🧰 The Basics

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Before you start boosting your credit score, you need to know the basics. You need to know what a credit score is, how it is developed, and why it is important to you in your everyday life.

Lenders certainly know what sort of information they can get from a credit score, but knowing this information yourself can help you better see how your everyday financial decisions impact the financial picture lenders get of you through your credit score. A few simple tips are all you need to know to understand the basic principles:

Understand where credit scores come from.

If you are going to improve your credit score, then logic has it that you must understand what your credit score is and how it works. Without this information, you won’t be able to effectively improve your score because you won’t understand how the things you do in daily life affect your score.

If you don’t understand how your credit score works, you will also be at the mercy of any company that tries to tell you how you can improve your score — on their terms and at their price.

In general, your credit score is a number that lets lenders know how much of a credit risk you are. The credit score is a number, usually between 300 and 850, that lets lenders know how well you are paying off your debts and how much of a credit risk you are.

In general, the higher your credit score, the better credit risk you make and the more likely you are to be given credit at great rates.

Scores in the low 600s and below will often give you trouble in finding credit, while scores of 720 and above will generally give you the best interest rates out there.

Credit scores are a lot like GPAs or SAT scores from college days – while they give others a quick snapshot of how you are doing, they are interpreted by people in different ways. Some lenders put more emphasis on credit scores than others.

Some lenders will work with you if you have credit scores in the 600s, while others offer their best rates only to those creditors with very high scores. Some lenders will look at your entire credit report while others will accept or reject your loan application based solely on your credit score.

The credit score is based on your credit report, which contains a history of your past debts and repayments. Credit bureaus use computers and mathematical calculations to arrive at a credit score from the information contained in your credit report.

Each credit bureau uses different methods to do this (which is why you will have different scores with different companies) but most credit bureaus use the FICO system.

FICO is an acronym for the credit score calculating software offered by Fair Isaac Corporation company. This is by far the most used software since the Fair Isaac Corporation developed the credit score model used by many in the financial industry and is still considered one of the leaders in the field.

In fact, credit scores are sometimes called FICO scores or FICO ratings, although it is important to understand that your score may be tabulated using different software.

One other thing you may want to understand about the software and mathematics that goes into your credit score is the fact that the math used by the software is based on research and comparative mathematics. This is an important and simple concept that can help you understand how to boost your credit score. In simple terms, what this means is that your credit score is in a way calculated on the same principles as your insurance premiums.

Your insurance company likely asks you questions about your health, your lifestyle choices (such as whether you are a smoker) because these bits of information can tell the insurance company how much of a risk you are and how likely you are to make large claims later on.

Studies have shown, for example, that smokers tend to be more prone to serious illnesses and thus require more medical attention. As a result, if you are a smoker you likely face higher insurance premiums.

Similarly, credit bureaus and lenders often look at general patterns. Since people with too many debts tend not to have great rates of repayment, your credit score may suffer if you have too many debts.

Understanding this can help you in two ways:

1) It will let you see that your credit score is not a personal reflection of how

“good” or “bad” you are with money. Rather, it is a reflection of how well lenders and companies think you will repay your bills – based on information gathered from studying other people.

2) It will let you see that if you want to improve your credit score, you need to work on becoming the sort of debtor that studies have shown tends to repay their bills.

You don’t have to reinvent yourself financially and you don’t have make more money. You just need to be a reliable borrower. This realization alone should help make credit repair far less stressful!

Credit reports are put together by credit bureaus, which use information from client companies. It works like this: credit bureaus have clients —

such as credit card companies and utility companies, to name just two — who provide them with information.

Once a file is opened on you (i.e. once you open a bank account or have bills to pay) then information about you is stored in your record. If you are late paying a bill, the clients call the credit bureaus and note this. Any unpaid bills, overdue bills or other problems with credit count as “dings” on your credit report and affect your score.

