Nearly a third of Americans have a bad credit score. That’s anything lower than 601, which is the distinction between fair credit…and bad credit. Sadly, bad credit can impact your life in numerous ways. One survey found that many Americans are unaware that bad credit can…
- have a negative impact on your ability to rent an apartment
- limit your options for cell phone service
- require you to pay more for car insurance
- cost you more on utility deposits
You can see why so many people are interested in fast credit repair, right? Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there, targeting vulnerable people who are trying to improve their scores.
Here’s how you can repair your credit and organize your personal finances.
Look out for Scams
Ignore any company that says they can give you fast credit repair. According to the FTC, it’s illegal to remove timely and accurate negative information from someone’s credit report.
There are even some companies that will sell your information when you’re going through a bad financial situation. Be wary if anyone contacts you out of the blue and offers to fix your credit rating.
Do Your Research
There are some legitimate credit repair firms (learn more here). Before you sign on the dotted line, be aware that anything these firms do, you can do by yourself, without paying a fee.
These firms will save you time, but you still have to pay a fee for their service. If you’re low on cash, it may be better to sort your credit score yourself.
Review Your Report
The first thing you should do is review your credit report. There are three reporting agencies in the United States: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
As you review your reports, make a list of any information that could be incorrect. Your credit score is built through the information from those credit agencies, and an error could have greatly impacted your score.
If you believe that some information isn’t correct, you need to reach out to the financial institution involved. Often, the credit card company or bank can fix it on their end and then update the information with the credit bureaus.
Build Your Score
Even if your credit score isn’t as good as it could be, you can still fix it. This involves ensuring that there is positive information on your credit report each month.
One of the easiest ways to do this is through a credit card. You just need to only utilize a small percentage each month and make sure you’re paying your balance off on time and in full each month. Over time, you’ll see your credit score begin to improve.
If your credit score doesn’t allow you to get a credit card, a secured credit card is a great option. This is when you use your own money as a deposit, and you’re then given a credit limit based on how much your deposit is. This is also reported to the credit bureau and a good way to build your score.
What Do You Think of Fast Credit Repair?
Have you looked into fast credit repair in the past? While there are some legitimate options out there, the above tips can help you repair your credit score while avoiding the biggest scams.
What are your tips for improving your credit score? Leave a comment below or get in touch with your thoughts.