Don't panic – there are ways of repairing your credit quickly. Here are a few ideas.
1. Rapid Rescoring
Errors on your credit report can seriously impact your score, and correcting them on your own can be a lengthy process. To get it done quickly, ask a lender to request a rapid rescoring on your behalf.
You can request rapid rescoring through a new or existing lender. To start the process, request your credit reports from all three major credit bureaus and review them carefully for incorrect information. Some errors you might see are:
• Accounts that you do not own
• Inaccurately listed account balances or limits
• Accounts erroneously labeled as delinquent
If you find these or any other inaccuracies, gather the correct information and present it to your lender. The lender can contact the credit bureaus and repair the error, often within a few days.
2. Increasing your credit limits
Your credit score also depends on how much you owe relative to your credit limit. This is called credit utilization, and experts suggest that it should stay below 30 percent.
If your balance is higher and you don't have a way of bringing it back down quickly, you can request a limit increase. All you have to do is contact your lender and ask how to apply for a higher limit, so that the amount you owe will be a lower percentage of your allowable credit. Just be careful that you don't start using that new credit and increasing your utilization again.
3. Open a new credit card
Opening another credit card can also decrease your overall utilization ratio, but only if you don't put a lot of new debt on the card. You can, however, transfer some of your existing debt to a lower-interest card. Here's how to do it:
1. Open a card that offers 0 percent interest on balance transfers
2. Figure out how much you can repay while that offer is active
3. Transfer that amount onto the new card and pay it off
If you can't afford to pay off your balance quickly enough look for an offer that suits you better. Everyone's situation is different, so start by using an online card selection tool and interest calculator to help you choose what's best for you.
4. A pay-for-delete letter
This strategy is just what it sounds like: you agree to pay a bill provided that the lender will remove the account from your report. This is more likely to work if the bill has gone into collections; original creditors tend not to comply.
To request a pay-for-delete, obtain a sample letter and change the details to suit your account. A good option is the example published by MyFico, which requests that the lender:
• remove all information on the account from credit reporting agencies
• deny knowledge of the account if contacted, and
• respond before a certain date, after which the debtor will rescind the offer
This kind of comprehensive letter helps to protect you by specifying the terms of the agreement. Send it to your lender, including your personal information, and take note of when you should receive a reply.
5. A statement of goodwill
If your debt exists because you had extenuating circumstances, a goodwill letter may be more effective than pay-for-delete. This kind of letter:
1. acknowledges your responsibility for the debt
2. highlights your prior responsible payment history
3. includes any relevant evidence, especially if errors are involved
4. takes a tone of humility and appreciation
If the statement of goodwill is effective, the lender will remove the debt from your record in exchange for payment. The key is to earn the empathy of the representative who receives your communication.
6. Negotiate for account removal
The law does not require a creditor to report a late or delinquent payment. If you call the collection agency or creditor, you can get the contact information for someone who has the authority to remove the delinquent account from your report. When you call, explain:
1. what you are doing to repair your credit.
2. why you need a good credit score, and
3. any extenuating circumstances that prevented you from paying on time.
Be accurate and truthful, but use whatever details you can to show the creditor that you have fallen on difficult times.
7. Hire a credit repair service
Credit repair companies do many of the things you can do yourself, including disputing errors and negotiating with creditors, but it can be well worth the money to pay someone else to take over those tasks. Look for companies that:
• have been in business for at last five years
• employ in-house attorneys
• are licensed, bonded, and insured locally
• offer free consultations and warranties
Consumers' Advocate offers a starter list of reputable credit repair companies. If you compare their listings, you can see which one might work best for you.
Fast Credit Repair Services for Struggling Homeowners
As you have seen, raising your credit score quickly can be difficult, especially if you have a lot of debt that you can't pay. If you own a home, you may have considered selling just to get the equity. Of course, that means you have to move, which is expensive as well as emotionally painful.
To help homeowners avoid having to make this choice, EasyKnock has created a program known as Sell & Stay. The company buys your home and enables you to collect the equity, but it allows you to stay in place as a tenant. You can pay off your debts, which rapidly improves your credit score, and then re-purchase your home once you're back on your feet. You also have the option to relocate at the end of your lease, should that suit you and your finances better. Call EasyKnock today to learn more.