Many individuals do not realize just how damaging credit card debt can be. Although circumstances do occur which are out of our control, a history of late payments and non-payments on your credit cards can destroy your ability to obtain financial help in the future when needed. It can also skyrocket the interest rate you will have to pay to obtain any type of credit card. Because credit card companies look at the overall financial history of the individual requesting the credit card, paying off the debts just before submitting a credit card application will do you no good. But there are things that you can do to improve credit card debt and repair your credit rating.
Obtain Your Credit Report
The first step to improving credit card debt is to obtain your credit information from each of the three credit bureaus that hold credit information in the United States. These three credit reporting agencies are Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Not all companies report to all three agencies, so it is important to obtain all three to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Any credit accounts that are not yours will need to be removed from the report and any accounts that have been paid that are still showing on your credit report as delinquent will also need to be fixed.
Completing this step may make reducing your credit card debt much easier. Most companies are willing to remove the negative actions on previous credit cards from the credit report once you have brought their attention to the fact that the reporting is incorrect. If any company refuses to cooperate and remove inaccurate information from the credit report, the individual has the ability to file a dispute and let the credit bureau know that there are mistakes in their credit history. The credit bureau will investigate these claims and correct any information that they find to be incorrect.
Create A Payment Plan
Once the credit report has been corrected, it is time to start paying off any other credit card debts that are present on the credit report or that the person is holding at the time, starting with the ones with the highest interest rates. Although paying off credit cards will not give you a perfect credit report, it will go a long way towards showing the companies that you are a responsible individual that is taking care of your financial obligations. Reducing credit card debt may take a long time and during this time, your interest rates will be much higher than for individuals that have a good credit rating. By reducing credit card debt, you will be increasing your financial opportunities for the future.