Are you looking to boost your credit score without hiring a credit repair service?
If so, you're in luck! This blog post will provide credit repair tips and resources that will help improve your credit rating.
We'll also provide a guide to understanding credit scores and what you can do to increase yours.
So whether you're just getting started on repairing your credit or are looking for ways to take your efforts up a notch, we've got you covered. Let's get started!
My Personal Story With Credit Repair
After joining the military, I had this "great idea" to make purchases using my credit card. Since I was making a steady income, I figured I could afford to pay off my debts over time.
Unfortunately, this was not the case. I began only to pay the minimum balance and would forget to set up auto-pay, which caused me to forget about the monthly bill.
My credit card balances grew along with my interest rates. The credit card companies started calling me non-stop and even sent me to collections. This is where my credit score dropped, causing me stress and anxiety.
Watch my YouTube video on the best credit tips and resources:
How I Ended Up Fixing My Credit
I knew I needed to do something about my credit score, but I didn't know where to start. That's when I took the time to learn about credit repair and how I can dispute credit report errors.
After everything was said and done, I started a credit repair business with a partner, and we started to help others who were in the same credit situation.
I learned everything I could about credit scores and credit-building tools.
- 3-Step Credit Repair Business Process
So now I try to provide as much free info as possible and review different credit repair software for those who want to take credit repair into their own hands.
And that's where this blog post comes in! Here, we'll provide credit repair tips and tricks that will help you improve your credit score. Let's get started!
What Are The Best Credit Repair Tips And Resources?
So if you're starting and looking to either purchase a new home, refinance, or get a personal loan, understanding the credit repair process may be a necessary step for you to take.
And we're here to guide you through these credit repair tips.
1. Learn About The Three Major Credit Bureaus
You've probably heard of the three major credit bureaus, but do you know what they are and what they do?
Let's start with the basics. The three credit bureaus are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.
They are responsible for collecting information about your credit history and issuing your credit report. To check your credit score, you must request a report from one or all of the three bureaus (They offer free credit reports once a year).
Each bureau has its way of calculating your score, so you may end up with slightly different numbers depending on which one you check.
But why do you need to know your credit score? Well, your score is used by lenders to assess your riskiness as a borrower.
The higher your score, the more likely you will get approved for loans and credit cards with favorable terms.
So, if you plan on making a major purchase soon, it's a good idea to check your score beforehand and see where you stand.
Here's the mailing address for each credit bureau:
- Experian: P.O. Box 4500, Allen, TX 75013
- TransUnion: P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016-2000
- Equifax: P.O. Box 740256, Atlanta, GA 30374-0256
Of course, it's not just lenders who use your credit report. Landlords, insurers, employers, and even utility companies may also pull your report to decide whether or not to approve you.
2. Get A Free Copy Of Your Credit Report Every Year
If you've ever wondered how to get a free credit report, you can go to annualcreditreport.com and request one from each credit bureau.
You're legally entitled to one free report from each bureau every 12 months, so take advantage of this and request all three.
This is a great way to keep tabs on your credit history and ensure no errors if you see anything on your report that doesn't look right, dispute it.
The best part is that it goes by your FICO score, which is the scoring factor that most lenders use.
3. Consistently Check Your Credit Reports For Errors
Make sure always to check your credit reports for errors or outdated information. If you see anything on there that doesn't look right, dispute it with the credit bureau immediately.
You can write a dispute letter to the bureau and include any documentation supporting your claim.
If the credit bureau finds the information inaccurate, they will remove it from your report.
Side note: Don't dispute online! The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate any disputes through the mail.
You can also file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you feel you've been treated unfairly by a credit bureau or lender.
4. Keep Your Credit Card Balances Low
Your credit card issuer loves it when you have a high balance and revolving credit accounts. Why? Because that means you're more likely to pay interest on your balance.
And credit card companies make a lot of money from interest charges. So if you want to save money, keep your credit card balances low.
Ideally, you should aim for a 30% or less credit utilization ratio to see how your credit score improves.
