Credit Repair: Do It Yourself
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:
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.
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.
If you have trouble getting your payments in on time, consider online or telephone banking. This simple system is now available from virtually revery 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.