Right now more people than ever are suffering with the effects of bad credit. Hard times and mistakes of the past are showing up on their credit report. Life is much more difficult when you have bad credit. It is near impossible to get credit or borrow money and if you have bad credit you are typically charged higher prices for everything from deposits to interest rates. The truth is that it is more expensive all-around to have bad credit.
If you have the time and the resources you can just give it time and your bad credit problems will eventually be over. Most listings can only stay on a credit report for 7 years. However, you may want results sooner than that so you may want to take the proactive approach. There are some things you can do to repair your credit and start working towards good credit earlier.
First off you should know exactly what you are up against so the first step is to get a credit report from all of the three main credit-reporting agencies, TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. You are entitled to receive one free report from each agency one time per year as per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can also receive a report that contains all three agencies reports in one, however that one will cost you a fee.
After you receive your report you will want to check it out thoroughly for errors, inaccuracies or any type of discrepancy. Back in 1970 the Fair Credit Reporting Act was put into place to protect consumers from any type of unfair or inaccurate reporting. This law gives consumers the right to dispute any erroneous information showing on the credit report. This is very important as it is projected that as many as 75% of all credit reports contain gross errors.
Once a credit bureau receives your dispute they will have 30 days in which to verify the accuracy of their reporting or remove it from your credit report completely. It is smart to dispute inaccurate listings because it is estimated that up to 40% or more of all disputes end up by having the listings removed. However, you may not succeed right away so it is important to be persistent and keep trying until you succeed.
You should also try to establish some new and good credit. Many people with bad credit may not be able to get credit through the traditional means so if that is the case you can always start with a secured credit card or bank note. In that case, you will be required to put the amount you are approved for into a savings account that is held as security. Make your payments on time for 6 months or so and you will make a significant difference in your credit report.
You can also work at paying down debt or getting your credit limit raised in order to improve your debt to credit ratio. Be careful about paying off old debts or charge-offs as credit is reported based upon the date of last activity and if you pay it off all you are really doing is bringing the bad credit forward in time to start the 7 year period over again.
Credit repair can be completed on your own and it is not necessary to get professional assistance. However, you may find that it is beneficial to get some professional expertise in order to get your credit repaired in a timely manner as it can be very time-consuming and you do need some knowledge and expertise. It may be worth looking at the services of a professional credit repair service.