When you are working to pay off debt and rebuil your credit, it is common to ask,“Should I hire a credit repair company to get the job done faster?”
We’ve all seen plenty of ads on TV and websites on the Internet that promise to rebuild your credit quickly. Is it possible to pay someone else to repair your credit just like that? Unfortunately, if it were that easy, more people would have higher credit scores.
The truth is, YOU can repair your credit yourself without hiring a company to do it for you. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that someone else can do it better or faster. There’s no quick way to repair your credit – it takes time and work, but if you put forth the effort, you’ll see results in the end.
What can you do to repair your credit?
- Get a copy of your credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com, the only official site for checking your credit report for free. Every year you can view one copy of your report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus for free. Check it for inaccurate information, and report any false information to the bureaus. Unfortunately, only false information can be deleted, not negative notes.
- Paying your creditors on time every month. It’s always best to pay your credit card debt in full, but even if you can’t pay the whole amount, do not skip payments. A big part of your credit score is having a history of on-time payments.
- Don’t utilize your entire credit limit. A higher debt utilization ratio (using a higher percentage of the credit that’s available to you) can lead to a lower credit score. Paying off your balance in full every month not only creates a history of on-time payments, it also increases the amount of available credit.
- If you have a collection account on your credit report, paying the balance off won’t remove it from your report. If you pay what you owe, make sure they agree in writing to notify the credit report that the balance was paid in full. It’ll still be on your credit report, but at least it will show up as paid in full.
- Avoid opening new accounts to increase your credit limit. When you apply for credit, the issuing company will check your credit report, and those inquiries can cause your score to drop a few points.
- Dispute any wrong information on your credit report
- Applying for multiple cards in a short period of time will hurt you much more than it will help. Try to focus on improving the accounts you already have open.
- Avoid closing older accounts. The length of your credit history plays a role in your score, so the longer your credit history the better. Closing your oldest accounts, even if you don’t use them anymore, will shorten the average length of time your accounts have been open. This can hurt your credit score, so leave those old accounts open even if you don’t use them.
Remember, you don’t need to pay expensive fees to a company to repair your credit. There simply is no way to do it quickly. As with most things in life, if you put in the time and work hard, you’ll see results with a better credit score in the long run.
If you are experiencing financial difficulty and are looking for a solution, non-profit credit counseling can help you make sense of all your options. Contact us today for a free financial assessment with one of our certified credit counselors.