Credit repair can do more than clean up your credit reports. It can raise your scores, help you prevail against collectors, guide your debt negotiations, and transform your financial life. But you must do it right. Too many people jump into the process head first without taking time to learn the rules. As powerful as credit repair is, an uninformed effort is almost guaranteed to produce disappointment. Here are the three most common credit repair mistakes you must avoid if you want awesome life-changing results.
Don’t Believe Your Eyes
Shake off any ideas that you have about the infallibility of the credit bureaus. Your credit repair effort will start with a detailed examination of all three credit bureaus, and you better approach this task with a critical eye. Almost three-quarters of all credit reports contain mistakes. Look very carefully. Expand your area of focus. Score damaging errors include underreported credit card limits, accounts reported as open with balances that are really closed and paid, duplicate accounts that overstate your debt load, and collections illegally reported by collectors that have sold the debt. Your mission is to hunt down and dispute everything that does not look right. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt. Every point matters.
Don’t Wait to Open New Accounts
Many people are puzzled by the injunction to open new accounts now. Your credit repair effort is destined to fail unless you have open accounts in good standing. You need to act today. But there are caveats. Not all forms of credit are useful for improving your credit scores; stick with MasterCard and Visa. In the current credit environment it is likely you will not be approved for regular credit cards. This is not an obstacle. Secured cards are ideal for credit repair; they are inexpensive to open and you will not be denied. Small secured cards are every bit as valuable as high limit cards. But you must manage them right. Here’s how.
Watch Those Credit Cards
The FICO credit scoring model puts so much emphasis on the relationship between your card balances and their limit that a lapse can cost you over 100 points. It does not matter if your limit is high or low, if you let your balances approach the limit your credit repair project will suffer. The FICO scoring software measures your card usage ratios and adjusts your scores accordingly. The lower your balance relative to your limit, the higher your score will be. So get those balances down. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that it is sufficient to pay the cards off at the end of each month. The creditor is unlikely to report to the bureaus at the exact moment that your balance has been paid. If you need your credit scores to be good in the next 60 days get your balances down now and keep them there as long as your scores matter.
The quality of your credit has never been so important. Your credit will affect your ability to borrow money, get insurance, rent an apartment, and even get a job; you cannot afford to ignore it or take it for granted. Take action today to insure that your credit report is as good as it can possibly be. If you don’t feel up to the task just hire a credit repair service to do the work for you. A professional credit repair service will see that every opportunity to sharpen your reports and boost your scores is taken advantage of. Don’t let your credit life languish. Wake up and do something. A little effort on your part will pay dividends for years to come. Good luck!
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