If you’ve been recently denied credit or are paying over-the-odds interest rates for your personal or business loan, it is natural that you will be researching information on ‘how to repair my credit rating’ or ‘how to improve my credit score.’
But before you get into the nitty gritty of credit score repair, you need to get hold of your credit report, understand what it means and work through it patiently, either by yourself or with a credit repair service such as Speed Fund (working with Better Qualified).
But I Need to Repair my Credit Now!
When we hear the phrase: I need to repair my credit now, we understand the urgency. Time is money, especially in business, and you want to get those best terms immediately. Sometimes when you research ‘how to repair my credit rating’ or similar you will be told that you can be guaranteed a glowing credit score in a few days. Speed Fund would recommend you steer clear of such companies as they will either be lying or involved in dubious practises which could land you in a cell!
When you have a ‘bad’ credit report, you could be stuck with that record for up to 7-10 years, depending on the type of problems you have had. The good news is that by following a set process your score will improve – and time will eventually be your friend and erase your past blemishes.
How Do I Begin the Credit Score Repair Process?
The first step is always to get a free copy of your credit report (also known as your credits file or credit history). You do not need a copy of your FICO® credit score! You will need to pay for your credit score but the credit reference agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) seem to ‘forget’ to tell you that you only need your free credit report to start the credit score repair process. You can get a copy from each of the three above-mentioned companies, once a year, for free via the federally-sanctioned website www.annualcreditreport.com. In fact, this is the ONLY website where you can legitimately request your copy – any other sites will be a scam.
Do I Need External Help with Credit Score Repair?
This is a personal issue, not a legal one. It is perfectly fine to tackle the credit score repair process yourself if you are prepared to put the effort into understanding your file, enforcing the rules that the reference agencies have to abide by and negotiating with creditors for repayment terms. Or you can contact a company such as Speed Fund; through our partners, Better Qualified, we will ensure corrections are dealt with quickly and fairly. Better Qualified will draw upon their extensive industry experience and existing creditor relationships to get you the best deal. So the choice is yours.
A Brief Tour of your Credit Report
When you do get hold of your credit report you will find the following:
This includes credit cards, real estate loans and installment loans, among others. Information will include whether payments have been made on time or, if late, by how many days. Your current and highest balances and credit limits will also be recorded, and creditor contact details may also be noted.
Hard inquiries are available to everyone and have an impact on your credit score. They include applications for credit cards and loans. Soft inquiries are only visible to you and have no effect on your credit score. These include reviews from existing lenders and your own credit report requests.
- Public Records
This is where the ‘heavy’ stuff is including bankruptcies, tax liens and civil judgments. These stay in place for 7-10 years depending on the type of record. Chapter 13 bankruptcies, where some debt has been repaid, stays on file for seven years while Chapter 7 bankruptcies, where debt has been wiped out, stays in place for ten years. Likewise, tax liens remain for 7-10 years depending on whether the taxes were paid or defaulted on.
If all of the above seems too much to deal with, please contact Speed Fund through our ‘Getting To Know You’ form. We work with FICO® certified professionals Better Qualified who will deal with the credit agencies for you.
Your circumstances with care and sensitivity.