Information such as your type of debt, amount of debt, and how regularly you pay your bills on time are all used to calculate your credit score.

Your age, sex, and income do not count towards your credit score.

The actual formula used by credit bureaus to calculate credit scores is a well-kept secret, but it is known that recent account activity, debts, length of credit, unpaid accounts, and types of credit are among the things that count the most in tabulating credit scores from a credit report.

Keep the contact information for credit bureaus handy.

The three major credit bureaus are important to contact if you are going to repair your credit score. These three credit agencies can help you by sending you a copy your report.

If you find an error on your credit report, these are also the companies you must contact to correct the problem. You can easily contact these organizations by mail, telephone, or through the Internet:

Equifax Credit Information Services, Inc
Address: P.O. Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374
Telephone: 1_888_766_0008
Online: www.equifax.com

TransUnion LLC Consumer Disclosure Center
Address: P.O. Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
Telephone: 1_800_888_4213
Online: www.tuc.com

Experian National Consumer Assistance Center
Address: PO Box 2002
Allen, TX 75013
Telephone: 1_888_397_3742
Online: www.experian.com

You may want to note this information wherever most of your financial information is kept so that you can easily contact the bureaus whenever you need to.

Develop an action plan for dealing with your credit score.

Once you have your credit report and your credit score, you will be able to tell where you stand and where many of your problems lie.

If you have a poor score, try to see in your credit report what could be causing the problem:

– Do you have too much debt?
– Too many unpaid bills?
– Have you recently faced a major financial upset such as a bankruptcy?
– Have you simply not had credit long enough to establish good credit?
– Have you defaulted on a loan, failed to pay taxes, or recently been reported to a collection agency?

The problems that contribute to your credit problems should dictate how you decide to boost your credit score.

As you read through this E-Book, highlight or jot down the tips that apply to you and develop a checklist of things to do that will help your credit situation improve.

When you seek professional credit counseling, the counselors will generally work with you to develop a personal strategy that expressly addresses your credit problems and financial history.

With this E-Book you can develop a similar strategy on your own — in your own time and at your own cost.

When developing your action plan you need to understand where most of your credit score is coming from:

1) Your credit history

Your credit history accounts for more than a third of your credit score in most cases.

Whether or not you have been a good credit risk in the past is considered the best indicator of how you will react to debt in the future.

For this reason, late payments, loan defaults, unpaid taxes, bankruptcies, and other unmet debt responsibilities will count against you the most. You can’t do much about your financial past now, but by paying your bills on time, starting today, you can boost your credit score in the future.

2) Your current debts

Your current debts accounts for approximately a third of your credit score in most cases.

If you have lots of current debt it may indicate that you’re stretching yourself financially thin and so will have trouble paying back debts in the future.

If you have a lot of money owing right now — especially if you have borrowed a great deal recently — this fact will bring down your credit score.

You an boost your credit score by paying down your debts as far as you can.

How long you have had credit

This factor accounts for up to 15% of your credit score in many cases. If you have not had credit for very long, you may not have enough history to let lenders know whether you make a good credit risk.

You can counter this by keeping your accounts open rather than closing them off as you pay them off.

The types of credit you have

This factor accounts for about one tenth of your credit score in most cases.

Lenders like to see a mix of financial responsibilities that you handle well. Having bills that you pay as well as one or two different types of loans can

actually improve your credit score. Having at least one credit card that you manage well can also help your credit score.

As you can see, it is possible to only estimate how much a specific area of your credit report affects your credit score. Nevertheless, keeping these five areas in mind and making sure that each is addressed in your personalized plan will go a long way in making sure that your personalized credit repair plan is comprehensive enough to boost your credit effectively.

This article is an excerpt from “Credit Score Confidential” an in-depth and comprehensive publication on credit repair written by Amazon book selling author Margaret Ortiz.

🧰 Why “Do It Yourself Credit Repair” Is The Best Option

Having a good credit rating is one of the essential tools to leading a successful economic life.

