Do You Have A Bad Credit Report? You Have Options

By: Jay Delgado

With optimism in your heart, you sit down to review your credit report, but now that optimism has turned into a feeling of defeat. Your credit report is worse than you thought. What should you do? Is there anything you can do?

Having a bad credit report is not the end of the world. I know it feels like it can be, but there are things that you can do to turn your credit report around fairly quickly. The first thing that you need to do is make sure that all of the accounts listed on your report are actually yours. If they are not, you can dispute these and have them removed.

Next, look closely at your collection accounts. Is there an account listed more than once? They are only allowed to report an account once, so you can have the duplicate entry removed as well. Only after you are absolutely sure that all of the information on your report is correct will you be ready to move on to the next phase.

Cleaning Up Your Credit Report Quickly

Delinquent accounts have the most impact on your credit score so you should attack these first. Pay close attention to recent accounts. Accounts that are more than four years old do not have as much impact on your credit score than newer accounts. Contact the lenders on your delinquent accounts and try to settle the account in exchange for having the entry removed. Only agree to pay as much as you can afford to pay.

Make sure that you keep your current bills current. Nothing destroys your credit score like past due notices. Never try to clean up past credit lapses at the expense of your current bills. Pay these first, and clean up old bills with what is left over.

Try to decrease your debt ratio by paying down credit card balances or raising credit lines. An amazing 30% of your credit score is dedicated to revolving debt ratio. Yours should be less than 25%. If it is not, ask for credit increases to bring your debt ratio down to where it should be. This extra credit is not to be spent and is only there to look good on paper.

Stop applying for new credit lines. Ten percent of your credit score is calculated according to how many credit inquiries you have on your report. If you apply for credit frequently, you could be doing a lot of damage even if you do not accept the credit. Inquiries remain on your report for two years and can bring your score down by 50 points.

Another way that you can boost your credit quickly is to become a card holder on a financially responsible persons account. Talk to your parents or someone else who is respected in the family. If you can piggyback off of their established credit history, your credit score will improve very quickly.

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