How to Improve Your Credit History

Having bad credit doesn't mean all hope is lost! Learn how you can improve your credit history with these tips & strategies.

How to Improve Your Credit History

Having a good credit score is essential for many aspects of life, from getting a loan to renting an apartment. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix for bad credit. Under federal law, credit agencies have 30 to 45 days to investigate any disputes you make about information on your credit report. If the information is verified, it can remain on your report for up to seven to 10 years.

Fixing bad credit is a slow process that often takes months. It involves contacting credit agencies and lenders to challenge inaccurate information, and they can take up to 30 days to respond to your request. Reporting agencies and lenders typically take about 30 days to investigate disputes. Once they make a decision, they must notify you within five days of the end of the review. The notice will inform you if the disputed item is inaccurate or not. However, there are a few exceptions.

For example, if you're thinking about buying a home and want to compare interest rates between several lenders, you can. FICO and VantageScore, the two most commonly used credit scoring models, offer consumers a window of around 14 to 45% to compare rates, which is known as searching for rates. All credit inquiries made between this time period will appear in your file as a single item. Payment history is perhaps the most influential factor in calculating credit ratings. If you're late for several payment cycles or don't pay at all, this will significantly affect your score.

Paying a few days late won't necessarily affect your rating, as creditors won't notify agencies right away. However, if you arrive 30 days or later, it will likely be on your record. Foreclosure can also cause your credit score to drop substantially. According to FICO, a score can drop by up to 100 points compared to a foreclosure, depending on the consumer's initial score. Foreclosures remain on your record for seven years. Cancellations occur when a creditor has stopped waiting for a debt to be repaid.

This can happen if a debt isn't paid within 180 days, although some creditors can pay it off in as little as 90 days. Cancellations can cause your credit score to drop 100 points or more. Garnishments can lower your score by about 100 points or more, mainly because of the series of late payments that led to it. If a collection agency or a debtor sue you for payment, a court could issue a judgment against you and demand that you pay the debt, in addition to other legal fees and expenses. The impact of a judgment can vary, but it could reduce your score by more than 100 points. Collection occurs when the original creditor hires an outside company to collect payment.

These are included in your payment history and can easily remove more than 100 points from your score. On the other hand, with a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you are allowed to keep your assets as long as you complete a court-mandated payment plan aimed at paying off your top-priority guaranteed debt. Filing for bankruptcy can lower your score by about 200 points or more. It will also have a negative impact on your chances of obtaining new lines of credit or loans for several years until your credit history improves substantially. If you file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7, the derogatory mark will remain registered for up to 10 years; for Chapter 13, it's seven years. It involves contacting credit agencies and lenders to challenge inaccurate information, and it may take up to 30 days to respond to your request. They can also request more documentation to validate their dispute, which will further prolong the process.

Also, keep in mind that precise negative items cannot be removed from your report and will remain in your record for at least seven years. Lots 81-82 of Money Group, LLC Street C Dorado, PR 00646 Metro Office Park 7th Street 1, Suite 204 Guaynabo, PR 00968. Unfortunately, accurate negative information cannot be removed and will generally remain on your credit reports for about seven years. Lenders use your credit reports to analyze your past debt-repayment behavior and make informed decisions about whether and on what terms they grant you credit. Therefore, it's just as important for them to see your negative credit history as your positive record. Under federal law, you have the right to get a free credit report from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) once a year. This ratio represents the amount of credit you are currently using divided by the total amount of credit you have available. Therefore, if your score is low due to accurate negative information, you will have to repair your credit over time by making timely payments and reducing the total amount of your debt. Federal law guarantees everyone the right to receive a free credit report from each of the three national credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) every year.

Nowadays you can completely bypass the credit agency and dispute directly with the company that reported the error to the credit agency. In fact, you can lower your credit rating by increasing your debt-to-credit ratio - also known as the percentage of credit utilization - so it's important not only to pay off debts but also keep track of how much available credit you're using at any given time. The Fair Credit Reporting Act is a federal law that defines the type of information that can be included in your credit report and for how long (usually seven years). Credit bureaus won't delete accurate and verifiable information even if you challenge it (since the investigation will verify its accuracy), so you may have to negotiate with them in order to have some items removed from your report. Either way it's up to you work hard in order get unfavorable entries removed from your report. Several non-profit organizations such as National Credit Counseling Foundation (NFCC) can help challenge inaccurate information in your record. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act everyone has the right an accurate credit report and because of that provision you can challenge errors with the credit agency.