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How to Repair Your Personal Credit - Part 1

Aug 17, 2007
When it comes to a marred credit report, it can be pretty tempting to listen up when you hear advertisements for companies claiming to be able to repair your damaged credit. They will promise to make all of your negatives positive again. They will claim to be able to get your credit in good standing so that you'll be able to get approved for mortgages and car loans. The bottom line; however, is that these companies are not going to be able to do anything for you. Anything that they would be able to change for a fee, you can do yourself for free.

The first and foremost step to cleaning up your credit report is to get yourself in good standing with your creditors. This is something that can usually be handled with a phone call or two to each creditor with outstanding balances. It can be intimidating to call them when you've gotten behind on payments, but it's better to work with them than to do nothing at all. Most credit companies will be willing to work with your unique budgeting issues and come to some sort of agreement that will return your status as long as you honor the terms of this new commitment.

Once you have completed the task of returning to the good graces of your creditors, you will slowly see pre-approved credit card offers return to your mailbox. Though these can be irritating to receive since to be safe, you have to end up tearing each one to shreds to dispose of it, they can give you an indication that your credit score is going up. This is not a definite way to know, but it's a way to assume at no cost and headaches that things are looking up in the credit score department. BY NO MEANS am I suggesting that you go out and get new credit cards. You will soon be in the same mess you just got out of if you start charging up your credit again.

At this point, you will have done everything that a credit repair company will claim that they will be able to do for you. Your credit rating will return to the positive and creditor phone calls will stop. This is a process that will take a little time to accomplish, but it's worth the time and effort to return yourself to good standing on your own. There's no need to worsen your financial situation by paying a credit repair company for things that you can do on your own.

Finding the Correct information

We all have indiscretions from time to time. You may make a late payment or forget a bill altogether. In either case you will be hit with a late fee and possibly additional finance charges, but you will not have negative information reported to the reporting services until your account has become delinquent which typically means two to three payments behind. Once negative information is reported to your credit report, it is your responsibility to follow up with it and make sure that once the account is brought current, the negative information gets taken off of the report.

If a company has denied your application for credit, insurance, or employment, you are entitled to a free credit report. However, in order to get this report for free you must request it from the denying party within 60 days of being denied. Once you receive this report, you will have all the information that you'll need in order to clear any incorrect negative information in the report. Also, you are able to access one free report a year from each of the three credit reporting agencies; Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Once you have your correct report, you will be able to comb through it to find false or incorrect information. If there are mistakes, you are able to dispute those mistakes at little or no cost to yourself. The companies responsible for the incorrect information are the ones responsible to investigate the disputed information and ultimately remove it from your report once it's been verified as inaccurate.

When this has been accomplished, your credit report will reflect the changes made and your credit score will begin its ascent to a more positive number. It will take some time for the score to rise due to the fact that you have to give disputed information some time to get worked out. In a mere matter of months your score will be looking up and your financial outlook will be much improved.
About the Author
Scott Peters has experienced tight cash flow and high credit. For more information please see How To Get Out Of Debt.
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