Finding out your credit score has sunk beneath what is considered acceptable by lenders is a real cause for concern. Bad credit prevents you from obtaining credit cards and loans to purchase a new car, home and other expensive items. It can even make renting an apartment difficult. Having a poor credit score is unfortunate, but it does not mean that you are stuck in this situation for good. In fact, there are proven remedies for fixing bad credit on your own.
Follow these steps below to get your credit back on track relatively quickly:
Review Your Credit Report
Get a copy of your credit report and spend time going over each item. These reports are not always 100% accurate. Therefore, you should look for any inaccuracies and make a note of errors when you find them. For instance, your name may be spelled incorrectly. Dates and amounts may be wrong. Paid accounts are still open. Accounts reported but are under bankruptcy. Incorrect credit limits. Negatives show that are not be yours. Negatives older than seven years, or ten years if there was a bankruptcy.
Send a certified letter to creditors explaining the error and ask them to make a correction to your report. Don’t be shy to do this even for the most minor errors.
Pay Down Existing Card Balances
It does no good to continue racking up credit card charges that put you deeper in the financial hole. Make a commitment to stop using credit cards and pay with cash for the time being. This is difficult, but necessary to dig your way out. Set aside a certain amount of money that is only to be used to pay your card debt.
Do not close your credit card accounts. It is better to keep them open and do your best to reduce the balance, regardless of how long it takes. The wider the gap between your credit limit and available credit the better it looks to lenders.
Pay Bills On Time
Another contributing factor to credit scores is proving your creditworthiness by paying monthly bills on time. Timely payments make you appear responsible. Lenders want to know that you are capable of handling regular payment schedules. In order for this to have an effect on your score, you should make sure you keep up on bills for a minimum of six months.
If you have lots of bills, get them organized by payment date. Utilize a system that automatically reminds you to pay so you don’t miss any due dates.
Apply for a Secured Credit Card
Secured credit cards are easier to obtain because you are required to deposit a certain amount of money with the issuing bank. The amount of credit you receive corresponds to the deposit. By obtaining a secured card you can begin using it to make small purchases. Be sure to pay the balance each month to show you are able to manage credit wisely.
Seek out a secured card with a low interest deal. This helps you save money as you build your credit back. Eventually, you will qualify for a regular card.
Negotiate With Creditors
Realize that creditors want to receive whatever money they can get. Often, they will settle for a lesser amount than the total balance owed. You can relieve a lot of worry by simply contacting creditors and making arrangements to pay a lump sum settlement. You can even arrange to make installment payments on the debt in many cases. Let them know you really want to make things right. Tell them what amount you can pay and when you can pay it.
Obtain a settlement letter once the debt is paid. Send a copy to the credit bureaus.
Open a Credit Union Account
Establish an account at a credit union. Keep it in good standing. It may be easier to obtain a loan. Or, use this as a second account for paying off debt.
Just because you currently have a very low credit score does not mean that you are doomed to being constantly rejected. With patience, dedication and some smart strategies you can move that credit score upwards and once again obtain be in good standing with lending institutions.