Credit is an essential factor in home buying, renting, and shopping for a new vehicle. It only makes sense that as consumers we want to look as sharp as possible on paper and be able to fix any problems as soon as possible.
Checking up on your credit score from time to time is a good idea. But what happens when you discover things on our credit report that just don’t look good? So many hacks and myths surrounding credit affect the way people try to repair their credit report and credit score. Let’s take a closer look at credit history and the dos and don’ts of credit repair.
Repair Your Credit Yourself
It is important to acknowledge that credit repair companies are businesses. Individuals looking into their credit for the first time will notice an abundance of repair companies looking to swoop in on new customers. While their messaging may suggest they are interested in bettering your credit score, repair companies often position themselves to target consumers who have very little knowledge of how credit works so they can make the unsuspecting consumer pay for services they could do themselves for free. These companies regularly ask for payment upfront and are unable to follow through on fixing your credit. More often than not, it is best to repair your credit on your own. While this can be a laborsome process, over time the reward of a growing credit score and the knowledge of your own financial history can really pay off.
Make Your Payments
The most heavily weighted factor in most common credit score calculators is your payment history. If you have missed payments on a loan, credit card balance, or some other recurring expenses, FICO and other credit companies are going to pick up on them. The most immediate action you can take to repair your credit is to make your payments each month. In many cases, payment history will show on your credit report for up to seven years. As you continue to miss payments, your credit score will dip. But because these payments survive for so long on your report, the newer the payment (or lack thereof), the more it affects your current score.
Don’t Open New Accounts
While in the process of repairing your credit, it is best to refrain from creating any extra avenues of credit. Opening new credit cards and taking out additional loans lessens your ability to organize your payments. These behaviors can make you look more vulnerable to lenders. And don’t forget that shopping for a car loan or mortgage can alter your credit score, even if you don’t follow through with those loans.
Don’t give up on your failing credit score. Remember that consistency is best and that most missed payments will eventually be removed from your report. Commit to working on your credit by yourself first. Make all your monthly payments on time and manage what existing debt you have. If you must use a credit repair company, be sure to do your research. While some companies do want to help you fix your credit, others simply want to reel you in and take your money.
The best way to repair your credit score is to sit down and study your credit history. Be patient and diligent, and watch your credit score rise.