Although most people don’t give their credit reports much thought, good credit allows for many things that are usually taken for granted: credit cards, car rentals, hassle free loans and apartment rentals etc.

Every time you miss a payment to a creditor, the creditor will report this to a credit bureau, and it will be added to your credit report.

If you do this too often, or let loans go into default, you will find yourself needing to engage in credit repair, as you will be consistently turned down for credit cards and most other types of loans.

If you turn to the internet or classified ads when beginning your research into credit repair, you’ll likely notice many, many offers from companies offering credit repair services.

Most of them market themselves aggressively, and claim that they can fix your credit report quickly for a fee.

You should be very wary in dealing with these companies – not only are many of them scams, in most cases you can repair your own credit more effectively.

It’s important to understand that there is nothing a credit repair company can do that you can’t do yourself.

In other words: even though they may imply so, a credit repair company is not in cahoots with the credit bureau, and cannot get poor marks on your credit rating “erased.”

What’s most likely to happen is that the credit repair company will encourage you to obtain your credit report from the credit bureau, and to challenge negative items on the report.

In some cases, credit repair companies will even go so far as to engage in activities of questionable legality.

Namely, they will encourage you to start a “new” credit rating through a change of address and banking information.

This practice is not legal, nor is it usually effective. A far better approach to credit repair is to do it yourself.

If you search online you’ll find many sites offering step by step advice – your best bet is to look at advice from a government source or other trusted organization.

The best approach is to first obtain your credit report from the bureau.

Once you have the report examine it closely, and challenge, in writing, any errors on the report.

Only challenge items if there are genuine errors – if your report is error free, you will have to engage in the traditional methods of credit repair.

The best way to start is to obtain a secured credit card and use it regularly.

In this manner you will be to slowly repair you’re credit rating.

Although credit repair in this way can be a very slow process, by being patient and making smart budgeting decisions, you will be able to pay your creditors on time.

In doing so you will eventually prove to them that you are suitable for credit.

Although credit repair in this way can be a very slow process, by being patient and making smart budgeting decisions, you will be able to pay your creditors on time.

While it is true that a good credit repair company can accomplish things pertaining to your credit more quickly, in many cases the do-it-yourself approach can prove to be a truly effective one.


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🧰 Loan Problems

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Are you in a financial crunch?

Have you paid all your dues of previous loan debts?

Queries are many, but answers are few.

As the real estate market is on a boom these days with home prices and interest rates for loans seeing new highs literally everyday.

But is it wise on your part to sign any contract for a lucrative house deal or take mortgage for home improvements?

Before you really plunge in, you will have to find a worthy lender who can give correct value to your property and finance you accordingly.

Naturally your monthly income and credit ratings play a vital role to assess the loan amount you may take from any loaning company.

12 to 15 year repayment periods for mortgage loans are good alternatives for bigger loan amounts.

It is considerably shorter period for repayment, than 20 to 25 years period.

There are even loan schemes, which you can pay off in thirty years time period, with reasonably fixed monthly installments, but it is a lengthy period for repayment.

But you may get yourself a low interest rate deal for all those years.

Many flexible credit finance programs may give a rate cap or a protection, which may necessarily prevent any rise in the rate of interest every year, and the loan interest rates are paid up over the limited time period.

You may get an estimation to determine the value of your property and the closing costs that you may incur.

By standard rules and regulations, the lender is required to provide a financial statement within 3 to 4 days of getting your loan sanction.

You are also entitled for Private Mortgage Insurance if the down payments are less than 20% of the loan amount.

A loan application for secured loans may be submitted several times or the interest rates may go up according to the market and business economy in recent times.

Then the interest rates may rise due to inflation factor. Any amount of funding or monetary help you receive from a loan institute will be present in your credit reports.

Future borrowers can show their credibility from monthly income statements, property under their name and equity shares they hold, to ascertain the down payment they are entitled to receive from lenders.

