That’s really not the case, and following a few simple steps can help you along the way.
Should you find yourself needed to declare bankruptcy, do so sooner rather than later. Anything you do to try to repair your credit before, in this scenario, inevitable bankruptcy will be futile since bankruptcy will cripple your credit score. First, you must declare bankruptcy, then begin to repair your credit.
If you have challenged or denied negative items on your credit report and some still remain, you may be able to reduce that number even further by contacting the collection agency or creditor. By law, these companies need to provide written proof that the account is yours. This means a hard copy of a signed contract or other legally binding document, not just a printout of the information they have in their computer system. Many of these companies do not hold onto these documents. If they can’t come up with acceptable proof, they are required to remove the account from your credit report and stop all collection attempts.
If you constantly find yourself running out of money towards the end of each month, then monitor all of your spending for an entire month by using a spreadsheet or by keeping a journal. At the end of the month you can then review everything that you have purchased and make suitable adjustments to next month’s sending by considering which items are priorities.
Improve your credit score, as well as make some profit, through an installment account. You have to keep a monthly minimum on an installment account, so make sure you open an account that you can afford. You can quickly improve your score by successfully managing these accounts.
Make sure you receive a physical contract from all credit collection agencies. The agreement should spell out exactly how much you owe, the payment arrangements, and if they are charging any additional fees. Be very wary if the company is hesitant to provide you a contract. There are unscrupulous firms out there who will take your money without actually closing your account.
For a quick boost to your FICO score, start paying down your credit cards. Your FICO score is heavily influenced by how much available credit you have. Try to get your cards down to where you are only utilizing 50% of the available limit at most and keep them there.
Before choosing a credit repair company, research them thoroughly. Credit repair is a business model that is rife with possibilities for fraud. You are usually in an emotional place when you’ve reached the point of having to use a credit repair agency, and unscrupulous agencies prey on this. Research companies online, with references and through the Better Business Bureau before signing anything.
With the new credit card laws in place, banks must now decline your card in the event of a possible overdraft. They will most likely try to get you to opt out of this, claiming that it is a service they provide to approve the purchase anyways, and then charge you a small fee. These fees are high. You will be much better off getting declined and using a different bank account or credit card for your purchase, than paying their fees.
An important tip to consider when working to repair your credit is to consult with friends and family who have gone through the same thing. Different people learn in different ways, but normally if you get advice from somebody you can trust and relate to, it will be fruitful.
The law requires that credit bureaus be notified in writing of any errors you may find on your credit report. In order to best protect yourself and document your request, you should send any letters via certified mail; this will require the credit bureau to sign, acknowledging receipt. It is important to document your request in the event they do not remove bad information from your file promptly.
For an improved credit score, avoid store credit cards. Store credit cards are usually opened with an amount that is barely above your purchase price. This causes you to instantly have a maxed out credit card balance on your report. Having a maxed-out balance can reduce your overall score with all three reporting agencies.
If you have run out of options and have no choice but to file bankruptcy, get it over with as soon as you can. Filing bankruptcy is a long, tedious process that should be started as soon as possible so that you can get begin the process of rebuilding your credit.
If you can afford to pay your credit card balance in full every month, you should. It shows the credit card company you are responsible, and could lead to credit limit increases later on. Even if you can’t pay off the full balance, try to pay as much as you can.
Pay your household bills on time. Focus on what is important and don’t get in over your head paying your credit card bills. Make sure your necessities are paid first and pay your credit cards with what you have left over. If you have enough to pay more on them, then you should.
If you do not have a significant balance on your credit card, but want to work on improving your credit score, use your card for day to day purchases. The most important thing to remember when doing this is that you pay the balance in full each month. This will show lenders that you can be responsible.
Hitting “rock bottom” does not have to mean the end of your financial future. By using some common sense, and following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can greatly improve your financial forecast. The road might not be a short one, but the end result will most certainly be worth the effort.