Do you know who is looking at your credit report and why?
Who is accessing your credit report?
Anybody who is trying to repair their credit report should understand the difference between 'hard' and 'soft' inquiries. Soft inquiries from companies that are performing checks on your credit history will not affect your credit score where as the hard inquiries do. Make sure you know exactly how many hard inquiries are on your account at any given time. This way you can dispute any unnecessary or illegal inquiries into your report.
While it may be tempting to agree to instant payments to creditors over the phone, paying by direct debit or standing order can give you absolute proof of payments you have made. Keep statements to all pertinent bills and paperwork, or be sure to know how to access them if you have online accounts. To avoid being unduly harassed by creditors, learn your rights fast. Some debt collection agencies have been known to lie or engage in illegal techniques in order to get paid. Read up on the collection agency laws as a little knowledge will give you the ammunition you need to shut down harassment.
Who holds your credit report?
Take note of where you are getting your credit report from when you are looking to repair your credit. There are many different places that will offer you a copy of your credit report. However, it is best if you try and get your copies from the credit referencing agencies directly. Whenever you find a mistake on your credit report, it is important to contact the creditor as well as the appropriate credit referencing agency when you are trying to rectify the mistake. This can help any future problems by preventing that creditor from making the same mistake twice so you won't have to go through the same issues again.
Applying the plaster
To avoid hurting your credit report when you can't afford to pay all your bills for the month, prioritise! A single late payment towards a store card, a mobile phone, or even your electric bill won't hurt your credit report in the way that a late credit card payment will. While those late fees may hurt, at least they won't do much damage. To increase your credit score, keep the balance owed on your credit cards at less than 30% of the card's total limit. The way you utilise your credit is something that credit referencing agencies consider when evaluating you so a little restraint will go a long way to show that you use your credit cards responsibly.
At the end of the day, getting out of a bad credit situation is all about arming yourself with the proper information to do so. The internet can be riddled with misinformation and half-truths so heed this information wisely and use it to pull yourself together so you can experience a life bereft of bad credit.
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