Standard mortgage loans are very much possible if you are planning to make home improvements, or garden landscaping.

A construction loan may be awarded to those borrowers, who are thinking of employing electricians, home painters and building contractors to pay them for their efforts.

All said and done, a loan amount can be easily acquired in today’s growing economy and flourishing loan markets, irrespective of your bad credit ratings.

So don’t wait any longer, rush to your nearest loan agent today.


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🧰 Credit Repair and Your Emotions

Credit Repair and Your Emotions

It is a subject that few people discuss, but more and more therapists are talking about it – the key link between our emotions and our money.

We may think that money is all about our rational selves, but in fact our emotions are often very much invested in our pocket books.

If we want to repair our credit, we have to deal with the emotional as well as the numerical side of money.

There are a few tips that financial experts now believe can help you harness your emotions in a way that can actually help you improve your credit score:

Give Yourself a Break

There is no point in beating yourself up over your credit score – whatever it is.

Instead, promise yourself that you will do better in the future and then work to repair your credit rather than working on berating yourself.

Taking action to improve your credit rating will improve your outlook as well as your credit.

Don’t make excuses

If you have been the object of identity theft or have genuinely been mistreated by a company, then by all means include an explanatory note in your credit report.

However, most lenders do not want to hear a lot of excuses.

Whatever your problems have been in the past, you will seem like a much more reliable lender if you focus on what you are doing to get out of problems.

You will feel better and get better responses from lenders if your focus on current action rather than past mistakes.

Instead of wallowing in pity and explaining in great detail the personal and financial problems that led to a bad credit rating, give yourself and lenders the condensed version and then move on to a detailed review of what you are doing to repair your credit.

Give Yourself a Treat – without affecting your credit rating

Reestablishing good credit is hard work and daunting as well.

Once in a while, as you reach a milestone, you need to reward yourself.

You should do this through some means that do not involve debt or money.

If you repay your credit card bill, there is no sense in running up that bill again on a shopping trip.

Instead, you should list some inexpensive and fun treats you could give yourself.

Keep this list wherever you keep your financial file.

As you reach a big milestone, take out your list and immediately reward yourself with one of the items on the list.

This will not only keep you motivated, but it will inexpensively keep you from feeling too deprived while you work on your credit score.

Work on your emotional response to debt and money

Most of us carry a lot of emotional baggage with us when it comes to money.

We see money as a marker of success, or we see money as a way of making ourselves feel better, and these attitudes lead us to much of our financial and credit problems.

If we rely on money to make us feel successful, then we are apt to overspend.

If we fear money – or the lack of it – we are unlikely to save it or make investments with it.

We need to be aware of the ways we respond to money and the ways that those responses shape the ways we deal with money.

Some financial experts recommend that clients keep money journals, in which they record their money hopes, their money fears, and their responses to spending and money.

A money journal can help you by showing you how feel about spending and about money.

If you can isolate the emotions that influence how you spend money and how you make your money decisions, you will be well on your way towards fixing your financial problems.

Don’t mix debt with emotion and stay aware of your emotions

It pays to separate your feelings of worth and your emotions from your finances, especially when you are trying to repair your credit.

Feeling self-pity, shame, fear, or sadness as you try to repair your credit score won’t help you.

Staying calm and professional as you deal with credit bureaus and financial professionals will help you.

If you need to, keep telling yourself that your credit score is just an important number.

Keep it separate from yourself and your emotional state as far as possible.

Bad credit can be emotionally trying, and boosting your credit can be daunting and difficult as well.

It is important that you keep track of your emotions during the process.

If you find yourself dwelling on your credit too much or if you find yourself severely depressed, seek help at once.

A credit problem is a fixable solution – do not let it become an emotional disaster for you.

Get help if you need it

Do not be afraid to ask for help – financial or emotional – if you need it.

There are a number of wonderful organizations that can help you if a problem is causing your credit problems.

