Getting the upper hand on your credit rating is very important. Everyone should take the time to learn their credit score, it is a vital part of your financial life.
If you are looking for any type of credit related products like credit cards or loans, you will need to have a relatively good credit score. A credit score can range from 300 to 850. The higher your score the the better the loan you will be able to get.
What Options Are Available?
There are ways to improve your credit. Many people turn to credit repair services, when in fact you can do some of what they would do for yourself.
You have to have a plan when attempting to repair your credit and improve your rating. First thing is to pull your credit report. You can do so by going online to the 3 different credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax.
You will have to send them a copy of your drivers license or state identification card to verify who you are. Once you have a copy of your report, you can take a look and find out what is bringing your score down. Check to find out if you have late payments that are showing up negatively on your report. Some of your accounts may even be in collections.
Late payments will show up from 30 to 120 days late. These are negatives on your report and will bring your score down. Call your creditors and make arrangements with them. You can find out if they will take a settlement on your account, if not, you have no option but to start paying on time. There may be some creditors that will work. But most likely most of them will want their money paid in full.
Inspect Your Credit Report
Take a look at inquiries on your credit report. You will have hard pulls and soft pulls. A hard pull on your report is when an agency such as a car dealership or bank pulls your credit to determine if you are a good candidate for them to take a risk on. These pulls negatively reflect on your report. This is why you have to give companies your permission in order to pull your credit.
Every time someone pulls your credit, it brings your score down. A soft pull is when you pull your report to find out what your report looks like. This will have no impact on your credit, there are other agencies that do soft pulls. Avoid hard pulls like the plague, if you know your credit is not high enough for any type of loan, there is no need to walk in a bank or car dealership thinking otherwise.
What To Do About Negative Information
Negative information stays on your report for 7 years. It will not just disappear, once it is there, it is very hard to have it removed. If you do find discrepancies, these can be disputed with the reporting credit agency, they will do a 30 day investigation. If they cannot prove that it is indeed a debt of yours it will be removed. All three credit bureaus allow you to dispute items found on your report online.
What You Can Do To Improve
The best thing you can do to improve your credit is to pay your bills on time. Make payment arrangement when you see yourself falling behind on your bills.
Most importantly talk to your creditors and let them know what is going on with you. Many times if you can’t pay the whole amount on a bill, it is best to pay something, this will at least keep your bill from being reported negatively on your account. Always keep watch on your credit score and make sure you pull your credit report yearly.