Credit

 

Bad Credit


Improve Your Bad Credit

If you've lost your job, filed for bankruptcy, been the victim of identity theft or otherwise gotten into a situation that has hurt your credit report and credit score, there are many agencies that can help you, and steps you can take to repair your credit yourself for free. A good site to visit is:

http://www.ftc./bcp/conline/pubs/credit/repair.htm

 

Debt Repayment Plans

The best way to repair your credit is to devise a debt repayment plan. You might want to contact a consumer debt counseling service and for help in developing a repayment plan, but you need to be careful there, too. Many consumer counseling services are nonprofit but not all are reputable; some charge high fees.

Contact universities, housing authorities, military bases, and branches of the US Cooperative Extension Service to see whether they operate nonprofit credit counseling programs. Ask your bank, local consumer protection agency, friends and family for suggestions and referrals.

Talk to your creditors informally to see if you can set up a payment schedule. If you have a previous history of good payment but have fallen on hard times, they may offer a plan to help you repay your debt.

 

Beware of Scams

To avoid companies that "guarantee" they can repair your credit and remove negative information from your file. Accurate negative credit information can remain on your credit report and affect your credit score for up to seven years in most cases, and up to ten years in case of bankruptcy. Any company that claims it can get accurate negative information erased is unscrupulous or lying or both.

Companies that charge fees before they provide services are also suspect. Reputable credit repair companies should tell you your legal rights and what you can do for yourself for free.  Under the Credit Repair Organizations Act, credit repair services are not allowed to require you to pay until they have completed the services they’ve promised.

Some firms advise you to create a new identity by applying for an Employer Identification Number instead of using your Social Security number, and creating a new credit report with the different number. This could land you in jail.

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