5. Don't Close Old Credit Card Accounts
Closing old credit cards may seem like a good idea, but it can hurt your credit score.
That's because one thing that is factored into your credit scores is your credit history. The longer your credit history, the better.
So, even if you don't use an old credit card anymore, it's a good idea to keep the account open and let the credit card issuer shut It down. This only takes a few months.
This will negatively impact your reports and show up as negative items.
6. Pay Down Debts
You should focus on paying debts and keeping accounts current to improve your credit score.
This will also clarify which debts cost you the most so you can focus on paying those off first.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to debt management, but the debt snowball method is a good rule of thumb.
With this method, you focus on paying off your smallest debt first and then use the money you would have used to pay that debt to pay off your next smallest debt, and so on.
This will help you pay bills on time.
7. Learn How To Dispute Your Credit Errors
Are you looking to dispute errors on your credit file? The most innovative way to do this is to mail your dispute letters. Not online.
There are free resources and paid courses that you can take to get better at fixing your credit.
It's a process that requires time, patience, and consistency. If you don't have the time to do this, you can look into different credit repair companies that will help you remove inaccurate or negative information.
The top credit repair company you can work with is either Credit Saint or The Credit Pros.
8. Pay Late Or Past Due Accounts
Make sure to pay any late or past-due accounts as soon as possible.
You don't want your account to get bought off by a collection agency and show up on your credit report.
Once it goes to collections, it will be too late and have already ruined your credit history.
Hence, it's essential to set up auto-pay at least.
9. Look Into A Secured Credit Card
Look into credit-secured cards if you cannot get an unsecured credit card because of bad credit.
A credit-secured card is a credit card backed by a deposit you make. This deposit is your credit limit and can help you build credit if used wisely.
The downside to this type of credit line is that you have to deposit, which can be difficult if you don't have any money saved.
10. Diversify Your Credit Mix
You must start diversifying your credit mix if you don't want an average credit score.
This means having different types of credit, such as installment loans, credit cards, and even a mortgage.
The key is to manage your accounts responsibly and ensure you're not over-extending yourself.
11. Keep Your Credit Utilization Low
Your credit utilization is the amount of credit you're using divided by your credit limit. This makes up your utilization ratio.
For example, if you have a credit line with a $1000 limit and use $800 of it, your credit utilization would be 80%.
Ideally, you want to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. This shows lenders that you're a responsible borrower and not over-extending yourself.
12. Negotiate With Collection Accounts
Don't pay off your collection account until you have a written contract. Try to negotiate a pay-for-delete.
This means that you agree to pay the collection account in whatever amount you agreed upon only if they agree to remove it from your credit report.
This can be a difficult process, but it's worth trying if you're trying to boost your credit score.
This type of service is called debt settlements, and you will want to be careful with companies that promise you results that are too good to be true.
13. Set up Auto-Pay
Worried about not making your monthly payments on time? Set up auto-pay, and you'll never have to worry about it again.
Auto-pay is a feature that allows you to make your credit card payments automatically from your checking account.
Most credit card issuers offer this service, so you must set it up and forget about it. Making timely payments will allow you to see a credit score increase over time.
14. Check Your Credit Card Statement Each Month
You must check your monthly credit card statement to ensure all charges are accurate.
If you see anything a lender reports that you don't recognize, dispute it immediately with the credit card company.
This is an excellent way to catch any identity theft or fraudulent activity before it gets out of hand.
15. Monitor Your Credit Score
There are a lot of different credit scoring models out there, so it's important to monitor your credit score regularly.
This will allow you to see how your credit is doing and identify any potential problems early on.
There are a lot of different credit monitoring services that also provide free credit reports using the vantage scoring model.
A few good monitoring services that include free weekly credit reports are:
- Credit Karma
- Credit Sesame
Important to know:
Although these free tools are great, they make money by offering you products like credit repair services, credit cards, and personal loans.
They will show you “pre-qualified” offers that may not be good for you. So, while these tools are great for monitoring your don't score, use them with caution.
This is called affiliate marketing, which is completely fine to do. Be aware of it when looking at your credit score and credit report.
