You could have been there for years, but your current situation may be due to a recent event, such as a layoff or a medical emergency. No matter how you got there, the most important thing before you start a credit repair program for your credit is to resolve to make changes and to work hard to correct it.
Make sure you have a clear plan before you move on. Some essential steps are:
1. It is important to pay your bills on time. This is the best and easiest way to increase your score.
2. If you are aware that you will be late on a payment, call your creditors immediately. If possible, make arrangements to catch up on payments or skip them. They will record your call and acknowledge your willingness to work together. Start now to fix your financial mistakes and build upon your financial strengths.
3. Don’t buy anything that you don’t use. Reduce your spending until your credit score improves.
4. To pay your bills and resolve outstanding credit, increase your income.
5. Keep current with all savings and checking accounts. You can check your checking account every day, but you should still be current.
6. Know exactly where your credit cards stand.
We discussed in the previous article how to obtain your credit report. After you have your credit report, look for entries that aren’t yours. My colleague shared with me the story of finding $100,000 in defaulted debt that was not hers. Her first and last names were identical to hers, and the mixed-up account was with the exact same creditor but for a completely different person in another state. She investigated the issue and reached out to the creditor to correct the mistake.
Every entry in your report should be checked. The accuracy and correction of errors are the responsibility of both the creditor and the reporting agency. You can contest the findings with creditors and agencies if you find an error, or an obsolete item. Notice: Older items are negative entries older than 7 years or bankruptcies older than 10 years.
Contact the consumer reporting agency in writing Send copies of supporting documents and specify the information that you believe is incorrect. Do not send the originals. Keep the originals with your financial records. While 7 years is the recommended time, you might want to keep them for longer periods of time. Old debt can be sold, and it may recur again. Keep the records safe.
They will require your full name and any past names that you might have used. You will need to identify each item in your report and provide details and reasons why you think it is incorrect. To ensure they are aware of the entry you are disputing, you can attach a copy to your report.
Your request should be sent by certified mail with the subject line “return receipt required”. This will ensure that you have proof of receipt from the consumer reporting agency. Keep a copy of your letter, and any attachments.
Don’t be afraid if this sounds daunting. Lincoln Mortgage, Inc. has been helping people fix credit errors for many years. We can also help you, completely free. It is essential to fix your credit before you can secure financing for a house or any other personal or commercial endeavor. Our success is your success.