There are many things you can do to build your credit and optimize your credit scores. Here are some of our favorite pointers. Get started today!
Pay Your Bills on Time
Credit repair means timely payments. Does this go without saying? If you want to repair your credit and improve your credit scores you cannot afford new late payments on your credit report. New late payments will have a major impact on your scores, as much as 100 points. The initial impact of a late payment will fade over time, so get those late payments behind you forever.
Open New Accounts
If you don’t have any open and active accounts on your credit report you cannot expect your credit repair effort to succeed. Credit scores are based on two broad categories of data, the good and the bad. Removing the bad stuff will get you halfway to your goal, but in the world of credit halfway doesn’t count for much. You need to build the good as well. It’s time to open new accounts, and credit cards are the perfect credit repair tool.
Try Secured Credit Cards
If you are trying to build new credit but can’t get approved for a credit card, try a secured card. It’s easy! Secured credit cards require a small saving account which will usually secure the entire credit line on your new card. Most secure cards require a minimum deposit of two to three hundred dollars. Don’t be embarrassed by the small amount, these little cards carry big credit repair power.
Manage Your Revolving Balances
The key to optimizing your credit scores with credit cards – aside from making your payments on time – is prudent balance management. The lower the better, but there are specific targets you should know. The current credit scoring model in use by lenders recognizes 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 percent usage. 20 and 40 are good, 60 is neutral, while 80 and 100 percent usage will reduce your scores, and if you want credit repair success, don’t even think of going over the limit.
Credit Repair and Authorized User Cards
Authorized user accounts have been the subject of much debate. Some credit repair companies, operating in a gray area of the law, have sold authorized card status for years to people who wanted a quick credit score boost. On July 31, 2008 Fair Isaac announced a software fix which blocks the benefit of these brokered accounts while leaving intact the benefit of legitimate spouse and family member cards. So if you have a relative with awesome credit that wants to help your credit repair project, have them add you as an authorized user and watch your score pop.
Credit Repair and Your Student Loans
If you have student loan problems you should pick up the phone right now (really, right now) and explore the many options that are available to get you back on track. Student loans are unique amongst all forms of debt; they have no statute of limitation for collection. The longer you ignore them the worse it gets. As tough as it sounds, there are many great resolutions available. The Student Loan Ombudsman Office has been set up to help you understand your rights. Call them at (877) 557-2575.
Clean Up Your Reports
Don’t believe everything you read, especially if it is on your credit report. Credit reports are typically loaded with errors, many of which can devastate your credit scores. Order all three of your reports, one from each bureau and plan to spend an hour proof reading each one. Credit repair can be the best time you ever invested. Check every detail including the neutral looking information like credit limits and reporting dates. Once you have identified the errors dispute them with the credit bureaus.
Need Help? Hire a Credit Repair Pro
If you are not comfortable reading your credit reports, or if you don’t have the time, hire a pro. A credit repair professional will insure that the job is done right. They will check statute of limitation dates and reporting period limits, identify compliance issues that may otherwise be hard to spot, write the dispute letters for you, manage re-disputes, and counsel you to insure the optimal outcome. Credit repair is important, take action today.
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