Having bad credit these days is sadly quite common. No one decreases their credit score on purpose. There are many causes – your identity was stolen, loss of income, poor budget planning. Things can get away from us, and then the time comes when we need good credit to buy a new car or home. A poor credit score can be difficult to live with. That is why it is so important to keep an eye on your credit score and do what you can to rebuild your credit to a better score.
There are three credit reporting agencies that determine your credit score. These are where those extending the credit to you go to and check what your score is. Your score will determine how much a creditor has faith in you paying back whatever money you owe. Buying seasoned tradelines is one way to boost your credit score instantly and give you a better credit profile. If lenders are worried about you paying your debt back, then either you will not get the loan at all or will get a higher interest rate that you may not be able to afford and will end up paying more in the long run.
Knowing where to start
Each credit reporting agency is required to supply you with a free copy of your credit report once a year. That means you should spread out when you request them. Contact one agency every four months, and that way you will have your report to review three times a year. Scores change, and you should remain on top of them.
Mind you, these reports do not supply your actual credit score. If you want the actual number you can either pay for them or find a service that will give them to you for free.
Once you have your credit report, you can then determine what your next steps are. As you are reviewing your report, you can make a note of anything that is negative on there. These include delinquent or late payments, debt that went to a collection agency, incorrect information or anything else that appears negative. Once you know exactly what is damaging your score, it will be easier to rebuild your credit.
What you can do to rebuild your Credit
There are many things you can do on your own that can help rebuild your credit score. Here are a few tips on where to start:
1. Focus on paying any late bills – Paying late can negatively affect your credit. Try automatic payments so you do not forget, or save what money you can to make sure you have what you need to pay when bills come due.
2. Pay more than your minimum balance on credit cards – This not only will knock down your ultimate money owed, but it reflects positively on your credit report. Once you can pay the entire bill off every month that looks even better.
3. Build up new credit by trying a secured credit card – These cards are given to you based on a security deposit. The deposit will help determine your credit limit. These are a great alternative to store credit cards.
Dispute what is incorrect or unfair
Your credit report is required by law to be accurate and fair. That is one of the most important reasons to review your report. No one is going to question the authenticity of items on your credit report besides you. If you do find something that does not appear correct or is negative, but you can show you are improving, then the items can be disputed.
You can send your dispute inquiry to the credit bureaus. If they decide your dispute is legitimate, the bureau will conduct an investigation, which means they will ask the creditor if the information is accurate. Or you can send the request to the bank or business that supplied the information on your report.
If your dispute is successful and your credit report is updated, a change will be made. If not, you may write a personal statement that you tried to dispute the item, and give those looking some insight.
This process can be difficult to accomplish on your own. You do have the option of hiring a credit repair company who will conduct these dispute inquiries for you. Either way, this will help rebuild your credit.