3 Quick Credit Repair Strategies
The problem with credit scores is that they take a long time to improve, but are very easy to deteriorate. You may need a mix of different credit repair strategies to improve your score because they are the accumulation of your credit history. So you could have been responsible your entire life, paid your bills on time, never took out too many loans, but a set of unfortunate circumstances caused your financial situation to worsen, and in the end lower your credit score.
Most people have a general idea of what a credit score is, and how it impacts your ability to get a loan and good interest rates, but fixing credit is another matter. If your credit score is low, the preferable reason is credit report errors by the credit bureaus or creditors (which is not uncommon). All credit repair companies worth their salt can fix such a situation quickly. More complicated problems require complex solutions, but there are 3 credit repair strategies you can always try to employ.
View a Tri-Merge Credit Report with a Credit Analyst
You should always view your tri-merge credit report with a professional. Three main credit bureaus compile information for your reports in the U.S. – TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian. These reports are separate and your credit score is based on them. A tri-merge report contains all 3 credit bureaus.
Your credit score is the numerical value that you get based on the positive and negative items contained in the reports from the credit bureaus and your credit age. This is your credit profile. The two principal credit scoring models which are used to calculate your score are VantageScore and FICO Scores. Both VantageScore and FICO scores range from 300 to 850.
Negative accounts are detrimental to your scores and they can range from bankruptcies to credit report errors. The assistance of a professional credit analyst will help you identify all the negative items being reported. This should always be the first step in credit repair and good credit repair companies will offer you this service among other credit repair strategies.
Review Each Negative Item Separately
Each negative account behaves differently and has a distinct impact on your score. For example, most negative entries are kept for 7 years on your report – this can include medical collections, charge-offs, late payments, student loans, etc., while bankruptcies are kept for 10 years. A credit reporting agency can make a mistake and retain out-dated information on your file, lowering your score. Knowing what to dispute and when is a very important part of the credit repair process. That is what credit analysis is for.
You need to know the intricacies of how each account behaves to know how to handle them. Consulting with a credit analyst can help you find the right approach for each account and which ones you should target first. Most newer credit scoring models view medical collections as less impactful than other types of debt, so you might choose to deal with them last if you wish to see an expedient improvement to your score.
In addition, there is no shortage of credit repair scams. Credit repair organizations may claim they deal in fixing credit in a very short period of time – let’s say one week, without ever explaining their credit repair strategies. A professional credit analyst can point out the inconsistencies and help you realize what you are dealing with.
Apply For a Secure Credit Card
You can improve your score by using your credit cards responsibly. In case you can’t take out a regular credit card, you can apply for a secure credit card. For a secure card, you put your cash in a security deposit that is held as collateral for your lines of credit. For the purposes of improving your credit, it functions much the same as a regular card.
In general, up to 30% of your credit score depends on your revolving credit – your credit cards and credit lines. A secure credit card can raise your score by showing you can pay your bills on time and utilize the money you have responsibly. Healthy credit accounts contain revolving credit and loans.
Your credit utilization ratio – the ratio between your credit card balance and credit limit expressed in percentages – is what determines how much your score will improve. A professional credit analyst can explain in detail what you should do to optimize the score gain and get out of negative credit.
Why You Should Consult a Credit Analyst
No matter your credit issues, there is always something you can do to improve your score. It boils down to removing negative credit and adding positive credit. A credit analyst will research your credit history, guide you towards the right credit repair strategies and explain what good credit repair companies can do for you, or what steps you can take yourself.