“What’s your credit score?” This question brings immediate feelings of dread and anxiety for a lot of people. But… it doesn’t have to. We are here to help you develop a plan of action to clean it up quickly and get you ready for a lending approval. Understanding credit, how it works and how it is scored, is essential to a healthy financial life.
There are 8 simple steps that you will want to follow to improve your credit:
1. Obtain a copy of your credit report. You can pull your own credit report once a year from each of the 3 major credit bureaus at no cost. If you time it right, you can pull from one of them every 4 months in order to monitor your progress throughout the year.
a. Equifax: www.equifax.com
b. Experian: www.experian.com
c. Transunion: www.transunion.com
2. Check your report for errors. Nearly 25% of credit reports have errors that can negatively impact your score, so it is important to check for any of the following:
- Incorrect personal information (i.e. misspellings, wrong addresses), Accounts that are not yours, Missing accounts that should be listed on your report, incorrect public records (i.e. bankruptcies, foreclosures), Accounts that aren’t accurate (i.e. they say they’re open when they’re actually closed), Accounts listed as “closed by grantor” (meaning the lender closed the account on you), Duplicate accounts, Data management errors, Delinquencies or derogatory, Fraudulent activity; Incorrect inquiries.
- Dispute all errors: Any of the items above have the ability to impact your credit negatively. Fixing any of these simple errors can help to quickly improve your score. Don’t wait years for it to fix itself. Be proactive, not reactive.
- Pay all late and past due accounts: Once your errors have been addressed, it’s time to start catching up on payments. If a payment hits 30 days past due, it is considered delinquent. The longer you wait to make payments, the more it will impact on your credit score. These late payments can stay on your credit report for up to 7 years, so get them paid up as soon as possible.
- Collections – Once your balance hits 30 days past due, your creditor can sell the debt to a collection’s agency. This will have a HUGE impact on your score. If you already have collections on your credit report, call the agency that now owns it to work out an agreement. Often times they purchase the debts for pennies on the dollar so, you can renegotiate your balance (SEE PAY FOR DELETE) to get them paid off. They can also set up payment plans for you. If you are interested in having someone to coach you in this process so you can improve your credit score to meet lender requirements for buying a home, call one of our experienced agents. We will meet with you and walk you through the credit repair, you will need to bring us your free report. Call Realty Masters Sales office at 850-453-9220 today for an appointment and lets work together to make your homeownership dream a reality!