Should you hire a credit repair company to help you improve your credit score? Before you make a decision, let us talk about the steps that you can do by yourself to improve bad credit.
What You Can Do If You Have Bad Credit
Check your report. All consumers are entitled to receive one free annual credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus. Use this opportunity to review your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com. Check your file to make sure that it does not contain errors or inaccurate information which could be pulling down your score.
Dispute errors. In case you find errors in your file, you have the right to dispute them by sending a credit dispute letter to the bureau that issued your report. Upon receiving your letter, the bureau will conduct an investigation on the matter.
The process can take up to 30 days and if your dispute is found valid, the errors will be corrected and the bureau will send you an updated copy of your report for free. The bureau will also notify the two other credit reporting agency regarding the corrections made. By taking this step, you can significantly improve your credit score in that short span of time.
Cut down your debts. If you can’t pay all your creditors at once, try to pay as much as you can from your debts. You may begin with your credit cards with the highest rate of interest. Or you can pay one of your credit cards in full to eliminate one account from your list of obligations. If you are behind your mortgage payment, it’s very important to pay it first to avoid foreclosure.
When Credit Repair Help Is Needed
There are instances when the problem of debt is too overwhelming and trying to work out a solution on your own may not be so easy. In this case, do not hesitate to seek help from a credit counseling agency. However, before you sign up for credit counseling service, make sure that you are dealing with a legitimate and trusted company.
Watch out for agencies that promise to instantly fix bad credit. You should keep in mind that if bad credit is a result of unpaid debts or multiple debts, the only way you can recover is to pay your creditors. You cannot escape your payment obligation since you are bound by the Terms and Conditions of your lender.
If a credit repair agency claims that you can erase charges from your credit reports in exchange for a fee, you should take your business somewhere else. A legitimate credit counselor would never make such claims and would never advise a consumer to lie or cheat or do anything illegal.
On the contrary, a genuine credit counselor can help you evaluate your financial situation so you can come up with a debt repayment strategy that you can follow. Furthermore, a trusted counselor can give you proper advice on how you can negotiate with your creditors to make repayment easier.