Having bad credit is an issue shared by 56% of all Americans, so you’re not alone if you need some assistance repairing your score. Bad credit can be a serious problem and will cost you extra money in the long run. Thankfully, there are ways you can fix your credit either by yourself or through a company.
What is Do-It-Yourself Credit Repair?
If you’re looking to repair your credit yourself, it’s possible — although it requires some knowledge and time. First of all, you need to obtain your credit report. A study by the Federal Trade Commission found that one in four consumers noticed an error on their credit report that was affecting their credit; one in five consumers had an error corrected after it was disputed.
You should obtain credit reports from all three major credit reporting bureaus — you can do this free at Annual Credit Report. Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax created this website to allow consumers easy access to their credit report every year. This method is a good way to comb through your credit history and find any errors — and it’s easy to dispute a mistake without ever calling the companies directly.
If your issue is a history of making bad credit choices you can begin working on any problems identified from your credit report. If you have outstanding balances, unpaid loans, or anything else that’s impacting your credit negatively, you can begin to pay off the charges. This small change can raise your credit score significantly by increasing your credit utilization score.
What are Credit Repair Companies?
If this process seems too complicated, you can hire a credit repair company to assist you in a step-by-step method to improve your credit. First, they pull your credit history and go over it with you to find any errors on the report. If there are issues, they will help you with the process of filing a dispute — including assisting you in obtaining any records you need to send the credit reporting bureaus.
Additionally, credit repair companies can identify other issues in your credit history that may be negatively impacting your overall score. When you hire a credit repair expert, you’re hiring someone who has experience with credit, credit accounts, and reporting bureaus.
With their assistance, you may be able to repair bad credit and improve your overall credit score, but keep in mind that some issues will remain on your credit report. For example, if you fail to make a credit card payment for over 30 days, the late payment will stay on your credit report for seven years. There’s nothing a credit reporting company or the major credit bureaus can do to remove past mistakes.