When you're working to get a better credit score, there are a few actions to take. These steps will help you show credit responsibility to future lenders.
Pay Your Current Bills On Time
Just by paying your current monthly bills on time every month you'll begin to create a trail of positive payment history on all 3 of your credit reports.
New Revolving Lines Of Credit
For example an unsecured credit card. The idea is to have a payment that will report every month to all 3 of the credit bureaus, this way by making your on time payments every month you will also improve your payment history.
Settle Outstanding Debts
Use caution as this can be a treacherous path. You need to offer a settlement agreement in exchange have the debt collector stop reporting your account to all three bureaus. Additionally, you should never pay the full balance due.
Often collection agencies will buy your debt for just pennies on the dollar. It is reported that one popular collection agency based in southern Arizona was buying accounts for $0.025 on the dollar. So this collection agency could have been contacting you about paying off a $2000 debt, but they had purchased this account for only $50!
Check Your Credit
By law, you are given one copy of your credit report every year from all three major credit bureaus. It is incredibly important to make sure and check your report on a regular basis. Experts estimate that up to 25% of all credit reports have an error on them.
Dispute Your Credit
If you have an error on your credit report or have a negative item such as a collection, medical bill, charge off. You can challenge this item and possibly have it removed immediately.
When the bureau gets your dispute, they will investigate the issue by contacting the lender. They'll ask the bank to verify the account, the balance due, and the dates. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act the same law Congress passed that gives you a free copy of your credit report also enables you to dispute any item on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate.
It is estimated that 3 out of every four bureau investigations result in the removal of an item from the credit report. This is typically a result of the lender no longer holding legal collection rights to the debt account and therefore being unwilling to spend the time or person-hours necessary to verify an account and the details of a bureau investigation.