WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 3, 2022
Some companies make credit repairs sound like a complicated process. They might lead you to believe that only experts can understand the confusing world of credit and debt. You can hire them for a hefty fee. But, you can also do credit repair yourself.
There really isn't anything complicated about improving your credit score. The steps are simple, even if they're not always easy financially. For instance, the first step in credit repairs is simply contacting the four major credit reporting agencies and getting copies of your credit reports.
You'll see ads everywhere offering you a free copy of your credit report if you sign up for another paid service. You don't have to do this. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives you the right to get a free copy of your credit report. You can order one free from each agency once per year, so there's no need to pay.
Even if you've gotten one within the last year, you can get one free if you're turned down for credit. You'll get a letter telling you which agency they contacted, and you have the right to see your report then.
The credit reporting agencies you need to contact to start making credit repairs are: Innovis, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. They'll send you a report, but if you want your credit score you'll have to pay for that.
You may want to pay for your credit score, especially if you've had a lot of problems. Knowing your score can help you from further damaging your credit. If you have a bad score and you apply for a mortgage, you'll hurt your credit because they'll check and turn you down.
Those kinds of credit checks can count against you. If you know your score, you'll know whether or not you're likely to be approved and can avoid further lowering your score. You don't have to know your score to start fixing problems, though.
Your credit reports will contain enough information to help you. They'll show any past due amounts you owe and to whom you owe them. They should also list how long the amounts have been past due. You want to check carefully for errors, as these are not uncommon.
Each credit report may have slightly different information. The credit reporting agencies don't generally communicate with one another, and each may have information from companies in that region and no other. So it's important to check them carefully.
If you find errors, credit repairs are as easy as contacting the agency and requesting that the errors be removed from your report. They provide you with the necessary forms.
Once you've gotten the errors corrected, you can then start avoiding late payments and paying down balances as fast as possible. Start making more than the minimum payment on at least one credit card.
Aim to pay as much as possible to start eliminating those debts one by one. These credit repairs will start positively affecting your credit score in a matter of months.