If you have credit problems due to compulsive overspending, for example, Overspenders Anonymous can be a great help.

If you suffer from a gambling problem, there are a number of charitable organizations that can help you overcome the addiction.

If you have accumulated debt as a result of these sorts of specific problems, you will not really be able to fix your credit rating unless you deal with the problems behind the bad credit.

Many good groups and therapists out there can help you.

Find a recommendation for a good one from your family doctor or a trusted friend or family member.

You will be glad that you did.

This article is an excerpt from “Credit Score Confidential” an in-depth and comprehensive publication on credit repair written by Amazon book selling author Margaret Ortiz.

🧰 Article I: Corona Virus Related Credit Issues

The world wide Corona virus pandemic has now reached in some way, into nearly every aspect of human daily life. This article is part of a series of curated content aimed at providing guidance specifically to those whose finances and credit have been negatively affected by this disease.

Protecting Your Credit During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Article By Liane Fiano

This article was originally posted March 19, 2020 on (CFPB)Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website and was updated on July 29, 2020 to reflect new information.

If you are having trouble paying your bills, you may be worried about what will happen to your credit reports and scores.

You can use the information below to manage and protect your credit during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

Reach out to your lender or creditor

Many lenders and creditors report your payment performance to credit reporting agencies (also known as consumer reporting companies or credit bureaus).

This includes mortgage servicers and credit card companies, as well as utility providers, cell phone service, landlords, and others that you owe money to and who provide data on accounts in collection.

If you are having trouble paying your bills, it’s important to reach out to your lender or creditor.

Many lenders and creditors have announced proactive measures to help borrowers impacted by COVID-19.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act has forbearance and credit reporting requirements that may apply to your situation.

As with other natural disasters and emergencies, your creditors or lenders may be willing— and in some case are required—to provide forbearance, loan extensions, a reduction in interest rates, and/or other flexibilities for repayment.

Some lenders are also saying they will not report late payments to credit reporting agencies or are waiving late fees for borrower due to this pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, in certain situations, lenders are required to report your accounts as current.

You can reach out to your lender or creditor and find out what options or programs are available.

These programs are sometimes called “hardship” or “relief programs.” These programs may allow you to enter into an agreement to:

– Defer or pause one or more payments

– Make a partial payment

– Forbear (temporarily stop paying) any delinquent amounts

– Modify a loan or contract

– Receive a suspension for federal student loan payments

– Other assistance or relief

The CARES Act calls these agreements “accommodations.”

To reach out to your lender, look for a customer service number on a copy of your bill for your mortgage, credit card, auto loan, or other loan. Some lenders are facing high call volumes because of the pandemic, so the wait time may be long.

You can also check your lender’s website to see if they have information that can help you, ways to communicate electronically, or online applications for hardship programs.

When contacting your lenders, make sure you have your account number and payment information available.

Be prepared to discuss your financial and employment situation, as well as how much you can afford to pay considering your income, expenses, and assets.

Have a list of questions prepared in advance. You want to make sure you’re completely comfortable with the terms before you make an agreement.

Here are some key questions to ask:

If I can’t make my payment as a result of the coronavirus, what are the hardship or relief programs available?

Are there fees associated with any of these programs?

Will I have the option of deferring the repayment of any amounts owed to the end of my loan?

If I’m able to defer or lower my monthly payments, will interest continue to accrue during this hardship or relief period?

How long does the hardship or relief period last and when will I need to start repaying?

If my financial situation hasn’t changed once the hardship or relief period ends, what will be the options?

How will this agreement or relief be reported to the credit reporting agencies? Note: that the recently passed CARES Act places special requirements on companies that report to credit reporting agencies if they provide payment relief due to coronavirus.

For credit cards—will I lose the ability to use my card if I enroll or request relief?

There are special forbearance or relief programs for some types of mortgages.

To learn more, go to the Mortgage and housing assistance page.

