How Fast Can You Really Patch Your Credit

Credit repair is a subject that’s getting more and more attention as time passes. People are finding themselves with a lot of bad credit and debts to get through, but they are no longer thinking that this credit situation has to be permanent. They’re not thinking that they have to freeze up and let life pass them by. They’re not thinking that they’re never going to get out of debt.

You have more power than you think to change your financial life, and it’s time to take on that power. But there might be a question that remains: just how fast can you really handle your credit report journey? The answer is a little complicated.

You see, it just depends on what you’re trying to do. If you’re trying to get from one “block” of credit to another, you can do that in a matter of months. For example, it’s well known in the industry that any score under 600 isn’t going to get very favorable credit terms — if they get any type of credit at all. So you need to make sure that you focus on raising your score over 600 first. That might mean disputing inaccurate information, or just making sure that you start replacing your credit stuff with better information. That could mean opening up secured credit products and taking good care of them. It’s not just enough to open an account — you also want to make sure that you’re going to be able to pay them off regularly. Meeting the minimum payment is good, but you don’t want to get caught in a vicious cycle where you can’t keep up the payments. If you only pay the interest, the principal will grow and grow until you owe a lot more than what you can handle.

A secured card is a good start. In addition, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re looking at your credit report frequently. Subscribe to an online service that lets you really see the progress that you’re making with your credit report. If you only deal with the hard parts and skip seeing the rewards of all your hard work, you’re going to have a hard time staying consistent. (more…)

Taking Your Bad Credit Repair Goals Beyond Mere New Year’s Resolutions!

Another New Year has come and gone, and you’re left with one thing: resolutions. It always starts out great — you really get committed towards a goal that you really want, and you think that there’s no possible way that you could ever get sidetracked. There’s no possible way that you will ever wake up and not be able to really get things done. There’s no possible way that you will ever fail …but eventually, your passion for the resolutions falls flat.

When it comes to resolutions, many people want to get out of debt. Money troubles plague a lot of people, and everyone can usually agree that getting out of debt is a pretty lofty goal. We all want to have a debt free life, and it means that you have to take real steps to getting there. It’s not just enough to set a resolution when you’re filled with champagne and you feel good about the world around you. You’re going to need to make sure that you focus on really getting to your goal.

Taking your bad credit repair goals beyond mere New Year’s Resolutions is a good thing. It means that they have a higher chance of getting done if they’re not just some resolutions that you’re going to forget about.

The first step that you can take is making sure that you tap into your new goals is that you need to get accountability. Getting someone that can hold you accountable can be difficult when it comes to your finances. If you have a best friend that you tell everything to anyway, this might be who you want to confide in. However, you might feel better going with an anonymous person that can help you really figure everything else out. Sure, this can be embarrassing because no one wants to admit that their finances aren’t the best. However, if you really focus on getting the job done in the long run then you’ll get over short term embarrassments. (more…)

What’s Really Driving Your Credit Score These Days?

Your credit is becoming more and more important. Sure, there are some renegade personal finance articles out there that say that you really don’t need credit anymore, since you can buy just about everything in cash. However, there are some opportunity costs that you really need to be aware of. You’re going to need to come to a point where you make credit work for you. This is the system that we have, and it’s highly unlikely that this is a system that’s going to go away any time soon. So this means that you’re going to really have to focus on just about everything in order to really make sure that everything flows as smoothly as possible. If you’re not careful, you could end up missing out on your financial goals.

For example, what if you really want to own a home? Yes, you don’t have to seek out hard money (like mortgages) in order to get a home. However, these alternative sources of mortgage funding can really create other problems. Unless you meet certain conditions, you might not be able to get that. Many people try to go with getting a land contract deal, which usually benefits the owner/landlord and not you — you legally have to pay rent, but you’re still responsible for all of the repairs. However, if you fail a payment you’re going to have to pay up everything that was owed in the first place. Definitely not as protective as a mortgage. At least you know that you have certain rights to the home, unlike what is happening with a land contract.

