Living with a poor credit rating can be a challenge. Bad credit can not only make some purchases more difficult, but they can also be more expensive. Many insurance companies will charge higher rates depending on credit, and most loan terms are based on creditworthiness.
It doesn’t take much to damage a credit score, but the good news is that there are ways to build it back up. Here are eight proven steps to rebuilding your credit that are worth the effort.
Get a Free Copy of Your Credit Report & Review It for Accuracy
Before you can repair your credit, you’ll need a clear picture of your situation. You can get a free credit report annually from each of the three credit bureaus: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Go to AnnuallCreditReport.com to request to your free reports.
Once you’ve downloaded your reports, it’s time to thoroughly review each of them and make sure that they are 100% accurate. It’s not uncommon for people to find several errors on their credit reports that have a negative impact on their credit score. Remember, the three credit bureaus operate independently so your reports will likely have some different information.
Dispute Any Errors
Now that you’ve identified all of the errors on your reports, you need to dispute them for removal. You should be able to dispute errors with any of the credit bureaus online, by email, or on the phone. Once you’ve filed a dispute, the credit bureau has 30 days to verify the information. If they can’t verify it, they must remove it from your credit report.
Negotiate Bad Debt
If you have some bad debts listed on your credit report that you know are valid, it’s time to settle them. Write or call the creditors and attempt to come to terms. If you can settle the debt, ask the creditor to remove the debt from your credit report as part of the settlement.
Limit Credit Inquiries
Whether you are applying for new credit or having your credit checked for another reason, too many inquiries can impact your score. These inquiries will fall off of your credit report in just two years, so it’s best if your goal is to have no more than three at a time on your credit report.
In particular, be careful when shopping for your next vehicle. Many dealers outsource their financing, resulting in multiple credit inquiries from a single shopping experience. Choose your car dealer carefully.
Avoid these unnecessary credit inquiries by shopping at Integrity first. We are the bank, and we have the ability to get you approved ourselves.
Avoid Past-Due Payments
Past-due payments are an easy trap to fall into, and the damage can be long-lasting. Missed and late payments both hurt your credit score and increase the amount owed after late fees. Regularly making prompt, on-time payments will help keep your credit score from being reduced further.
Rebuild Your Credit with Integrity
Unlike most Buy Here Pay Here dealers, Integrity Auto Finance reports to all three credit bureaus, ensuring that your on-time loan payments will effectively help you rebuild your credit.
Most people have experienced financial misfortunes and credit problems at one time or another. If your credit score has taken a hit, you can work to repair the damage by following these simple steps. Your efforts will improve your access to credit with the most favorable terms.