Credit Repair: It’s time to Renovate, Remodel and Rebuild!
Does the word ‘repair’ get you excited to break out the toolkit, turn up the 80s rock and start busting through walls with a sledge hammer?
Or maybe it makes you think about all the ways to procrastinate until your house falls down and you have to move away. Any repair project can be long, strenuous and intimidating. But in the case of credit repair, it’s always better to start sooner rather than later.
Credit repair simply means fixing your credit to improve your credit score. The better your credit score, the better the interest rates banks and lenders are likely to give you, and then the more money you save. Think of it like home renovations — the better condition your home is in, the higher the resale value. And if lenders know you’re reliable, they’re more likely to give you reasonable terms on your personal loan. But if your credit score is the equivalent of a dilapidated old shack, you’ll have a tough time getting traditional bank loans. In these cases, you might be tempted by predatory lenders offering dangerous “bad credit loans” or “no credit check loans.” Many of these financial products are actually debt traps in disguise, designed to take your bad credit situation and make it much, much worse.
But fear not! No matter how bad your credit may be, there are ways to get it back into shape. And you won’t even have to break a sweat.
The first step to repairing your credit is knowing that it needs to be repaired. You might not see the mold hiding under the sink, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. To find out, you’ll want to order a credit report. There are three companies that keep track of your credit history — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — and they’re each required to give you one free credit report every 12 months if you request it.(1) You can request a copy at annualcreditreport.com. Go ahead. We can wait.
Ok great. Now that you found the mold, it’s time to get rid of it. There are a couple different ways to do this.
The safest way to repair your credit is on your own. There are many companies out there that promise to improve your credit — for a fee of course. But anything they can do, you can do yourself at little-to-no cost. Making payments on time, avoiding a maxed out credit card and reporting inaccuracies on your credit report are a few ways to improve your credit over time. The Federal Trade Commission has a great guide called Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself. This will detail the steps you can take to repair your credit without paying someone to do it for you. So strap on your tool belt, turn on the DIY channel and get to work. We also have a post on our blog, 15 Tips for Improving Bad Credit, which can help you build your credit back up.
The second way to repair your credit would be to hire a company to help you. But just like building contractors, there can be frauds. Before choosing a credit repair company, make sure you know the warning signs of a credit repair scam:
- Insisting they receive payment before doing any work for you
- Advising you not to contact the credit reporting companies
- Advising you to dispute info in your credit report, even if it’s correct
- Advising you to give false information on credit/loan applications
- Not explaining your legal rights.(2)
Learn more about credit repair scams by visiting the FTC Credit Repair Scams page.
The important thing to remember when setting out to improve your credit score or repair your home, is that it won’t happen overnight. Be patient and work hard. Eventually you’ll start to see your credit score climb and your interest rates drop. You can’t build a house in a day — at least not a house anyone would want to live in.
If your credit is less than perfect and you need a loan, OppLoans can provide fast cash and the opportunity to improve your credit score. Our fixed-rates and longer terms make monthly payments more manageable. Let OppLoans help build your credit!
- “Credit Repair: How to Help Yourself” Federal Trade Commission. Accessed February 23, 2016. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0058-credit-repair-how-help-yourself
- “Credit Repair Scams” Federal Trade Commission. Accessed February 23, 2016. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0225-credit-repair-scams