If you have a bad credit score, then you’re probably at a point where you’re just plain tired of dealing with the consequences. And while you have a handful of options available, a DIY approach sometimes works best.
4 Tips for DIY Credit Repair
There are certain companies out there who will claim they’re the only ones qualified to repair your credit score, but they’re lying to you. Do it yourself credit repair is an option and you can do anything a credit repair company can do for you. Having said that, it’s a time-consuming process that takes months of persistence to fully play out. If you’re willing to make the commitment, you can do it.
Here are some tips:
- Analyze Your Credit Report
The very first thing you have to do is figure out where things currently stand. Thankfully, this isn’t as challenging as it could be. Each year, you get one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). While other websites sometimes offer additional copies, be wary of working with them. It’s best to go directly through the bureaus.
In addition to checking your credit report, you can also monitor your credit score on a daily basis using one of a handful of websites. Credit scores range from 300 to 850, with good credit scores usually being above 700.
Not only does a thorough review of your credit report give you a chance to see what’s influencing your score, but it also allows you to identify errors. Unbeknownst to many, mistakes are actually quite common. If you find some on your report, boosting your score may be as simple as contacting the appropriate bureau and supplying the correct documentation.
- Pay Off Balances
The number one thing you can do to improve your credit score is catch up on delinquent payments. If you’re behind on any of your monthly payments, you need to get back on schedule. Your payment history has a huge influence on your credit score and is one of the primary determining factors lenders use when studying your report.
- Negotiate With Creditors
The most time-consuming process of repairing your credit is negotiating with creditors. However, it’s also the best option when it comes to boosting your score. If you have large unpaid debts that have been on the books for months or years, you may be able to settle for a lower amount and get these debts off your report. Within a few weeks or months, this could help your score to go up.
- Build Good Credit Over Time
Once you have mistakes cleared up and have done a good job of “catching up,” the best strategy is to simply focus on building good credit. It can be a slow process, but months and months of paying on time and keeping a low utilization rate will ultimately cause your score to increase.
Be Proactive With Your Credit
Repairing your credit score is like changing your oil. You can technically do it yourself. So long as you learn how to change your oil, buy the right parts, and carve out some time to do it, there’s nothing stopping you from doing it yourself. But you can also pay for someone to do it and eliminate the time and stress involved.
The important thing is that you’re proactive with your credit. Whether that means doing it yourself or hiring a legitimate credit repair company is beside the point. Either method works, so long as you stick with it.