Having and maintaining a great credit score and report is something everyone didn’t know they needed through life. Because they didn’t realize the importance of these two things, there were mistakes made. There comes a time that repairs have to be made to restore good credit and take things off a credit report.
Repairing and rebuilding credit can be tricky. It is something that millions of people have to do because of the recent financial crisis that left many without traditional resources. There are many resources available for those that want to repair their credit. These resources are legal but there are some resources that will use illegal practices to get business and take advantage of those that need help.
Rebuilding Takes Time and Effort
Anyone that wants to rebuild their credit score and repair their credit should know that it takes time and patience to see substantial progress. It seems as if it didn’t take a lot of effort to get into this trouble but the effort it takes to repair and avoid the same trap is monumental. But it’s worth the effort.
For those that choose to work with a debt consolidation company or debt consulting agency, be careful. There are many agencies that make themselves available but they aren’t operating legally. Any legitimate debt consolidation or consultation agency will advise their clients of any fees and terms of their services up front. They will also advise their clients of their options before becoming involved. If a company refuses to disclose those things to a client, they are not operating legally or ethically. Before enrolling in any of these programs, it’s always best to contact the Better Business Bureau for complaints and the Attorney General’s office to ensure they are legal programs with the ability to help.
People that choose not to work with an agency can certainly repair their credit reports and increase their scores on their own. The first thing that people should do in this instance is get all 3 credit reports from the credit agencies. These agencies give 1 free credit report to everyone once a year. With this in hand, people can begin contacting their creditors to work out payment plans as well as dispute the validity of what’s on their reports.
Repaying and Disputing Reported Items
Repairing credit reports and increasing scores involve disputing reported items on a person’s credit report and paying valid debts. People that choose to do this will find the process can be done by contacting the debt holders directly or they can contact the credit agency to dispute it.
Valid debts should be paid. It’s the responsible thing to do and the easiest way to ensure the debt has been address and settled permanently. When negotiating with a company about a debt, always offer to pay the debt in full for a lower amount than reported. If the company accepts, ask that they report to all 3 agencies the account has been paid in full and is closed. Also ask for a notice of discharge for the debt once the payments have been made.
It’s always best to tackle one debt at a time. This will allow each creditor to get the attention they need to rectify each situation as quickly as possible. It also helps people maintain their current bills while paying off old debts.
Debts that aren’t correctly reported should be contested. To contest a listed debt people can write to the credit agencies to challenge the listed information or letters can be written to the debt collector directly. When a debt has been challenged, there is an obligation of the debt holder to prove the debt is valid and should be paid. If there is no proof, the debt can be taken off credit reports.
While it’s time consuming to work through a list of debts, it’s worth the effort. Those that have good credit scores and credit reports enjoy better financial opportunities. Over time, those opportunities can help make financial decisions easier to make and finding resolutions much easier.