How to Raise Your Credit Score

Credit report illustration

Bad credit can have a negative impact on your life. It can make it challenging to get the things you need, such as a car, home, or an education. Bad credit can even prevent you from getting a job. Some jobs require a credit check as part of the interview process. If you apply to law school and pass, it is time to take the bar exam. The bar examines not only the exam results but your personal life and credit history. The effects of bad credit are everywhere. It can follow you like a millstone throughout your life.

There are steps that you can take to rebuild your credit. First, you should get a credit report. You don’t need to go through a private company for this. You may have seen the commercials and heard the catchy jingles, but these companies do not provide a service. The federal government allows you to access all three of your credit reports for free through one of their websites. You can do this three times per year and do not need a third party to do it for you. Those third party companies will use the information you give them to market products to you. You don’t need that.

Once you’ve obtained your credit report, it is time to pour over it. There may be some things on there that could surprise you. Perhaps you have an outstanding debt with a public library, and that debt was forwarded to a collections agency. Now, the collections agency is requesting that you pay an absurd amount for that debt. Other such incidences might be recorded on that credit report. You should call these companies immediately and inquire about the debt being held against you. Ask if there is a deal or an arrangement that you can work out.

Maybe you call the debt company that holds the debt of those library books over you. You both agree that you will return the library books and pay a penalty fee. This gets you out of paying the full amount of the debt being collected and the mark on your report is erased. Keep going through the credit report like this. Call the collections companies that own your debt and try to work out a deal. The collections companies will likely work with you. They’ll probably lower your overall debt and work out a payment plan.

The goal is to erase all the bad marks off of your credit report as possible. Once this is done, your credit score will rise. It is also important not to run up any debt in the meantime. Your credit score is affected by the amount of debt that you are currently in. So, if you go about fixing your credit score, and run up a bunch of credit card debt, then you’ve gone nowhere. Bringing yourself out of bad credit is a difficult thing to do. It takes time and discipline, but it is worth it in the end.

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