Credit repair can produce dramatic results, potentially transforming the appearance of your credit reports and boosting your credit scores. Credit repair may even deliver major results in a reasonably short period of time. But it is not a magic cure for your credit woes; you will need to do some work. It is important at the outset of a credit repair effort to have a realistic perspective. But don’t lower your expectations; just make the effort needed to produce genuinely awesome results.
Organizing Your Effort
There are three things you must do to insure that you credit repair project yields the best possible results. You must get control of your existing obligations by building a realistic and practical budget. You must learn how to manage your account balances properly to fully optimize your credit scores. And you must learn the effect each type of credit can have on your credit scores. And there is more to this than meets the eye. Mastering the subtle details can make a world of difference in your credit scores, so let’s get to work.
Making a Budget Work for You
Don’t be afraid of creating a budget. Having a budget does not mean that you must embrace a self-imposed austerity plan. Creating a budget is an information gathering process. The more you know about your finances the better off you will be. When the time comes to make a decision that will affect your monthly cash flow it should be made in the context of good information. Too many financial errors have occurred simply because of a lack of information. You are going to be work hard on your credit repair project. You can’t afford to fly blind.
Get a pad of paper and list everything that you spend money on. Take your time and make sure that you have included everything from the big monthly obligations to your daily incidentals. Don’t forget an item because it occurs only occasionally, like an annual vacation. Just estimate the total amount you will need and divide it by twelve to determine the amount you should set aside each month. The goal of this exercise is to get a complete picture of your expenses. For your long term credit repair success you must be able to live within your means.
Your Balances and Your Credit Scores
There was a time when you would have great credit if you paid your bills on time. This is not longer enough. You can make your payments on time for years and still have terrible credit scores if you don’t manage your revolving balances properly. For credit repair results you must understand the relationship between your balances and your credit scores. The FICO scoring model grades you on the amount of available credit that you use. The relationship between an account balance and its limit is called the balance to limit ratio.
For the best possible credit score you should reduce your balances so that you are using less than 20 percent of the available credit line. Specifically, the FICO model recognizes balance to limit ratios in 20 percent increments; 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 percent. The lower the balance, the higher your score will be. Don’t underestimate this. You could lose over 100 points by running up a revolving balance to the limit.
Using the Right Kind of Credit
When it comes to credit repair there are big differences in the type of credit you use. The FICO scoring model likes some credit types, but will penalize you for others. If you want to improve your credit scores you should use mainstream credit cards like MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. And you must avoid consumer credit, including store cards and the type of financing offered by furniture and electronics stores.
This type of debt is useless for credit repair success, and can even drag your scores down. There are a variety of reasons for the way FICO treats consumer debt; it typically comes with poor terms and high rates. It may also come with an attractive, but dangerous no-payment option which will mature into an unwieldy repayment plan. Still, this type of debt can be convenient, so use it if you wish, but pay it off when you need your credit scores to be at their best. Good luck with your credit repair!
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