Can Credit Repair Companies Really Improve My Credit Score?
Can Credit Repair Companies Really Improve My Credit Score
Have you ever been listening to terrestrial radio or watching late-night television and heard an ad for a credit repair company? If so, you’ve probably heard some pretty outlandish claims. These credit repair companies claim to be able to repair your credit and improve your credit score.
DIY Credit Repair Steps
Some people hire a credit repair company to investigate their credit report for them, but anything a credit repair company can do legally you can do for yourself at little or no cost. Here is a 5-step plan for repairing your credit on your own.
1. Review Your Credit Report
Obtain a copy of your credit report by contacting one of the big three credit reporting agencies, or another option is using Credit Karma. This free service offers credit scores, reports, and insights.
2. Dispute Negative Marks
Once you’ve identified any negative information that you believe to be incorrect, things like collection accounts or judgments, you need to dispute this information. You can dispute errors through each credit bureau TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
3. Dispute Incorrect Late-payment Information
A credit card company or mortgage lender can mark a payment late that was paid on time. Mistakes happen, so be sure to dispute the inaccuracies. Now keep in mind, the time for them to review any of the disputes and get them corrected will vary.
4. Be Polite and Patient
You can also call your creditors to ask them to update any incorrect information. Creditors can instruct credit bureaus to remove entries from your credit report at any time. The key is to ask nicely, be persistent, and patient.
5. Work the System
After cleaning up negative marks and late payments, there’s one other thing you can do to boost your score. Credit utilization makes up 30% of your total score. Remember, credit utilization is how much you own and how much available credit you have.
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