Credit Repair 101: How to Improve Your Credit Score
A bad credit score can be devastating in the long term. It could mean that you are denied loans or will have to pay higher interest rates for your existing ones. It could also affect your ability to rent an apartment or even get a job. While there is a lot of information out there about how to improve your credit score, it can be difficult to determine what's important and what's not.
As if that weren't bad enough, there are mistakes that people make all the time which trip them up when they try to get their credit reports fixed - like forgetting to attach supporting documents like bank statements to show that payments were made on time; not knowing where they signed up for services, or not having the paperwork they need to prove that a debt is theirs.
Imagine how much easier it would be if a service could do all of this for you - automatically, efficiently, and affordably. Luckily, the service could do this for you.
What Is a Credit Score?
Your credit score is the result of a complex calculation performed by one or more major credit bureaus. Among other factors, it seeks to measure your ability and willingness to repay debt.
Many sub-scores inform the model, including:
- Is there an open (not paid off) balance on any accounts?
- How long have you had your account for, and how often do you pay off the balance in full
- Is there a history of late payments? Did this happen once or multiple times?
|What Is a Good Credit Score?
|There's no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a "good" credit score. Scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the best. The average US score is somewhere in the middle at around 700, though it varies by city.
|What Is a Bad Credit Score?
|There's no hard and fast rule about what constitutes a "good" credit score. Scores range from 300 to 850, with 850 being the best. The average US score is somewhere in the middle at around 700, though it varies by
How Bad Credit Affects You
Many things can be difficult or impossible to do when you have bad credit. Some lenders won't approve loans, landlords may not want to rent you an apartment, employers might not consider your application if they see a low credit score in your background check, cell phone companies may black-list you, and you might not be able to rent a car.
Checking Your Credit Report for Errors
Everyone is entitled to a free annual credit report from each of the three major bureaus, which are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Once you have brought up your report, the first thing you need to do is check for errors. This is the most important step because incorrect information can make it nearly impossible to improve your credit score.
There are two types of mistakes to look out for: incorrect information and unanswered disputes.
- Incorrect Information: This typically shows up as a different name, address, or social security number than what you have on file. If you spot any such irregularities, dispute them immediately. Don't delay! The longer that same incorrect info stays on your report, the lower your score will fall as that information makes its way into lenders' computer systems.
- Unanswered Disputes: If you look at a different section of your report and see a line for "This account has an unresolved problem," this means that you never submitted a dispute. Disputes automatically expire after 30 days, so if you can't remember submitting one, there's your problem!
Some Ways to Improve Your Credit Score on Your Own
You can improve your credit score on your own. Here are a few things you can do that have been shown to make a difference:
- Pay your bills on time and in full every month. (And by "pay," we don't mean setting up automatic payments and forgetting about them until the bill is due; we mean carefully reviewing the statement and making sure all charges are correct before paying.)
- Consolidate multiple small debts into one or two larger, more realistic loans (like a credit card you pay off in full every month).
- Create a positive account history by opening and using new accounts. If you don't want to buy things on credit, consider having a prepaid debit card that gets reloaded each month.
- Keep your oldest accounts open - you can receive a positive score boost for having an account that's several years old.
- Don't close accounts unless they are very old, in poor standing with the credit bureaus, or don't appear on your report. Closing an account implies that you might have fallen behind on payment, and by closing it you're just adding to that negative information.
How to Improve Your Credit Score with DoNotPay
Improving your credit score on your own can be difficult because you have to be disciplined and committed to it. It's easy to skimp on the steps, especially if it means more money or time at your disposal. If you do this, your credit score will not improve.
The second problem with trying to improve your credit score on your own is that it requires a lot of time on your part. This may not seem like a big deal, but many low-income people don't have any free time at all. DoNotPay simplifies the process so even these people can have good credit scores.
How to clean up your credit report using DoNotPay:
If you want to clean up your credit report but don't know where to start, DoNotPay has you covered in 3 easy steps:
1. Search Clean Credit Report on DoNotPay.
2. Prepare a recent copy of your credit report that you can use as a reference.
3. Let us guide you through the 4 potential options:
- If you've already paid off your debt, we'll help you file a Goodwill Removal Request to get it removed.
- If you notice any errors in your report (we have a list of common errors you can use!), we'll help you file a credit dispute to the creditor or major credit bureaus.
- If there are no errors, we'll check if you're still eligible to file a debt validation request. If they can't validate your debt, they're required to remove it from your report and they can't collect it!
- Lastly, if none of the above options work, we'll help you file a pay-to-delete negotiation letter. You can customize the amount you are willing to pay in exchange for getting the item removed.
You can also check out our other credit products, including Credit Limit Increase, Get My Credit Report, Keep Unused Cards Active, and more!
Why Use DoNotPay to Improve Your Credit Score
Your credit score is a key component in your financial life. It can affect everything from your ability to get a loan and rent an apartment to how much you pay for electricity and gas and even whether or not you can hail a taxi.
DoNotPay is designed with these concerns in mind and has created a product that will help you save time, improve your chances of getting your dispute resolved, and provide you with positive results that will lead to better credit scores.
- Time: DoNotPay will guide you through the dispute process and even provide you with a follow-up email to make sure that all your disputes were resolved.
- Quality: Because the bot works so hard to help you, it also makes sure that every dispute is good quality and not incomplete like many of those submitted on their own.
- Errors: DoNotPay will look out for mistakes in your report - like missing accounts, outdated information, and incorrect public records - so you don't have to.
If you're looking for an easy and affordable way to improve your credit score, then look no further than DoNotPay. If you also need help with the following issues, DoNotPay has the simplest way to resolve your matter.
With our simple method, you can get started today and see results in no time!