dssaThe first step toward improving your borrowing power is to know your rights and responsibilities. Nobody but you is usually to blame for your bad credit rating, so start out by assuming responsibility for your bad financial choices. Acknowledge that you’ve made some mistakes, and start working to improve those mistakes by addressing the problem head-on.

Know your credit score.

Get a FREE copy of your credit report and know the reality of what is showing up on your credit for collections, for late payments or for any other reason. If you have a good credit report showing up, know about it, point that out to your lender and remind the lender as you’re going through the process that you’ve been responsible on those areas.

Deal with bad credit reporting.

If some of your financial information is missing or miss-reported, correct that. Write letters to the reporting agency explaining or asking for bad information to be removed from your credit report. 30 days after disputing a report, if it isn’t confirmed, it will be deleted. Take advantage of that option to have bad reports deleted from your documents.

Pay off low balance debts.

If it’s a low balance, pay it off, and ask that it be removed from your report. Most companies will allow paid off debts to be removed from your credit report if they no longer have you as a liability on their records.

Request good reports.

If you’ve paid on time, and you have some good reports that aren’t on your credit report, this is the time to request those reports be placed on your financial profile. Do the work and ask your creditors to make those good reports too.

Keep track of changes on your financial documents.

By keeping track of your credit report and any changes in your credit score, you’ll be better able to prevent the possibility of identity theft, or at least identifying the source and cause of any identity theft problems that may arise on your accounts. This may come in handy if anyone ever does take your debit card, or steal your identity.

Maintaining a legal shield of some kind to protect yourself from identity theft is always a good idea, but in lieu of a specific paid program, keeping close track on your own financial documentation is the best option.

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