16. Increase Credit Limits
Contact your bank or credit accounts and ask for a credit limit increase to improve your available credit limit.
They will likely approve your request if you have a good credit history with the credit card company.
A higher credit limit will lower your credit utilization ratio, which is good for your credit score. Make sure you don't go overboard and sit more than you can afford to pay back.
17. Use Credit Repair Software
Don't want to do DIY credit repair? Try using software to automate the process instead.
Tools such as Credit Versio can help you improve your credit score without needing a credit repair company.
Credit repair software can help you dispute credit errors, negotiate with collection accounts, and keep track of your credit score through automation.
You can choose a personal credit report software or one to manage other clients.
One popular credit repair tool is Credit Repair Cloud.
18. Stay Up-To-Date With Credit Repair
If you are rebuilding credit, it's essential to keep up with the credit repair process and know your rights.
The credit reporting bureaus must investigate any disputed items on your credit report, so keep track of the progress.
The more information you know, the better your chances of lowering or negotiating your credit card debt.
19. Stick To Good Credit Habits
Even if you have bad credit, you can do things to improve it.
Start by paying your bills on time, keeping your credit utilization low, and diversifying your credit mix. If you do these things, you will see your credit score improve quickly.
Always review your payment history and pay more than just the minimum payments you must make.
Once you fix your bad credit score, consider refinancing to lower your interest rates to save money in the long run.
20. Understand The Credit Laws That Protect You As A Consumer
Do you know what credit laws protect you as a consumer? The credit bureaus and creditors are subject to these laws.
Here are just a few to look at:
- Your credit report must be accurate, fair, and substantiated.
- You have the right to dispute any errors on your credit report.
- The credit bureau has 30 days to investigate and remove any items that can't be verified.
You can look into the FCRA and CROA, the credit laws protecting you as a consumer.
The FCRA is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the CROA is the Credit Repair Organizations Act.
These credit laws are designed to protect you from credit abuse and keep your credit report accurate.
You should familiarize yourself with these credit laws to know your rights as a consumer.
21. Leverage Credit Building Apps
If you need to rebuild credit, try signing up for a credit-building app.
Credit-building apps help you to build up credit slowly by making small payments over time. The payments are reported to the credit bureaus and will help you to improve your credit score.
My favorite credit building apps are:
- Self Credit
- Credit Strong
Most of these are either secured credit cards or credit-builder loans. The credit limit on the card usually equals the amount of your deposit.
A credit-builder loan such as kikoff is a loan where the money is held in an account as collateral and not disbursed to you until the loan is paid off.
These credit-building products help with your credit history without borrowing money to pay off your debts.
22. Consolidate Your Debts The Right Way
Debt consolidation is a popular way to get out of debt, but it's not right for everyone. If you're considering consolidation, here are a few things to remember.
First, make sure you understand what consolidation is. Generally, it means taking out a new loan to pay off multiple debts.
What Is Debt Consolidation?
It means taking out a new loan to pay off multiple or outstanding debts.
This can be a good way to get a lower interest rate and simplify your payments, but it's important to ensure you don't end up with even more debt than you started with.
Second, consider credit counseling. This can be a good option if you're unsure you can handle consolidation independently.
A credit counselor can help you develop a plan to get out of debt and ensure you're on the right track.
Finally, remember that consolidation won't automatically improve your credit score. Your credit score may decrease if you consolidate high-interest debt into a new loan with a lower interest rate.
However, your credit score will likely improve as you make consistent, on-time payments on your consolidated debt.
23. Don't Apply For New Credit Multiple Times
If you can't get your credit score up, it is tempting to apply for new credit multiple times in the hope that one of the applications will be successful.
But this is a bad idea. The lender will make a hard inquiry on your credit report whenever you apply for credit.
Too many hard inquiries can hurt your credit score. So, if you're having trouble getting credit, it's best to wait it out and try again later and try to lower your credit card bill.
24. Learn The Basics Of Credit Repair
Before looking at credit repair companies, it's essential to learn the basics of credit.
