Now that you have come to terms with your bad credit and realize that it is going to take much time and patience to work on it, you can make the commitment to get a good credit report rating. It will take a little work on your end, but it is possibly to get back into the good graces of having decent credit. Here are few tips on how to approach your credit slowly and improve your credit history.
First, you should realize that all negative hits on your credit history, such as collections, bankruptcies, or any past debt will stay on your credit report for at least 7 years if not more. It is the law and there is nothing you can do to erase it, so just get past it and start the process.
You should take a look at your credit report and get acquainted with it. To accurately assess your financial and credit status, obtain a copy of your report from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian to cross examine and compare all three. This will allow you to look for discrepancies and any other information that you might question or feel there may have been an error. As you are assessing your credit report, look for any negative records that are still on your credit report that could possibly be passed dated. If you feel it has been at least 7-10 years since that record was recorded, you can attempt to have it removed. If they are not expired, all is not lost. Be aware of the dates when they will fall from your record and you should start to see a little improvement in your score, which will in turn help you with your credit. Any amount of progress is a start and will help tremendously!
Should you find any discrepancies in your report that you are not familiar with; you should make it a point to fight them. All three credit bureaus listed above will require a dispute letter and you should know something within thirty days of their receiving it. It is your right as a consumer to dispute and fight any charge or collection that you feel in inaccurate and you should exercise that right when it comes to credit! You might be correct and that is just another step in the process of establishing good credit.
Now that you have sorted out your credit history and have a better understand of your credit report and scores, it is time for you to move forward and take action on your credit. You can do this in the most simple, positive ways. For instance, get a credit card, use it, and pay your monthly balance. It’s that simple, showing you are financially responsible and consistent with you payments will only help your credit. After you are demonstrating your ability to maintain your credit responsibilities, you can seek bigger opportunities, like taking out a loan.
While you are in the process of getting good credit, it is important to know where you stand. Since credit scores are updated monthly, you should periodically check your credit report to track your progress. This way you can see just how successful or unsuccessful your improvements are. Do not be afraid to check your report periodically, there is not a penalty for requesting your own report and scores. Some consumers find it easier to have help from a credit monitoring services, like Credit Keeper, which will help you track and monitor your scores from all three credit bureaus and will also alert you should there be any new information that requires attention on your part. This sounds great, but agencies and services like this are not always accurate and there are fees as well. That is just more money out of your pocket for services that- with a little more time and effort- you can do yourself. Getting out of debt and a bad credit status is difficult, but remember it is possible, you can do it, and stay positive!