Delinquent accounts, charged offs, credit inquiries - all these can negatively affect your credit report. There are companies which would promise to improve your score against payment of fees, but usually you can do it yourself as well with little patience and caution. But before discussing on the methods of fixing the Credit Report (CR) you may remember that there is no shortcut towards improving your credit score overnight. Each negative entry would take its time to fall off from the report but efforts taken towards its betterment can help improving your stand even during this time.
First, you must pull your credit report from all the three credit bureaus. As a consumer you're entitled to receive a free credit report from all the three bureaus once in a year. Check the reports to compare the accurateness of the information. If you find any misinformation, you may dispute it with the Credit Bureaus (CBs) to take it off your report. Lesser the quantity of inaccurate information, better will be your score.
Ways to repair your credit history
1. Paying off debts wisely
You need to be wise at paying off your debts. While staying current on your mortgage and auto loan is important, paying off the credit card debts can help in improving your score faster. Keeping the balance to as low as 30% of the credit limit can actually help in accelerating your score.
2. Reporting correct limits of the cards
It's true that credit score gets affected by the credit card limits reported to the agency. Lower and incorrect limits can depress your score. Hence, you may monitor your report to check that the card limits are getting reported correctly.
3. Older the account, the better it is for your score
Your credit score also depends upon the length of your payment history. The creditors like to see old accounts at good standing. Also, too many accounts opened within a short span of time would lower your credit score.
4. Avoid maxing out your credit cards
Try and avoid using your cards to their limits. Maxed out credit cards present a bad picture to the creditors and therefore are detrimental to your score. Ideally, you may limit your expenses on a card upto 30% of the credit line.
5. Dispute old entries
A negative entry should fall off your report after 7 years. Keep a watch on those entries. If they are not taken off by the credit reporting agency after the seven years period you may then need to dispute and get it corrected. Erasing old accounts can significantly boost your score.
Further, if you have been a good customer then you may request the bank to remove one late payment from the history. Remember that 30-day and 60-day delinquencies might not affect your score if you become current again but once you are 90 days late, it would stay on the report for seven years.
Our credit score is an important determinant of our credit worthiness. Hence, special care should be taken to keep the credit report unblemished. If you have poor score, you'd be paying more for auto and mortgage loans or you may even find it hard to qualify for such loans. Therefore, try not to be careless with your credit cards and other bills, and learn to live within your means.
Secured credit card - Use it judiciously to rebuild your credit
Secured credit cards are offered by many national, regional and local banks. Opening a secured card consists of depositing secured credit card a set amount of money in an account with the bank providing the credit card. You do not make additional deposits to the account nor do you make withdrawals. The funds on deposit will be the set limit on your card.
You open the account with $500.00 on deposit and your card limit is $500.00.
The $500.00 on deposit will not be touched unless you fail to make a payment in a given month. If you do not make a payment, the money on deposit will secure the payment.
How can secured credit cards be used?
- A secured credit card functions just like a credit card. You can use the card to make sale purchases (like a grocery store checkout line), and also for online purchases. The card will carry the Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover logos.
- A secured credit card is an effective tool for all of the same things you use a debit or credit card to pay for.
- You will receive a monthly bill and are required to pay the amount due by a certain date just like a credit card. If you fail to make a payment, you can be charged fees, so don’t let a payment slip by. If you do it, then it can be reported to the credit reporting bureaus.
A secured card can help you rebuild your credit
One advantage you have with establishing one or more secured accounts that report to credit reporting agencies is it helps to:
- Establish credit if you are just starting out as a young adult
- Help you restore credit if you had past collection accounts with prior unsecured credit cards by establishing new and positive credit card trade lines.
If you have suffered financial setbacks that led to negative entries on your credit report and the hit to your credit score that goes with missing payments – a secured credit card can be used as a credit rebuilding tool. Be sure to select a secured credit card from a bank that reports your account to the credit reporting agencies.
Secured credit card – A good financial tool for young adults
- A secured credit card provides a good entry level to credit card management and budgeting for college students and young adults
- If you want to help you’re young adult child establish credit without the risks of spending beyond his/her means to pay back credit card debts, a secured card is an excellent alternative.
- With a set limit of $500.00 to $1000.00 a young adult can learn the responsibility of using credit wisely without the risk that a cards balance can balloon out of control. The security deposit backing up payment means that if trouble making monthly payments does not lead to default and debt collection efforts. .
With proper help you can
- Lower your monthly payments
- Reduce credit card interest rates
- Waive late fees
- Reduce collection calls
- Avoid bankruptcy
- Have only one monthly payment