Achieving a better credit score can open doors for your finances. Continue reading for a list of credit repair do’s and don’ts to help get you on the road to improving your score.
Do: Determine your actual credit score
If a recent credit application of yours has been denied, do not take it at face value – find out why it happened. The three major credit-reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) are each required to provide you with a complimentary copy of your credit report once a year, upon request. To order yours, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.
Do: Review your report and dispute any errors
Once you receive your report, review it for inaccuracies. If you spot any fraudulent purchases, you will need to file a dispute online or in writing. In your dispute, identify every item you are disputing and the reasoning behind your claim. Include copies of documents that support your stance and ask that the errors be removed or corrected. Also, keep a personal copy of your letter and all supporting documents for your own records.
Don’t: Expect any quick fixes
Anxious as you may be to improve your score, know that there is no “quick fix” for creditworthiness. Enhancing your score takes time, hard work, and creating and sticking to a realistic debt repayment plan.
If your credit score is poor, you may receive promotional materials from credit repair companies that promise to increase your score by 100 points in less than a month. If you think these claims sound too good to be true, you are right. There are some legitimate credit repair companies out there, but there is nothing they can do for you that you can’t do on your own — and without paying their hefty fee.
Do: Take steps toward fixing your credit
If you have determined that your credit report is accurate, you will want to take a careful look at the habits that may be leading to your unfavorable score.
Are you timely with your loan and bill payments? If you are consistently late, consider signing up for SeaComm’s free Online Bill Pay so you never forget to make a payment. Are you making headway on your debt? If you are trying to pay off several high-interest debts and you find it difficult to manage them all, you may want to consider consolidating your debts into one loan. A personal loan from SeaComm can provide you with the funds you need to pay off your high-interest debts and leave you with a single payment to make each month.
Don’t: Expect to see any changes immediately
Don’t be frustrated if you’ve made efforts toward fixing your credit and haven’t yet seen an increase in your score. Creditors will only report to the credit reporting agencies on a periodic basis, usually once a month. It may take upward of 30 days or more for your account to be updated and your score to improve.
Do: Ask us for help
Here at SeaComm, our goal is to help you live a financially prosperous life. Through our partnership with GreenPath Financial Wellness, SeaComm members have access to free one-on-one financial counseling, student loan counseling, debt management services and more. To learn more about how SeaComm’s partnership with GreenPath can help you, click here or call (800) 550-1961.