Have you checked your credit report lately?
If you plan to make a big purchase, like a new house or car, you should! Not checking your credit regularly is a big mistake, especially if it means that your score is down.
And you know what’s worse? That’s if you find out that your credit score is down, but there are plenty of inaccuracies and outdated information in your report. It’s very frustrating but sadly, that actually happens plenty of times. It’s a big hassle but it’s something you have to fix for your benefit.
Why do I need a clean credit report, exactly?
If you don’t have a clean credit report, you will have problems getting financing, insurance, jobs, and more.
Plus, if you don’t take the necessary steps to fix it now, it can lower your credit score for years to come. And even if you do get approved for a loan or a credit card, you might find that your interest rates and payment terms aren’t that nice.
Can I clean up my credit history quickly?
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s no fast way. The federal law gives credit bureaus between thirty to forty-five days to investigate when you dispute your credit history. And sadly, the negative information on your credit history will stay there up to at least seven years.
That means you should find out if your credit history needs fixing as soon as possible. The more you delay, the longer the negative reports will stay in your history.
How to clean my credit score: the steps to take
Are you now wondering, “How to clean my credit score?” Well, read our easy guide on what you should do to get a clean credit score.
1. Get a copy of all your credit reports.
The first thing you need to do is to get a copy of all your credit reports. The main way to repair your credit is to challenge wrong or unfair information in your reports. That’s why you need a copy of all of them.
Of course, not all negative information you will find in your report is wrong. But in case you do find some, you can start challenging them right away. Plus, you have a right to see the reports – the FCRA (Fair Credit Report Act) gives you the right to a yearly credit report for free from Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian, the three major credit bureaus.
It’s vital to get the reports from all three since the agencies do not necessarily share information with one another.
2. Review your credit reports and look for any errors.
When you review your credit reports, you will be able to see the things that affect your credit negatively. Make sure to be as meticulous as possible when going through your reports. Simple mistakes such as extra zeroes and other clerical errors can drastically change your credit score.
Pay close attention to things such as the status of your loans, your recorded account balances, and even your personal information. Make sure everything you see is correct.
3. Challenge all errors that you find in the reports.
If ever you find any information that is not correct, take it up right away with the credit bureaus. Dispute it and request to have the wrong information removed.
An example of wrong information? One item on your report says you haven’t paid a certain loan for twelve months but you have proof that you have actually been paying on time.
Don’t be afraid. You have the right to dispute anything negative on your reports that you feel are false, incomplete, or based on hearsay or creative speculation. It will strengthen your case if you have proof that the report is wrong, so make sure to keep proof of and copies of payments.
4. Reduce your use of credit.
Credit is great because you’re able to use the bank’s money before using your own when buying stuff. However, if you use too much credit, it doesn’t really look good on your report. Keep your credit use to below thirty percent of what is available to you. Try also to limit your spending as much as possible.
5. Try to remove records of late payments.
Try asking your creditor to remove late payments from your report, especially if you are on good terms with them. Try writing a goodwill letter, which is a written request to remove the late payment based on your history of paying on time and explaining why you made late payments.
The creditor you write to is not obligated to reply in any way. But as mentioned, if you are on good terms with them, they might.
Another option you can try is to write a letter requesting for them to remove that negative fact from your record in exchange for you paying the full amount of any outstanding debt. That might get their attention more.
6. Pay off current bills.
Speaking of paying for debts, you should aim to do that for all current loans or credit cards. Your payment history will affect your credit report greatly.
If you have no money to pay off current debts in full, try asking your creditor if a payment plan is an option, or negotiate terms.
When it comes to credit cards, you can try to do the same – call your bank. If you’ve accumulated cashback vouchers, miles, or points, try redeeming them to help pay off your credit card.
Of course, if you don’t have credit card debt, just keep paying full balances on time each month. That would do wonders for your report.
7. Don’t let it happen again.
Congratulations, you’ve successfully started cleaning up your credit report. Cleaning your credit will take plenty of time, but it will be all worth it.
But just because you completed steps one to six doesn’t mean you should be complacent. One wrong move, or if you relax too much, you might end up having to repeat steps one to six. So make sure your balances are updated as much as possible. And don’t borrow more than what you can pay for.
Again, cleaning your credit will take plenty of time – do you really want the hassle of going through all this again?
We didn’t think so.
What if I have no time to clean up my credit report?
If you think that you will have no time to make your credit history spotless, don’t despair. That’s why you have professionals like us at Next Level Credit Score.
Sign up with us and get a free consultation and credit analysis. You can relax the whole time because we will do our best to challenge all negative items on your report by working with credit bureaus and your creditors. You don’t have to do the work!
Plus, you can always log in to see real-time progress and live stats updates. And we guarantee that we’ll maximize your score. You’ll be able to achieve your goals as well as learn how to maintain your amazing credit way after our work is done.
Contact us today and let’s get started!