Your credit score shows how well or how poorly you’ve managed your financial obligations. If you’ve managed your accounts prudently and have never defaulted on your bills, you’ll have a good credit score. However, if you’ve made some blunders like defaulting on your bills, you’ll have the dreaded lousy credit score.
With a bad credit score, you’ll have a hard time convincing financial institutions to give you loans and other types of credit. Fortunately, you can fix your blunders and improve your credit score. Here are some tips to get you started.
1. Review Your Credit Report
The first step to fixing your credit score is to have a clear idea of what you need to correct. You can get all the details of what’s hurting your credit in your credit report. This may include debt collections, past due accounts, or high credit card balances.
Carefully review your credit report to find out the harmful elements contributing to your bad credit. By knowing these elements, you can quickly figure out how to prioritize them.
You should realize that you are legally entitled to a free copy of your credit report once every year from the three leading credit reporting agencies.
2. Dispute Credit Report Errors
Every piece of information in your credit report should be accurate. If you notice any information in the report that’s erroneous, incomplete, or that you believe is unverifiable, you should consider disputing it.
Your credit report typically comes with instructions on how to dispute erroneous information. You can easily lodge disputes online, over the phone, or via the mail. Choose the method that works best for you.
3. Prioritize Your Debts
Make a detailed list of all your outstanding debts, including your lenders, when payments were due, and the interests you are paying. Then, you can decide on who to pay first.
You should realize that the more overdue debt is, the worse it looks on your credit report. So, you should start with the oldest obligations. Another good approach would be to clear the high-interest accounts first.
4. Clear Past Due Accounts
Payment history accounts for 35 percent of your credit score. That’s the most significant impact on your credit score. This means that having many past due accounts on your credit will compound your bad credit.
Therefore, tackling these accounts first will play a great role in fixing your credit score. You should try to get your past due accounts to be at least reported as “current.”
5. Negotiate With Creditors
If you’re unable to meet some payment obligations, consider negotiating with your creditors for a more convenient payment schedule. While this can be difficult, it’s better than simply missing payments and worsening the situation.
If creditors see that you’re making an effort to settle your debt no matter what it takes, they may work out something that is mutually favorable.
Bad credit can make things tough for you. But you can repair your bad credit and improve your score. Besides using the above tips, you can also consider engaging a professional credit repair service provider to expedite the process.