The first 3 steps to repairing your credit
Maybe you’ve just been declined for a loan. Or seen your credit report for the first time. Maybe you just live with the reality that you would be declined for a loan, should you ever even aspire to try. Whatever has shown it to you, you have bad credit.
There’s a lot of shame surrounding bad credit, but the truth is that a lot of people suffer with it, and there are steps you can take. Be aware that these steps are not instantaneously going to produce results, but will over time start to repair your poor credit history (by building a better one).
This article is going to overview three key steps you need to take when trying to improve your credit rating.
Verify the accuracy of your credit report
Credit reports are not fool proof, and they do sometimes contain errors. Make sure that (if you haven’t already) you obtain a credit report (you can do this for free), and that you check every thing against your own records.
If you find something you believe is an error, you can challenge it – and it could effect your credit rating overall! It’s important to remove incorrect information as soon as possible, to prevent the damage from spreading.
That being said, if the negative charges on your report are true, you can get rid of them – but only through changing of habits, and a lot of patience. Don’t be expecting to qualify for a loan tomorrow if you couldn’t get store credit today.
Improving financial habits
It’s important to realize that the only way to remove bad credit history is by replacing it with good credit history. Your credit report is merely a history of your interactions with various forms of credit. It reflects things like loan applications, late bill payments, court decisions, and any filing for bankruptcy or loan defaulting.
Credit histories are taken to help lenders assess what kind of borrower you will be, so the last thing that you want it to show them is that you’re always late or a risky lend. The more risky you are, the less people will want to work with you, hence the declines and such that so often follow.
The only way to fix a negative credit history is to fill its pages with positive elements – and to wait out the removal of the negative black marks in the mean time.
Get financially healthy
If you have a bad credit history, you’ve got some bad financial habits. Take this opportunity to own up to them, and to replace them with good habits.
- Budget, honestly and thoroughly
- Cut the credit out of your life (wherever possible)
- Live within your means
- Repay debts
- Save while you are repaying debts, to prevent you from getting into debt again
These habits will, over time, be reflected on your history just as strongly as the bad ones were. Just be aware that this process takes time, and that you can improve your credit rating.