Top Reasons to Fix Your Credit Sooner Than Later
Many people feel defeated and helpless when in debt and ask themselves, "why should I bother fixing my credit when I've screwed it up so badly already?" The top reason to fix your credit sooner than later is simple - if you have bad credit it takes time to repair. But don't despair because fixing your credit is possible, it just takes a commitment and the sooner you get started the better.
Most people think that because they've messed up their credit it's too late to fix it or "they'll never dig themselves out of the hole they're in." That's not true - you can repair your credit in as little as 60 days. It may take longer for some but you'll never repair it if you don't start now.
Why Repair Your Credit?
Because it just makes sense to help yourself versus hinder yourself. At some point, if not already, you'll benefit from the use of an unsecured credit card, an auto loan, a rental application or a home loan. Some companies even check your credit when you apply for a job.. they are looking to see whether you're organized in your life or a mess. Fixing your credit moves your ball forward versus keeping you stuck in a revolving state of mediocrity. Nobody is going to help you... you have to help yourself.
Can You Repair Your Own Credit?
Yes. And don't let some knucklehead that doesn't know what he/she is talking about tell you otherwise. You also don't need to pay a credit repair company, you can do it yourself.
OK, How Do I Fix My Credit Myself?
1 - First, you have to know what you need to repair and what your issues are.
2 - Next, pull your credit report - it won't bite and you are entitled to it. By federal law (and some states) you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the big three credit reporting companies:
If you've been turned down for credit your are also entitled to a free credit report. There are also other online companies you can go through like FreeCreditReport.com etc.. They'll issue you a free report and pitch you on the need to pay for ongoing credit services.. just skip those. Lastly, you can also pay a few bucks to get a three in one credit report that shows results from all three reporting bureaus. This is a good idea as you want a clear picture on where you are all overall as some creditors do not report to all three agencies.
Correct Mistakes On Your Credit Report
First, make sure nobody is using your identity. Assuming not, identify any mistakes. If you see any, write the credit bureau AND the vendor that reported the issue. Keep a copy of the correspondence. By law, the credit bureau has to respond to your inquiry.
Call the vendor that reported the mistaken entry. Find out why and ask them to retract the reported entry. Follow up on email after you talk with them. Don't give up.. keep hounding them as they don't care about you as much as you do.
Follow up with the credit bureau all the way to resolution. Don't give up.
Fix Your Problems - Get in Touch With Creditors!
Don;t be in denial if you have debit. Ask vendors (creditors) if you can go on a payment plan and when they agree, make sure they agree (in writing) to report the solution to the credit bureau when you've paid your debit. If you are dealing with a collection agency they'll likely cut you a deal but don't pay ANYTHING until they agree in writing to the solution and to report your payment as paid in full and no longer delinquent. Even if it takes years to pay off - PAY IT OFF. Years will go by and you'll have either dealt with your problem of not but one thing is assured.. time will go by and you'll either be on your way to a solution or no further ahead - you're choice.
Build Your Credit
Yes, you can develop credit and start to take control of your credit life! Apply for a credit card even if it is secured. You can get a $100 secured card from reputable companies but make sure whatever you charge you can afford and plan to pay off MONTHLY. A credit card should be used as a convenience not as a bank. If you can't afford it don't buy it.
Bad Credit Loans - Should You Get One?
These loans serve a purpose but are not for everyone. They as small, short term loans designed for emergencies not as free, fast cash for indiscriminate use. They charge high interest rate and fees. If you can't pay it back and the need is not urgent - don't get one. If the need is urgent like a medical emergency, then consult someone you trust and have a plan for paying it back quickly.
Get Educated and Stay Real - Organizations That Can Help With Debt Problems and Credit Advice
Don't fool yourself. Access reputable sources such as these to educate yourself and to keep yourself honest. If you feel yourself slipping into debit seek help as it won't get better.
The US government has section on its web site https://www.usa.gov/topics/money/credit/debt/out-of-control.shtml set up to help with credit and debit - and specifically how to set a budget and pay bills.
You can also get help through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC).
Lastly, here are several national nonprofit organizations set up to provide information and assist people with debt problems:
- American Consumer Credit Counseling, 1-800-769-3571
- InCharge Institute of America, 1-800-565-8953
- Myvesta, 1-800-680-DEBT (3328)