Doing your taxes. Flossing your teeth. Fixing your credit. Washing the dishes. There are lots of things high on the list of things we have to do that we don’t really want to do. They’re important, though. You don’t want your teeth to fall out or the IRS to come after you. You don’t want to have crusty, disgusting dishes all over the house. Nor do you want to suffer the negative effects of bad credit for your whole life. If you’re not aware of how necessary it is to monitor your credit and do whatever credit repair you can manage, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Your personal credit will force lenders to charge you higher interest rates because they will see you as a bad lending risk. Your ability to rent a nicer place to live will be compromised because your potential landlords won’t believe that you’ll pay them. Landlords of those nicer places will skip over you in favor of someone else on their list of potential renters who have better credit. There are even employers who won’t hire you based on a poor credit rating. Performing some basic credit repair can only help you.
First, order copies of your credit report from the big three reporting agencies. Equifax, TransUnion and Experian are all required to provide you with one free copy of your report per year. Read the reports carefully. Dispute any errors. Pay off any late or past due accounts. Then work on paying off your newer, higher interest loans or credit cards first. Getting your credit limits raised or getting approved for a new credit card works in your favor as it increases the total credit you have available and lowers your credit utilization score. The lower that score, the better.
Once you’ve done all that, you have to keep up the good work to continue to see your credit score climb. Credit repair, sadly, isn’t a once and done activity. You have to stay on top of it. Start by paying your balances on time, every time. Even if all you can pay is the minimum balance, it’s important to pay on time. Late payments will tank your credit score very quickly. Set up automatic payments from your on-line banking app to prevent being late. Keep checking your credit report at least twice a year, too, so you can dispute new errors or be alerted if someone tries to high-jack your identity.
Credit repair is possible if you go about it wisely.