Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Repair Your Credit

You credit is one of the most important aspects of your life and can help you or hurt you during the course of your life. Credit affects many aspects of your life such as applying for a job, applying for a home or apartment, or applying for a personal loan or credit. Some people have been fired from jobs or have not been considered for job vacancies because of their bad credit. If you have bad credit it is never too late to fix it and improve your financial situation. Here are 10 tips to help repair your credit.

1. Order your credit report. Get current on late bills and dispute errors. Dispute errors online or by mail. Provide supporting documentation.
2. Get current. Pay late accounts such as judgments, tax liens, foreclosures, repossessions and collection accounts first. Then pay all other late accounts.
3. Pay down debt. Keep balances at 20% or less of the credit limit. Having credit cards with balances of 50% or more of the limit decreases your credit score.
4. Pay on time. Pay bills at least 7-10 days before the due date to avoid late fees and penalties.
5. New accounts. Opening more than one new account per year will lower your credit score.
6. Avoid closing accounts. Closing accounts that have been open for 2 years or more can decrease your credit score.
7. Negotiate. Setup payment plans to pay down debt if you cannot pay the full amount owed. Stick to the agreement until the account is paid in full.
8. Establish Credit. Open a department store credit card. They usually have the highest interest rates but provide easier approval than bank credit cards. Buy something small and pay the balance in full each month. You can also open a secured credit card account. Ensure the account is reported on your credit report. Get a card with low fees and a low interest rate.
9. Avoid risky solutions. Avoid filing for bankruptcy. Use bankruptcy, debt consolidation, credit repair counseling or debt settlement as a last resort. These are reported on your credit report and lower your credit score.
10. Financial Crisis. If you are currently unable to pay your debts due to unemployment or financial problems request a financial hardship. You can request a reduced monthly payment and reduced interest rate for a period of one year but you must provide supporting documentation.

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