Have you ever been in a position in which you have had to ask the question, “How can I fix my bad credit?” You undoubtedly know how powerless the situation can make you feel. In many of these cases, desperate people have turned to so-called credit repair companies/firms to fix bad credit. These services can be quite expensive and—in many cases—completely unnecessary. The good news is, there are several steps you can take initiate to fix bad credit, without paying a single dime to professionals. In the following article we will outline some of these steps in great detail. Essentially providing an answer to the question, “Can I fix my credit on my own.”
Your credit worthiness—or unworthiness—is determined by your credit report. In fact, there are three top online reporting and management agencies that keep track of your credit and determine your score.
You do business with creditors often. Creditors include home and auto lenders and credit card companies and even utility companies. These firms report to one or more of these online agencies. Especially in cases when you fall behind on a particular payment (late payments), default on loan among others. Most of these three credit reporting agencies essentially hold your credit in the palms of their hands. It is absolutely crucial that you monitor these reports and stay abreast of your credit worthiness and score. In some instances, inaccurate information can be reported to one or more of these agencies, damaging your credit as a result. Below are some steps you can take to stay on top of your credit and fix bad issues where they exist.
Fix My Credit: Step One—Order Your Credit Reports
Copies of your official credit report can be ordered anytime by mail through all three of the major agencies This includes Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax—for a small fee. This is especially true if you have recently been denied credit due to what you believe is an inaccuracy. Even better, detailed credit reports from each of the credit agencies can also be ordered once a year. You can do this for free by visiting the website AnnualCreditReport.com. To stay abreast of your credit, experts suggest you stagger the ordering of these three reports.
In other words, you may order your Experian credit report for free in January. They you should wait until about April or May to order your free copy from TransUnion. Wait until about August or September before ordering your free copy from Equifax. This way you will have an ongoing record of your credit, enabling you to catch inaccuracies when they occur.
Fix My Credit: Step Two—Review Credit Reports Carefully
First start by applying for a free credit report with one or more of the three credit bureaus. This can often be done for free once a year at the official Us Government site for credit reports. you will need to review and audit the form you receive. Remember, this is an important “fix bad credit” step and you should ensure that everything on that report is correct, including:
• Personal Information. Make sure the name, address, birth date and social security number on your credit report is correct and up-to-date.
• Accounts. If you notice an unfamiliar account in which credit card data shows on a report. Ensure that you are actually the owner of that account—the one who opened it.
Note: some accounts may go by different names, especially if they were referred to a collection agency before ending up on your credit report.
Fix My Credit: Step Three—Report/Dispute Inaccuracies
After reviewing the detailed reports of your credit. You will then check them against your payment records. The next step to fix bad credit is to report inaccuracies and start the official dispute process. with this system you can expect to see some corrections or even removal of negative items. Lodging a legal dispute with one or more of the three credit agencies can be a long process. You can also contact a law firm to do this work on your behalf. The agency or bureau in question will double-check the posted information with the creditor who reported it. The agency will come up with a decision based on that research on whether the item will remain on your credit report or be removed.
Fix My Credit: Step Four—Settle Up on Delinquent Accounts
Of course, not all negative items on your credit card report will be inaccurate; some of them are genuine. In these instances, paying off what you owe on these accounts can be a great way to fix bad credit. Good things will start happening once these items have been paid in full. Many creditors have been known to delete the negative items. This can improve your credit score. We recommend to become familiar with your report and monitor your credit online. Disputing inaccuracies and paying up on delinquent accounts is a great way to fix bad credit. The best part is it won’t cost you a dime. Many law firms do this work as well but they can be expensive. Remember, you can do anything a law firm or credit repair agencies can do. Don’t forget, there are other options available if you don’t have the time or resources to do the work explained above. Check out our directory of the top credit repair agencies if you want someone else to do the work for you!