Use our checklist:

☐ Find the name of your lender on your statement.

☐ Check the lender’s website to see if there are hardship or relief programs available.

☐ Call your lender and find out the available hardship or relief programs.

☐ Ask questions about the terms of the accommodation, including how it will be reported to credit reporting agencies.

☐ Find out what you need to do once the relief or agreement period has ended.

Ask what the options are for repayment, such as repaying the amount you missed at the end of your loan.

☐ Confirm the agreement or relief in writing and ask the lender to confirm the agreement in writing.

☐ Comply with the agreement and make any payments as agreed.

☐ Check your credit reports to make sure they accurately reflect the agreement with your lender.

There may be some delay in the creditor updating the records with the credit reporting agencies, so you may want to check monthly to ensure your credit records reflect your agreement accurately.

You can now request your credit reports for free weekly from each of the nationwide credit reporting agencies through April 2021 by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com .

☐ Dispute any errors that you find in your credit reports.

If your accommodation is not accurately reflected in your credit reports, reach out to both your lender and the credit reporting agencies and dispute those errors.

Attach any documents if you can to show that it is not correctly reported.

☐ If you don’t know or aren’t sure about repayment, reach out to your lender before the end of the relief or agreement period to confirm next steps and what the options are to repay any missed payments.

☐ How will my credit be affected?

☐ Depending on whether you were able to make an agreement or accommodation when you talked to your lender, there could be different impacts on your credit reports and scores.

Your credit scores are calculated based on the information in your credit report.

There are credit scores for different purposes and for loan products.

Many factors go into computing your credit scores. Learn more about the relationship between credit reports and credit scores.

☐ Two companies, FICO and VantageScore, among others, create scoring models that analyze your credit and generate a credit score.

You can find out more information of how these companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and treating forbearances and deferrals from FICO and VantageScore

It is important to keep in mind that different lenders use different credit scores including scores they build and manage themselves.

The CARES Act places special requirements on companies that report your payment information to credit reporting agencies.

These requirements apply if you are affected by the coronavirus pandemic and if your lender gives you an accommodation to defer a payment, make partial payments, forbear a delinquency, modify a loan, or other relief.

If your lender does make an agreement or accommodation with you:

How your lenders report your account to credit reporting agencies under the CARES Act depends on whether you are current or already delinquent when this agreement is made.

These reporting requirements apply only if you are making any payments required by the agreement.

If your account is current and you make an agreement to make a partial payment, skip a payment, or other accommodation, then the creditor is to report to credit reporting companies that you are current on your loan or account.

If your account is already delinquent and you make an agreement, then the creditor cannot report you as more delinquent (such as reporting you as 60 days delinquent when you started out 30 days delinquent) during the period of the agreement.

If your account is already delinquent and you make an agreement, and you bring your account current, the creditor must report that you are current on your loan or account.

This CARES Act requirement applies only to agreements made between January 31, 2020 and the later of either:

120 days after March 27, 2020 or 120 days after the national emergency concerning COVID–19 ends.

If your lender does NOT give you an accommodation:

If your lender is not required to provide an accommodation and decides not to make an agreement with you, this will likely impact your credit report.

If you are unable to make a payment or a minimum payment as required and you cannot obtain an accommodation, your lender likely will report that your account is now delinquent.

Your lender may offer you or you can request that the lender place a “special comment” on your account noting that the account was affected by a national emergency as a result of the pandemic.

The comment will not affect your credit scores, and your loan will still be recorded as delinquent.

But a prospective landlord, employer, or lender may take it into account when considering you for a loan, a job, or housing.

The special comment may help a lender or other report user understand that you ordinarily make your payments but could not make payments for a period of time due to the pandemic.

In addition, the special comment is temporary and may only show on your account for a period of time, such as during the time of a declared national emergency.

When the lender stops furnishing the special comment information, it disappears permanently and entirely from your credit report.

