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Improve Your Credit

Step One: Find Out Your Credit Score

Before you can start improving your credit, you have to know your credit score, preferably at all three credit bureaus. You can get a your credit score at www.creditguardcoach.com or any credit reporting agency that has access to your credit report at Experian, Equifax and Trans Union.

Whatever your credit problems are, CreditGUARD of America, Inc. is there to help you. Contact us online or call CreditGUARD of America, Inc. at 1-800-500-6489 to find out how improving your credit can help you!

Step Two: Fix Credit Mistakes

Review your credit report and be sure that there are no errors or incorrect credit accounts listed with the credit bureaus. Verify all account balances are correct. If you’ve had overdue credit accounts turned over to debt collectors, make sure that these credit accounts are not being duplicated on your credit report. You may find old credit accounts listed on your credit report. Fair Isaac Company, creators of the popular FICO scores, recommends leaving some old accounts open, because closing the accounts will not help your credit score and may even hurt your credit.

If you find mistakes on your credit report, contact the creditor and credit reporting agency where the mistake is listed and dispute the mistake. Credit reporting agencies are required by the Fair Credit Billing Act to investigate the credit mistake. If the credit reporting agency can’t confirm the information, then they have to remove the mistake from your credit report. Be sure you verify that the credit mistake is removed from all three credit bureaus. Unfortunately these credit bureaus do not always communicate changes to each other, so it will be up to you to verify corrections to your credit report are shown by all three credit bureaus.

Step Three: Establish A Good Payment History

While you are trying to improve your credit, it is very important that you pay your bills on time. A bad credit history will start to have less of an impact on your credit report as you show, over a period of time, that you are paying your bills when they are due.Keep in mind, most negative credit information will drop off your credit report after seven to ten years including: bankruptcy, civil judgments, collection accounts paid tax liens, and charge-off accounts. While you can’t change a bad credit past, you can change how you handle your credit now and in the future.

Step Four: Build Positive New Credit References

Try opening new credit accounts, pay them on time and maintain low to partial balances. Use your credit accounts carefully and in moderation. If you have bad credit or no credit and have difficulty getting new credit accounts, try getting a “secured credit card” that requires you to place a security deposit with a lender in exchange for receiving a major credit card with a modest credit limit.

Avoid “guaranteed approval credit cards” that require you to pay hundreds of dollars in fees. Never pay a bill late if you think it might appear on your credit report. Make sure that you are paying more than the minimum credit payments, so you don’t carry large balances, paying only the interest.

Ask For Credit Help

The key to improving your credit is paying your bills on time. If your debt problems don’t allow you to do this, then you might need to ask for credit help. Remember, you don’t have to tackle your credit problems alone. There are several places you can turn to for help with your credit problems:

Family/Friends
Sometimes all you need is some help from family and friends to get out of your credit problems; however, if you are “borrowing from Peter to pay Paul” that is usually a sign of a bigger credit problem.

Creditors
If your recent credit problems are the result of unusual circumstances (like a car accident) and you have a good payment history, some creditors will work with you by lowering interest rates, deleting late payments and/or “re-aging” your credit accounts. “Re-aging” your credit account shows it as current and removes negative information. There are banking guidelines related to “re-aging” accounts and the creditor will have to examine your circumstances to see if you qualify.

Credit Counseling
Consumer credit counseling service can be useful in helping you find ways to manage your money better and improve your credit. There are several types of debt relief available for individuals with credit problems, and a certified credit counselor will examine your credit situation to determine the best solution for you.

How Long Does It Take to Build Credit?

How Credit Scores Work

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