A bad credit rating can affect everything from your ability to get a car loan to your ability to get a job. There are many factors other than defaulting on loan payments that can negatively affect your credit score. The following tips can help you learn what actions to take and what actions to avoid, in order to repair your credit rating.
If collection agencies won’t work with you, shut them up with a validation letter. When a third-party collection agency buys your debt, they are required to send you a letter stating such. If you send a validation letter, the collection agency can’t contact you again until they send proof that you owe the debt. Many collection agencies won’t bother with this. If they don’t provide this proof and contact you anyway, you can sue them under the FDCPA.
Order a free credit report and comb it for any errors there may be. Making sure your credit reports are accurate is the easiest way to repair your credit since you put in relatively little time and energy for significant score improvements. You can order your credit report through companies like Equifax for free.
If you want to repair your credit but do not qualify for a regular credit card, consider a secured credit card. You will most likely be approved for this type of card, but you will have to add money to the card before you can use it so the bank will know that you can pay for all of your purchases. By using a new card responsibly, your credit rating will start to increase.
Do not hesitate to request an investigation into erroneous reports. Creditors have an obligation to accurately report your history. Disputing these issues is great. However, it is important that you put pressure on these agencies to investigate how and why the negative report was placed, and how this can be averted in the future.
If you have challenged or denied negative items on your credit report and some still remain, you may be able to reduce that number even further by contacting the collection agency or creditor. By law, these companies need to provide written proof that the account is yours. This means a hard copy of a signed contract or other legally binding document, not just a printout of the information they have in their computer system. Many of these companies do not hold onto these documents. If they can’t come up with acceptable proof, they are required to remove the account from your credit report and stop all collection attempts.
Be wary of collection agencies that try to talk over you and will not answer your questions. Agencies that are scams will try to keep you off balance by continuously talking without giving you any facts. If they aren’t answering your questions and are threatening you, tell them to contact you only in writing.
While repairing your credit rating does take some time and effort, there are many steps you can take to prevent your score from dropping further and to avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Your credit score is a direct reflection of your credibility as a consumer, and the above tips can help you make sure that your reflection is a positive one.