There will be no record that there was ever a special comment placed on your credit report.

You can also add a “permanent comment” to your credit file saying that you have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

This comment will not affect your credit score, and your delinquent loan will still be reflected in your credit score.

However, the comment will remain in your file even after the national emergency is over, and a prospective landlord, employer, or lender may take it into account.

The CARES Act also applies to certain federal student loans and includes requirements relating to suspending payments and credit reporting.

During the period that payments on federal student loans are suspended by the Department of Education, any payment that has been suspended is to be reported as if it were a regularly scheduled payment made by the borrower.

How do I get a copy of my credit report?

Right now, it’s easier than ever to check your credit report more often.

That’s because everyone is eligible to get free weekly online credit reports from the three nationwide credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

To get your free reports, go to AnnualCreditReport.com .

The credit reporting agencies are making these reports free until April 2021.

Each of the three nationwide credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian – are already required to provide you, on your request, with a free credit report once every twelve months.

Be sure to check your reports for errors and dispute any inaccurate information.

In addition to your free weekly online credit reports until April 2021 and your free annual credit reports, all U.S. consumers are entitled to six free credit reports every 12 months from Equifax through December 2026.

You can access these free reports online at AnnualCreditReport.com or get a “myEquifax” account at equifax.com/personal/credit-report-services/free-credit-reports/ or call Equifax at 866-349-5191.

How often should I check my credit reports after talking to my lender?

After making an agreement or accommodation with your lender, you should check your credit reports to make sure that the agreement or accommodation is accurately reflected.

For example, if your lender agreed to let you pause one month’s payment, make sure they didn’t report it as delinquent or a missed payment.

It could take a month or more for the changes from your lender to show up on your credit reports, but you should check them regularly especially if you are or will be in the market for credit, or if your credit reporting data will be used to make a lending, employment, or housing decision about you.

So, check your credit reports after a month or two to see if the reports are accurate.

There are other reports you may want to check too, such as reports that monitor your bank and checking account history, phone, utility, and rental payment history, among others.

The CFPB has a list of consumer reporting companies where you can learn more about which reports might be important to you, depending on your specific situation.

You may also be able to get a free copy of your credit scores.

Check out the updated list of companies and organizations that said they offer free credit scores to learn about your options for accessing one of your credit scores free of charge.

How can I get errors in my credit report fixed?

If your credit reports are not accurate or don’t reflect your agreements with your lenders, you can check your reports for errors and dispute any inaccurate information.

If you find inaccurate information on your credit reports, use the CFPB’s step-by-step guide to dispute

that information with the credit reporting agency and the company that provided that information to them, known as a “furnisher.”

After you send your dispute, check your report again. You may want to wait a month or two before checking to see if the errors have been corrected.

You should check your reports with all three nationwide credit reporting agencies.

Your lender or creditor may only report or furnish your information to one credit reporting agency, so checking all three will ensure that you know your information is correctly reported.

And if you need to dispute incorrect information, you will know which credit reporting agency to contact.

If your dispute is not resolved with the credit reporting agency, you can ask that a brief statement of the dispute be included in your file and included or summarized in future reports.

You can also submit a complaint at any time to the CFPB.

🧰 Make Credit Repair Easier on Yourself

Credit Repair Toolbox www.ZoomMyCredit.com

Credit repair is no picnic. It requires continual work and effort to get a good credit score and to improve a bad one. In today’s busy life, you stand a much better chance of getting a better credit score if you make it as easy on yourself as possible.

In many cases, people actually have low credit scores not because of carelessness or indifference, but because hectic lifestyles lead to oversights and missed credit payments.

There are several things you can do to make good credit almost automatic:

Don’t let a bad credit score make you swear off purchases you must make

You will make life much harder on yourself if you deny yourself things you need – such as medical treatments – because your credit is poor.

If you have bad credit, but need money for something urgent, consider a secured loan or a bad credit loan with generous terms. Do not let bad credit affect your ability to stay safe and healthy.