That way, you can be sure you're getting the best possible service and not being taken advantage of.
You can always contact the federal trade commission (FTC) if you feel you've been scammed by someone or an agency.
The FTC is the main credit regulator in the United States, and it can help you take action against any debt management service that promises you results.
You can also file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and find a non-profit organization or credit counseling service to help you repair your credit.
25. Remove Late Payments
Have a late payment that's dragging down your credit score? There are a few things you can do to try and remove it.
First, you can contact the creditor and ask them to remove the late payment. If they agree, they will send you a letter stating that the late payment has been removed.
You can then submit this letter to the credit bureaus and have the late payment removed from your credit report.
Another option is to send out a goodwill letter.
You send A goodwill letter to the creditor explaining why you missed the payment and asking them to remove it.
If they agree, they will send you a letter stating that the late payment has been removed. You can then submit this letter to the credit bureaus and have the late payment removed from your credit.
26. Update Personal Records
When you check your free credit score online, verify that all of your personal information is accurate.
If you spot any errors, contact the credit bureau and file a dispute. You should also make sure your public records are up-to-date.
You can learn more about dispute information and federal law for credit reporting agencies.
27. Get A Raise At Your Job
Now that you know how to restore your credit and have a job, getting a raise at your job and changing your financial situation is important. This will help you pay off debt faster.
If you're due for a performance review, start by researching what other people in your position and your experience level are making.
Then, use this information to explain why you deserve a raise.
This will allow you to make more money and pay more than just the minimum monthly payment.
28. Find A Side Hustle To Supplement Your Income
If you don't want to work with a credit repair company, try looking for a part-time job or side hustle to supplement your income.
There are several ways to make extra money, from starting a profitable blog to starting a small business.
If you can make even a little bit of extra money each month, you can use it to pay off your debt faster. So, learn a high-income skill that you can use to monetize online.
29. Get An Authorized User
Try getting an authorized user on someone else's credit card account.
This will help you build credit without taking on any debt yourself.
You'll need to find someone who trusts you enough to add you as an authorized user on their credit card account.
Then, make sure you use the credit card responsibly and make all your payments on time.
What Is A Credit Score?
Your credit score is a number that reflects the information in your credit report. Lenders use this number to determine your creditworthiness, and it can range from 300 to 850.
A good credit score is considered 700 or above, while anything below 650 is considered poor credit.
What Affects My Credit Score?
Several factors can affect your credit score, including:
- Payment history: This includes whether you've made on-time payments in the past and any late or missed payments.
- Credit utilization: This is the amount of credit you use compared to the total amount of credit you have available. It's important to keep your credit utilization low, as using too much of your credit can hurt your credit score.
- Credit history: This is the length of time you've had credit, including open and closed accounts.Types of credit: This refers to the different types of credit you have, such as credit cards, installment loans, and revolving credit.
- Inquiries are made when you apply for new credit and appear on your credit report as a hard inquiry. Too many hard inquiries can hurt your credit score.
So be careful with credit repair; it can give you a short-term boost, but if not used correctly, it could hurt your credit score in the long run.
What Is The Fastest Way To Repair Credit In 2024?
If I were looking to purchase a home or get an auto loan within the next 90 days, here's what I would do.
Start by increasing your credit limit. Then get a credit-builder loan like Self while you fix your credit.
Use a rent reporting service to include your previous rental history in your credit mix.
Last, dispute any errors on your credit report so that they are removed before you apply for a mortgage or car loan.
By following these steps, you can give yourself the best chance of getting approved for a loan with a low interest rate.
Final Thoughts About Credit Repair Tips:
Credit repair can be daunting, but keeping your credit score high is essential to get approved for loans or start a business.
By following the tips in this blog post, you can fix your credit score and get on the path to financial success.
Be careful with credit repair scams that will call you or send you offers on "free" credit advice. Most of these shady credit repair services will PROMISE that they can fix your credit, but that is a major red flag.
So start by getting a free copy of your credit reports from each credit reporting agency or use a service like Annualcreditreport.
You'll become a credit repair specialist after reading this entire guide.