How to Improve Credit

When responsible homeowners are suddenly hit with financial problems, like losing a job or being laid off, for instance, unless they are well prepared with a good sized nest egg put away for just such calamities, they can be in for a very rude awakening, indeed! The situation is made far worse by having bad credit such as late payments — particularly late mortgage payments.

The homeowner might decide to bail and move into a smaller home. This will lighten the load, at least with the mortgage. When it comes time, though, to apply for new credit to finance the new home, although it is a smaller home, if the homeowner has a difficult credit history the challenge becomes obvious and difficult.

When you need your credit most, with a bad credit rating, it just won't be there. Your credit can be repaired, however, and, of course, that takes time.

Are There Quick Solutions to Repairing Damaged Credit

In the case when a consumer needs to purchase a home and they need to do it quickly, there are steps that can be taken.

The very first step would be to understand exactly where you stand in terms of your credit report. Obtain a copy of your credit report from one of the 3 reporting agencies, such as Equifax, and also obtain your FICO score.

FICO stands for the Fair, Isaac and Co. (www.myfico.com), credited with developing the algorithms and models used to obtain a credit score and use it in a predictive manner. Your FICO score used by lenders to determine how likely it is that you'll pay your obligations on time.

A lender will consider your FICO score as well as your assets, liabilities and income, when determining your eligibility in securing credit. Make it your greatest ambition when wishing to acquire goods on credit to increase your FICO score: scores run between 95 and 900, with the average score being 600.

Once you have your most up-to-date credit data, begin to pay off any of the smaller amounts that are on your credit report. Do not spare any time in doing this. Do this immediately! Your goal now is to change the account to a "current" status. Now, you want to lower your credit balances to below 50 percent of the limit. When you have a credit balance that is higher than half of the maximum due, lenders are warned and will likely back away. At this point contact a good debt-management program and take advantage of the professional help that you will receive there.

The credit counselors at the debt-management program will help a client to obtain a better interest rate on their debts. The will negotiate new rates with your creditors. When successful doing this, your monthly payment will be decreased and so your will pay a much lower interest rate. You will pay your counselor each month and from that your creditors will receive their money. These programs also teach other good financially related life skills such as better budgeting skills.

As you are likely aware by now, beware of the scam artists, otherwise known as quick-fix credit repair companies. These people will prey on those who are desperate to change their financial situation and therefore easily manage to trick the more vulnerable. Do everything that you can to avoid falling prey to such predators.

When seeking legitimate help you are advised to check to be sure that the agency you have chosen is reputable. You can do this easily by ensuring that the company is accredited and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

When seeking to improve your credit remember that your creditors would much rather keep you as a customer than lose you to bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Consumers can be proactive and take steps to clean up their credit report to improve their chances of qualifying for a loan. Once you have paid off an account, write to the creditor and request that an update of your account be sent to the credit bureaus. Write to the credit bureau and dispute any inaccuracies or bills that have been paid. The credit bureau has 30 to 60 days to investigate any disputes. If the creditor cannot verify the information, it will be removed from your record.

While there are several ways to improve your credit the first and most fundamental way is to keep your record free and clean from the start. Whether starting out new or beginning again, take control of your credit matters. Ensure that you are saving for a rainy day, paying off your credit care bills each month and generally living within your means.