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Do-It-Yourself Credit Repair

Good credit is key to economic success. You may not give to much thought to your credit report, but good credit lets you do a lot of things that most people take for granted: get a credit card, rental a car, obtain a loan, or even get an apartment. Missed payments to a creditor, or defaulting on a loan altogether, creates black marks that are recorded on your credit report when your creditor reports them to a credit bureau. Too many missed payments or defaulted loans will leave you with no option but to start the credit repair process, otherwise, your applications for credit cards or other loans will be turned down consistently until you do. A quick search in the classified ads or on the internet for credit repair will give you tons of offers from credit repair companies offering a quick fix to your credit problems. Most of these companies have aggressive marketing strategies that promise to fix your credit report fast for a nominal fee.

Be very cautious with these companies and deal with them at your own risk –many are not only scams, but also in most cases you can fix your own credit more effectively by doing it yourself. Remember: there is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can't do for yourself. Even though credit repair companies might imply otherwise, they can’t erase poor marks on your credit rating and they have no influence over the credit bureau. Most likely, the credit repair company will probably tell you to obtain a copy your current credit report and to challenge any negative items on it. You can do this yourself without actually paying someone to tell you to do it.

Sometimes, credit repair companies may even recommend that you perform activities that aren’t even legal to “fix” your credit. They might encourage you to begin working on a "new" credit rating by changing your banking information and address. Not only is this procedure illegal, it is usually ineffective. You are better off going through the credit repair process on your own. An online search will yield detailed sites with step-by-step instructions. Again, beware the source. Your best bet is going through a government-affiliate site or one that is put together by a trusted organization. The best approach to credit repair is to first obtain a copy your credit report from the credit bureau. Examine the report closely, line by line, and make sure to challenge any errors on the report, in writing, to the agency that reported it. Challenge only items that are genuine.

If your report is free of errors, you will need to repair your credit in the traditional fashion, usually involving obtaining a secured credit card that you use regularly, making regular payments on the balance. This will slowly improve your credit rating. Most importantly, be patient and make smart budgeting decisions. Credit repair is not a quick process, and you will find that you are able to pay off your creditors given enough time. By making payments regularly and not defaulting on any loans, your credit score will eventually prove that you are eligible for credit. Although this method of credit repair is not a fast process, it is truly effective. By doing your own credit repair, you will be far more successful than if you were to employ a credit repair company.


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