Since I am trying to purchase a home I am looking things up online about credit requirements and things like that, I am very disappointed with the things I have been reading. There are quite a few sites that are recommending for single moms, and others trying to repair their credit, to pay for credit counseling. I have learned that all the information you need is online. In the last three years I have brought my credit up from 420 to almost 700. This was not easy, but I did it all on my own. I never paid anyone for help.
The steps that I took:
- First, stop adding things to your report. Pay on your cards, if you have them, and do whatever you can to not allow anything else to be put on your report.
- Get a copy of your credit reports; we are allowed one free credit report a year from each reporting agency, experian, equifax, and transunion. Go to Annual Credit Report and request your free copies. If for some reason you do not qualify for your free annual credit report you can get a free copy if you have been denied credit, passed over on a job, denied insurance, or if you get help from the state.
- Dispute anything that is wrong on your credit report, no matter how big or small. Write a certified letter to each of the credit bureaus giving the account numbers, the name of the collection account, and any information you feel is wrong. If there are multiple things wrong, just state that there are multiple things that are inaccurate and you want the entire account to be checked.
- Next I sent letters to each of the account holders stating that I felt things were inaccurate, and stated that "I want all documentation provided to me about the account and all inaccuracies removed. If everything can not be provided within 30 days I want this account removed from all credit reports immediately." Each states have different laws, but the agencies and account holders generally have 30 days to prove everything correct or remove the information from the reports.
- Once you receive the results of your credit disputes, you can then ask each of the credit bureaus for an updated copy of your report. This will show you what you need to work on. Most of the reports I received showed me when things would be removed from my account; generally 7 years for most bad marks except for bankruptcies and foreclosures, they can stay on up to 10 years. If the accounts will be removed from your reports within a couple of years, call the account holder and see if you can make some kind of arrangements to have it removed. Unless you have time to wait for them to drop off.
- Do not close any old credit cards or apply for credit with any other ones. If you do not have any credit cards, get a secured credit card. I recommend Capital One Secured credit card. I did not have credit cards, and this was the one I opened 4 years ago. I put $200 down for the card, use it for small purchases each month, then make payments of more then required.
- Do not give up. After a few months, or even a year, do some of the same things again. If you really want to increase your credit score, do your research. There is so much information available online that can help you, and you do not have to pay for the education. I highly recommend everyone sign up for Credit Karma and Credit Sesame. They both give you notifications of what is on your credit, and what you can do to repair it.
I am not a professional, but this is the steps that I took to reach my personal success with credit repair. Good luck and if anyone has any questions please just ask. I love helping other people reach their goals!