It doesn’t have to cost you a penny to repair your credit. Although you can use credit repair companies to help you get back on track, you can repair your credit yourself at no cost.
How Long Does Credit Repair Take?
Regardless of whether you repair your credit yourself or through a credit repair company, it takes time to build good credit, especially if you’re starting from zero. If you want to raise your score by 200 points, and you’re starting at the bottom, it could take you a year – or more – to do.
Your credit score isn’t going to improve overnight, but you can take proactive steps toward improving your credit such as:
- Checking your credit reports and scores – You should know your credit score and what’s on your credit reports. You’re entitled to a free copy of your credit reports every 12 months from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com. As for your credit score, most lenders look at your FICO score, and if your lending institution offers a free FICO score check, you can check there. If not, you can go to myFICO.com and pay to see your FICO score and all other scores, such as your auto-enhanced score.
- Disputing errors – If you find any errors, you should dispute them with the reporting bureau immediately. It’s important all of the information on your credit reports is accurate and up to date, and removing negative marks can really help increase your score.
- Paying all bills on time – Your payment history makes up 35 percent of your FICO score, making it the biggest factor in determining your score. Make sure all bills are paid on time each month.
- Paying down credit card balances – If you have any outstanding credit card debt, make sure you pay them off or keep them below 30 percent of your credit limit. The less debt you have, the better your credit score.
- Applying for new credit – Adding new lines of credit can help you rebuild credit. The key is to make sure you can financially handle additional credit. If you can’t, taking on a new line of credit could negatively impact your score.
What is a Commercial Credit Repair Company?
Also known as a credit repair organization, these companies help consumers improve their credit for a fee. They clean up your credit reports by disputing any errors or inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. Not all credit repair organizations are trustworthy, but you can protect yourself by familiarizing yourself with the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA).
The CROA states that a credit repair organization can’t legally alter your identity, lie about services, or ask you to pay before service is complete. If you decide to use a credit repair service, just be cautious. If you suspect anything or don’t feel comfortable using their service, you can walk away.
Looking to Add an Auto Loan to Boost Your Credit?
One of the best ways to help rebuild credit is to take out a subprime auto loan. Not only do you get a car, but when you keep up with the monthly payments you should see an improvement in your credit score. If you need help locating a special finance dealership to work with, we’ve got you covered.
At Auto Credit Express, we can help point you in the right direction by matching you with a local dealer that has the lending resources available to help you. Get the process started today by filling out our auto loan request form now.