The credit repair business is booming due to the poor economy. Repairing credit does take a lot of time. However, there are steps you can take right now to make sure your credit starts heading in the right direction.
Start the repair process by getting a fresh copy of your credit report. You can request 1 free credit report a year from the 3 major credit reporting agencies. Get your credit report, study it, and then figure out how you are going to go about getting it to a healthy place. It is crucial that you document any negative marks on your credit report. Review the list, and identify if any of these are due to mistakes or fraud. You will be able to fix your credit if you know what the negative items are. If you find any problems on your credit report while attempting to repair your credit score, contact the credit bureau through a dispute letter. You can find templates online that include all the information you'll need to send to begin an investigation and get the false information removed from your report.
Knowing how individual agencies report to bureaus will greatly improve your repair efforts. Different creditors may report problems based on certain criteria and use different time frames for reporting. Research the standards for credit cards, utilities and mortgage or rental companies to know when and how these issues are reported. Inquire about all available payment options that your creditor offers because it could save you money on interest and late charges. If you can pay one company late without incurring extra charges, you can be sure to pay them only after paying the more urgent bills.
Find out what regulations govern debt and debt collectors. It's not legal to be prosecuted for refusing to pay a bill, and you also are protected from harassment from collectors. Different states may have different statutes. They cannot harass or threaten you over the phone. You should be aware of what they're not allowed to do.
If collection agencies pick up your bills, make sure you work with them and set up payment plans. Your debtors will appreciate your communication and will be more willing to work with you. Avoiding your debts is not the best way to go; it won't help to lower your debt. Be truthful with debt collectors and tell them that you are having a hard time. They will appreciate the effort that you are making. Your bill can be lowered by as much as half if you take the time to talk with them. Staying honest with the debt collectors and making your best attempts to pay the bills means they will be more inclined to assist you.