Some people think that getting credit while trying to repair their FICO score is bad idea.

While it is true that you may not get the best interest rates on the loans you get in the time before your credit score is improved, getting loans that you need may simply be too important to put off.

Make arrangements to pay your bills when you are on vacation or ill

When we go on vacation, of course we want to get away from it all, but when we forget to pay our bills while away, we risk getting dings on our credit that can affect our credit risk rating.

Make it part of your vacation practice to pay bills in advance or to arrange someone to pay your bills while you are away.

Similarly, while you are ill, arrange to have bills paid so that bills don’t pile up and so that you don’t get marked as a “non-payer.”

It is frustrating to be trying to improve a credit score only to suffer a setback over a small oversight.

Consider online banking or telephone banking to make bill payment easier

If you have trouble getting your payments in on time, consider online or telephone banking.

This simple system is now available from virtually every bank and can help you pay your bills in minutes – at any time of the day or night. If you travel a lot, on line or telephone banking can be a real life-saver as it will allow you to pay your bills no matter where you are. Plus, you get instant confirmation of the paid bill and your payment is counted instantly.

You no longer have to worry about payments getting lost in the mail or getting lost in a bureaucratic shuffle – the record of the payment is right on your bank account statement.

If you lead a busy lifestyle and have several late payments of bills simply because you can’t quite keep up with the errand of paying bills, online or telephone banking can be the solution that can help your credit rating by effectively putting a stop to late or unpaid bills.

With these two very convenient and quick payment options, there really is no excuse for unpaid accounts.

Simplify your bills

You can often get great discounts by choosing to get several services from the same company – for example, a package deal from your phone company can give you internet access, long distance phone plans, and cable television – all on one bill and all in one low price.

Pooling your insurance into one package from one insurance provider can have the same effect.

Reducing the number of bills you get can make it easier for you to pay your bills and so reduces the chances that your credit rating will be affected by non-paid or late paid bills.

Pay your bills as soon as you get them

If you leave your bills until later, you may forget and end up being listed as a late payer.

Some companies may not report you to credit bureaus right away, but others report even one skipped or late payment, which can show up on your credit report and affect your credit rating.

Set aside a regular day, time, and place for paying bills

If you are too busy to pay your bills as they arrive, set aside one hour each week for paying your bills and ordering your finances.

Have the same place and time set aside each week, so that paying incoming bills and taking care of your finances becomes an automatic good habit.

Make sure that the place you set aside is quiet and contain everything you need – including pens, a calendar, stamps, envelopes, and your payment information.

Making bill paying automatic in this way can reduce the number of non-payments and late payments you make on your bills, and reducing these problems can help improve your credit risk rating.

Record your financial duties on a calendar – just like all your other appointments

If you mark down when bills are due, when you need to make payments, and what you need to accomplish to boost your credit score in a visible place you check often, you are less likely to overlook important appointments and deadlines.

Go online

There are a number of online resources that can help you find credit information and can help you with your credit repair project:

The FICO web site – www.myfico.com – contains lots of useful credit repair information and even allows you to order credit reports and scores.

The credit bureaus (transunion.com, equifax.com and experian.com) allow you to order credit scores and credit reports online.

Through the online sites you can also get information on reporting errors on your credit report.

Your bank likely offers online banking as well, which can make managing your accounts easier and simpler for you each month.

Most companies – including utility companies and credit card companies will now allow you to get your bills right in your inbox.

This is a very handy feature as it allows you to get your bill right away, it cuts down on the amount of mail you get, and allows you to get and pay your bill online through online banking.

Plus, many accounting software packages now allow you to coordinate all your financial information through one program, which can make taking care of your finances much more automatic and timely.

This article is an excerpt from “Credit Score Confidential” an in-depth and comprehensive publication on credit repair written by Amazon book selling author Margaret Ortiz.