Self Help Credit Repair - If you have bad credit and are trying to do self help credit repair there are a few things you need to know before you begin. First you have to really sit down and take a good look at your credit repair goals and then decide for yourself how you want to go about tackling the problem. You can get a lot of satisfaction out of self help credit repair as you will not only put yourself in a better position as a consumer but you will be able to do so without having to shell out your hard earned money to a credit repair agency.
The first thing you should do before you start any self help credit repair program is to obtain credit reports separately from all three credit reporting bureaus.
By obtaining separate credit reports you will know exactley what each bureau is reporting and what to dispute when you start your self help credit repair. Credit reports can be purchase directly from the reporting agencies at their websites listed below.
trans union http://www.transunion.com
If you have bad credit and want to improve your credit score there are several steps you can take. Obtain your credit reports and dispute any inaccuracies. To improve your credit score pay down your outstanding debt and remember to make your payments on time.
If you decide to pursue self help credit repair the Internet is a great source of information. You can but E-books and join community forums all dedicated to self help credit repair. Many times the community forums are free to join and E-books range in price from $7-$200 to download and review. By taking it slowly and educating yourself along the way you can definitely have a positive self help credit repair experience and save a substantial amount of money be not using a credit repair company.
If you have any account such as a JC Penney's or Sears Card with a zero balance, you may want to use that card for small purchases to re-establish a good credit history. Using credit wisely and utilizing existing accounts can improve your credit rating.
When you consider your credit and repairing it, remember amounts owed on debt items attributes to 30% of your credit rating. It is good practice to spread debt over many accounts than to carry a large debt load on fewer accounts. You want to focus on keeping your balances under 50%, but preferably around 30% of your credit limits.
Credit Repair Tactics - Some credit bureaus have a "rapid rescoring" system available, which corrects inaccurate information on your credit report. Your score is recalculated within a few days, rather than waiting over 30 days like normal. This can allow you to close on your loan before your rate lock expires.
Each consumer should obtain a copy of their credit report at least once per year and verify the credit report for inaccuracies. This is the best credit repair tactic available. By keeping tabs on your credit report you can take care of and errors or inaccuracies upfront before they become a problem and they cause your credit score to decrease.
The three national credit reporting bureaus - Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian - are required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, by your request, once every 12 months.
If you come across inaccurate information regarding any accounts, a good credit repair tactic would be to write each bureau a letter stating that there is errornous information contained in your credit report. Then state that you would like to dispute that item(s) and always be sure to provide documentation supporting your claim.
If you carry credit cards that have balances over 50 per cent of the maximum limit you should ask the credit card company to raise your limits. When the balances are less than 50 per cent of the limit your score should improve.
Actually 30%, from what I know, is the magic balance for credit improvement...
Here is the killer...Banks like Capital One, for example, only put the high credit used on the bureau so if you have a 5K limit and never put more then 1K on it and maintain 700 on it, it appears that you have a high use of credit on file instead of a very low one...You almost need to max them out one month with all your bills and pay it off the next month to get it in line...Banks like Cap One are not required to report the high limit although there are forces at work trying to change that...Many people have more than one Cap One card, manipulating program over a few month period can really change a credit score...
When considering credit repair tactics remember first to check your credit report for errors and dispute those errors. This can be an effective way to improve your credit because the reports are not always accurate.
Some credit reporting agencies have simulators that can manipulate credit reports to see if you can improve your FICO scores. Some simulations that you can do are: paying down or paying off debt, removing collections, paying off collections and satisfying liens. Sometimes the simulations don't improve your score and sometimes the simulation can actually lower your score. But, sometimes the simulations can improve your score enough to get you approved for a loan. There is a small cost but, if it can help you get a home, it is worth it.
When an account is past due, often the creditor will contract with a collection company to collect that account. Sometimes the original creditor and the collection company will both continue to report payments as being late. Because this account is being reported twice, this is a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. If this happens, notify the creditor in writing and demand that they remove one of these immediately.
One credit repair tactic is to call your credit card companies and ask that they raise your credit limits. This helps get your balances down to a better level, which helps your credit scores. Most companies will only raise your limit once every 6 months. They are more likely to raise your limit if they believe you may close your account in favor of another account.
Talk to your mortgage company about utilizing credit improvement simulations to get a better idea of what would happen if you took certain actions. These tools can be incredibly useful in minimizing the expense and maximizing the effectiveness of credit repair tactics, by scientifically analyzing your situation and approximating the positive or negative impact of a variety of predefined scenarios (for example, taking $1000 and paying down the balances on all your credit cards equally, or opening a new card with a $10,000 limit and consolidating all of your other balances onto one card, or removing an incorrect medical collection account from the report entirely, etc) You can also see what would happen to your credit score if you missed a mortgage payment, an eye-opening experience believe us!
Many credit reports include errors. Be sure to look over the details of your report, as most errors can be cleared up with relative ease within a 30 day period, or quicker, and can sometimes have a significant impact on your score.
The four main things that affect your credit score are:
1) Payment History- Whether or not you make your payments on time.
2) Account Balances- On revolving accounts should be kept under 50% of the available credit limit. Under 30% is actually preferred.
3) Amount of Accounts Open- It is best to have about 5 accounts open at any given time. This number can be higher if it includes student loans, but it is always best not to have multiple credit cards open, especially if they carry balances.
4) Length of Credit History
Credit repair companies can do a great job at cleaning up your credit, but always research the company before you sign and contracts and be wary of companies that ask for large upfront fee's.