Take steps to repair your credit score and pay off your debt

Oct 19 2012 - 2:15pm

If you have found yourself with a bad credit score, you need to take immediate steps to repair your credit before it gets too out of hand. Credit scores are based on the information contained in your credit report, so begin by getting a copy of your credit report and checking it for errors.

If you find any errors, you will need to notify the credit bureau by mail, enclosing proof that the entry is erroneous. They will review your request and are required to advise you within 30 days whether they are ruling in your favor. You should always send an error notification letter via certified mail with return receipt requested so you know for sure that they have received your letter.

If they have ruled in your favor, check your credit report again to be sure that the error has been removed. Just the correction of an error can be a big step toward repairing your credit and, by itself, can increase your credit score.

After you have thoroughly inspected your credit report, the next step is to start working on your debt. You need to start paying down any credit card debt that you have accumulated. Keep paying your mortgage and your car loan if you have either or both. Be sure to pay on time and keep up to date without paying past the grace period you are given.

The best thing you can do when trying to repair your credit is to get rid of credit card debt and then don't use credit anymore, or at least use it sparingly. If your credit card debt is too much to manage on your own, try to obtain a debt consolidation loan that will pay off all of your creditors and allow you to make just one payment instead of several.

There are also credit counseling centers that can help you repair your credit. Not only can they help repair your credit, they can help you make a plan so that you don't get into credit trouble again. That includes making a budget you can stick to and providing support if you find yourself in a situation that you might not be able to get out of on your own.

Take steps right now to repair your credit if it is less than perfect. In the long run, you will find that it will be well worth the time and effort that you put in. Plus, it's very satisfying to know that you are credit worthy!

Gordon Putnam is a credit repair expert with Utah Credit Alliance. Utah Credit Alliance specializes in credit repair and boosting credit scores. You can find him on the Web at www.utahcreditalliance.com.

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