5 Easy Steps to Repair Your Credit
Bad credit can happen to anyone. It can result from an unexpected event, such as job loss, medical emergency, or careless spending habits. No matter how you got there, one thing is for sure: bad credit can wreak havoc on your life. It can make it difficult to get a car loan or a mortgage, increase your insurance premiums, and even make it difficult to find a job. That’s why it’s important to make sure your credit report is accurate and up-to-date.
5 Steps of Credit Repair
If your credit report needs repair, following these steps can help get you back on track to a good score.
- Get Copies of Your Credit Report. The first step toward repairing your credit is to get a copy of your credit report from all three credit bureaus. This is important because you will need to see what your creditors are reporting about you before you can dispute anything. Once you have a copy of your credit report, it’s time to look over the information provided. Look closely at the information under the “accounts” section and ensure that everything is correct. If there are any errors on your report, this is where they will appear.
- Start the Dispute Process. If you find a mistake on your credit report, contact the credit bureau directly to correct it. Under the “Fair Credit Reporting Act,” the Federal Trade Commission must investigate any errors you find within 30 days. The dispute process is usually quick and easy. If you’re not satisfied with how they handle your request, you can send them a letter explaining why and ask for reconsideration.
- Deal with Past Due Accounts. The single biggest factor in your score is paying your bills on time. If you have past-due accounts, first, it’s critically important to tackle them. You can do this by scheduling a payment plan with the creditor or applying for a debt consolidation loan from a bank or credit union to cover outstanding balances and get all of your debt accounts current at once. Consolidation loans usually have lower interest rates than credit cards and can be paid off over a three-to-five-year period.
- Lower High Account Balance to Your Limit. It is easy to underestimate the effect of a high credit card balance on your credit score, even if you’ve made on-time payments. The reason is simple: Your credit utilization ratio—the amount of credit you are using—significantly impacts your credit score. If you’re carrying a balance of $4,000 on a card with a $5,000 limit, that’s an 80% utilization ratio. A ratio above 30% will hurt your score; above 50% is detrimental. Your priority should be to bring high account balances below your limit. Even if you’re able to pay only a little at a time, getting the balance down will immediately positively affect your score.
- Ask for Professional Help. If you’re in serious financial trouble, turn to a credit counseling agency. Consider hiring a reputable credit repair company to help you repair your credit instead of doing it yourself. There are many of them out there, so make sure you shop around and find a trustworthy one.
We Can Help
You don’t have to suffer in silence if you have bad credit. The Lakeshore Law Center can help. We have over 35 years of experience in litigation, especially with lawsuits involving California’s Credit Reporting Law. Also, we offer a money-back guarantee on our credit repair services. We’ll work to remove negative remarks from your credit report so you can get back on track financially. If you’re a resident of California in the communities of Yorba Linda, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, or Santa Ana, call us at (714) 854-7205 today to schedule an appointment.