So you just need to make sure that you focus on the bigger picture here — your credit score really does matter. However, what actually influences your credit score in the first place? That’s what we’re going to actually help you figure out!

You see, the first thing that influences your score is whether or not you actually pay your bills on time. You want to make sure that you always try to pay all of your bills on time as much as possible. Lenders know that someone that pays their bills on time is a lot less likely to default than someone that constantly pays their bills late. That’s why there are so many different penalties involved when you don’t pay your bills on time. Creditors notice, and it’s harder for you to get better credit products at better terms. Once your interest rate spikes upward, it can take a lot of good months of paying your bills on time to lower them back down.

Don’t forget that you’re also going to want to make sure that you also keep your balances low. The overall utilization of your credit is what influences your credit score.

Let’s say that you have a total of $10,000 across the board in total credit. Sounds good, right? Not if you have $9,000 in credit charges! That means that you’re using 90% of your total credit. That high percentage of utilization means that you’re pretty close to being maxed out, and you might even be maxed on several cards. (more…)

Improving your Credit Rating

Most lenders will use a credit check of some sort to predict an applicant’s repayment behavior.

There are three main credit reference agencies; Experian, Equifax and CallCredit. These companies will provide lenders with credit records of applicants. These credit records will be divided into two main sections, a credit score and a credit report. The credit score will generally range from 0-999 based on your credit risk.

The record will then show any active and settled credit you have had in the last 6 years including bank accounts, mortgages, loans, credit and store cards and mail order accounts. The report will also highlight any missed payments, defaults and county court judgements (CCJs).

Checking your credit score

All three credit references agencies will offer a 30 day trial in which time you will be able to check your credit report for free. As mentioned above; your report will show all active and settled credit along with electoral roll information.

Gaining a credit report is a great way to find out how instant text loans direct lenders view you and gives you an indication of why you may have been declined for credit in the past. Above all it allows you to see if the information held about you is correct and lets you check you have been the subject of any fraudulent activity.

I’ve got bad credit, what does this mean?

Having a bad credit history means that in the past you’ve struggled to keep up with payments on credit products. Having the odd late or missed payment will not mean you are classed as a credit risk however a succession of these leading to defaults and even CJJs- will.

Having bad credit will greatly decrease your chances of being approved for future finance applications especially when applying via mainstream lenders. It may even mean you get declined for other services such as mobile phone contracts or a broadband or television service.

Credit Rating

Common myths about credit

With so much information available regarding credit rating, checking and scoring it’s often hard to filter through the scare mongering to find the real facts. When looking for information on credit – don’t get taken in by these myths:

All items of credit stay on your file forever

As mentioned above, lenders will use credit reports to predict your repayment behaviour. They are only looking to base this on your recent credit record- they are generally not interested in some missed payments you had 20 years ago. Most items of credit will stay on your file for 6 years. (more…)

Getting to Know & Improving your UK Credit Score

When it comes to good or bad credit statuses some people often find themselves confused as to what a particular Bank, Lender or financial institution is referring to, with this in mind we thought it was about time to spell out some tips for those with bad credit to improve their score and for those with good credit to maintain their score. (more…)

Improving your credit score

Although now is a good time to think about buying a new car, as the market for cars is struggling, it is also a difficult time to get credit. People and businesses around the world are finding it hard to get credit so having a good credit score is essential to help you get the finance you need to buy your car.

If you know your credit score then you will at least have an idea of what kind of car credit you might be able to obtain. Past credit history is what the money lenders will look at so if you have had difficulties, such as defaulting on payments or no credit history at all, then you will find it much more difficult to get finance. A good credit score is undoubtedly the key to getting the best car credit with the best interest rates and terms.

A credit report will give you a good idea or where you stand. It will show you every bit of credit you have had over the years and whether you have defaulted or not on the payments. This is the same information that the car credit money lenders will have access to.

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Should you find that you have a poor or fair credit score then there are a number of ways you can improve it before taking out a car on finance.

