Have you splurged a little too much lately?
Forgot to pay a bill or two?
Didn’t make your loan payment last month?
Well it’s time to get your credit back on track. Below are five strategies that you can use to get started today.
1. Review your credit report for errors.
Getting a handle on your credit means knowing exactly what the issues are and sometimes they may not even be your fault.
In fact, Government studies show that 1 in 5 credit reports contain material errors. If your credit report has mistakes, don’t become just another statistic and don’t stop fighting.
Some credit errors, like with personal information, do not impact your credit score but other errors will. The key is to get the report cleaned up. Even if you know you have a long way to go to get your credit back on track at least you know that the information is accurate.
If you’ve defaulted on previous loans, take the initiative and get a certification of full payment from creditors you’ve had problems with in the past so you can resolve any issues with them that might be affecting your credit history. “Going back to each company, requesting for certification, calling every day to follow up is not something that any consumer would jump up to do. But anybody who defaulted in credit payment in the past should have this on his to-do list today,” Salve Duplito said on ANC’s On the Money. via: 6 Ways To Fix A Bad Credit History
2. Send a certified letter to the offending agency.
In this letter, specifically state all of the errors that you found and what the corrections should be. You should also include a copy of your credit report with the incorrect information circled and documentation proving that what you argue the credit report should say is legitimate.
For instance, if you have a student loan that shows as outstanding on your credit report (but it really isn’t), include a copy of your documentation that shows it is paid off. Also make sure to include your full name and mailing address. via: How to Fix an Error on Your Credit Report in 4 Easy Steps
3. Start paying your bills on time.
Paying your bills on time is probably one of the easiest ways to improve your credit score. If you have problems remembering to pay certain bills, consider setting up automatic payments so that the money is automatically deducted from your bank account each month. If for some reason this isn’t an option, set up automatic reminders on your calendar. via: How Can I Fix My Credit Score Now?
Google Calendar, Outlook, or any cloud based calendar makes it extremely easy to do this. Work with a schedule that works for you. Don’t set up the reminder on the day of the payment as it may be too easy to get distracted with something else.
You could even set up two alerts, one for a week prior and the other two days before with an indicator that it must be acted on today.
The important thing is to set up a system that is super easy for you to follow. This way it becomes habit forming, thus eventually just a part of your regular schedule.
4. Pay down your debts faster.
The rule of thumb: Your debt, not including rent or mortgages, should be no more than 20 percent of your monthly take-home pay. And, if you’re carrying credit card debt, it could be holding your credit score down. In this case, you should aim to keep your balances at 10 percent of your available credit limits to maximize your credit score in the debt category. If you’re carrying more than you should, the solution is easy: start paying it off. Attack it, really.
There are lots of plans out there for paying down debt. You can organize your debt from the biggest amount to the smallest, and pay off the small ones first to see immediate results, working your way up to the big ones. Or, you can organize them by interest rates, and pay off the bigger interest rates first to make sure you’re saving the most amount of money. Whichever plan inspires you the most is the one you should go with. via: How to Repair Your Credit the Right Way
5. Transfer your credit card balances.
When you have lots of different credit cards with varying balances to repay, making multiple payments each month can seem tricky. There are several cards that offer introductory balance transfer rates, meaning if you transfer all or some of your other cards’ balances, you won’t pay any interest on those balances for a year or two. These promotions vary by card, so always review the terms carefully with a representative. via: Quick Tricks for Improving Your Credit Health
Repairing your credit is something that takes time. It’s easy to get motivated and work on it for a day or two and then stop. Sometimes it can be overwhelming, frustrating, or even anger provoking. It is when these emotions take over that we often want to run. And in feeling this way we often shut down and do nothing.
Perseverance is the key. Create a plan, sign it, and honor it. If you are the kind of person that works better with others then look at the possibility of joining a money management group, seek out support from a credit advisor, or talk to a family member or friend and ask for their support.
Just know that you can do this. All of your hard work and effort will pay off.