  • First of all there may be people on your credit report who are negatively impacting on your credit score. Ask for these people to be removed if they are no longer associated with you or your address.
  • Secondly, you can get credit cards specifically for people who have a poor credit history. As long as you pay off the amount outstanding each month then these are a good way of building up a positive credit history.
  • Thirdly, if you do have credit cards, try to not go up to the maximum spending limit. This is because the lender will look to see exactly how in control of your finances you are. If you have two credit cards with a lending limit of six thousand pounds and you are using five and a half thousand pounds of the credit limit then this will be seen less favorably than someone who is using maybe a thousand pounds of the credit limit.
  • Fourthly, look for irregularities on your credit report, mistakes happened and perhaps there is something marked against you on the report that just isn’t true. Again, you can ask for this irregularity to be looked at before you take out a car on finance to make sure you get the best deal possible. (more…)

Improving your credit score

Having a bad credit score can cost you literally thousands of dollars if you try to get a mortgage or car loan. The lower your credit score is, the higher the interest rate you will have to pay, if you can even get a loan in the first place. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to raise your credit score. Your score is made up of your payment history, outstanding debt, length of your credit history, recent inquiries on your credit report and the types of credit in use. The payment history and outstanding debt are the easiest areas for you to address to improve your credit score. Here are 10 things to look at:

Is your credit report accurate? Pull your credit score and have a look. If something is wrong, tell the agency, either by phone, letter, online through their website or by e-mail. They can often fix the problems, but only if they know about it and you follow up with them. The law is on your side – the creditor has 30 days to prove that their claim is accurate. If they can’t or don’t it is removed from your report. If you can prove it isn’t accurate, send the proof by registered mail and it will be removed. Even if you can’t prove it but it might be wrong, go ahead and dispute it. The creditor might not respond and you are further ahead.

credit score

Do you have accounts in collections or really past due? If so, you want to get them removed from your report. This will help your score immediately. You might even find information on your credit report that you are unaware of. Start by disputing the claims if there is a reasonable chance that your dispute might be successful. If that doesn’t work, contact the creditor or the collection agency directly. They may be open to accepted a lesser amount of money in exchange for getting some money now. Start at 50% of the debt you owe and go from there. Make sure that, as part of any settlement you reach, the creditor will remove the bad credit history from your credit report. If they don’t then you are no further ahead. Get the terms of the agreement in writing so that you have a record of what you have to do and what is promised if you do it. Doing this will definitely increase your score. Even if you have already paid off overdue claims, be sure to contact the creditor and ask them remove the item from the report. You can also dispute the item with the credit agency because the collection agency likely won’t respond since it has already been paid off.

Pay down your debt. If you need to improve your credit quickly and you have some extra money around, pay off some debt. Even if you are saving up for something, you might be better off paying off debt. By paying off debt, you lower your ratio of current debt to available credit limits. The lower this ratio is the better you look to lenders. This means that your credit score will be higher. If you are looking to get a large loan like a mortgage or car loan, paying down your debt to lower your credit score may save you more in the long run than you pay now, because you will get a lower interest rate because of your higher credit score. (more…)

Avoiding identity theft

Identity theft is in the news a lot these days. It is a rapidly growing type of crime. It can damage your credit and it can cost you lots of time and money to solve the problems that identity theft can create.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps that you can take to protect yourself from identity theft. The first step in avoiding problems is making sure that your personal financial information doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Beyond that, you also want to make sure that no one has got your information without your knowledge and are trying to do something illegal with it. Here are ten tips to help you avoid identity theft:

1. Protect your Social Security number. If a criminal gets their hands on this, they can use it to access other information, like your credit report or bank accounts.

2. Shred old financial data. Everything from bank statements to pre-approved credit card offers can be misused by criminals. Shredding everything will prevent this.

identity theft

3. Get off of mailing lists. Every time you find yourself on a mailing list request that you are removed. This is especially important for credit card offers and the like.

4. The Direct Marketing Association’s Mail Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service are the services used by banks and other marketers to get your contact information. They have name-removal services that you can request.

5. Only carry the identity cards and credit cards that you need. The more you have on you, the more chance there is of losing a card. Leave the cards you don’t need in a safe place. (more…)