Repairing your credit rating can be a long and painstaking process, particularly if you have a number of different creditors. But is it ever worthwhile paying a credit repair company to do the work for you?
The major plus point for employing a credit repair company is the convenience.
When you pass your details over to a credit repair company this means that a lot of the hassle is taken out of your hands, you simply let them sort out the financial arrangements and pay them as and when you are instructed.
If you do this via a reputable company this can save you a lot of time and give you piece of mind that the job is being done thoroughly.
The major downside to this is the cost involved which could be anywhere from $600 to $1500.
In addition, although the credit repair companies do a lot of the leg work for you, they may still require you to come up with a list of the debts you owe and to whom you owe them, which is potentially the most time consuming part of the process, particularly if your debts have been sold onto third parties.
It’s also important to remember that credit repair companies are also in it for the money and so as long as you are paying them, usually monthly, they are in no hurry to get your credit repaired!
Moreover, there is no guarantee that they will actually successfully repair your credit rating and many of them caveat their contracts so that they can not be held liable should they fail to increase your score.
But if you want to try and repair your credit score yourself, what is actually involved?
Start off by preparing a budget sheet that covers all of your incomings and outgoings, including mortgage/rent payments, utility bills, insurance premiums, groceries, emergency funds as well as your debts to other creditors.
This will give you an idea of how much money you will have left at the end of each month and will also give you an idea as to whether or not you can meet the demands of your creditors.
If you cannot meet the minimum payments set by your creditors it is imperative that you contact them and discuss your options with them and come to a compromise on your monthly payments, even if this means making a token payment of $1 for a short period while you sort out other debts.
Another idea could be to take out a debt consolidation loan. Although taking on more credit may be the last thing you want to do, servicing the one debt will be much easier to manage than servicing debts from several creditors.
Once you have consolidated and have got a grip of your financial situation then it is time to start building your credit score once more.
You can do this by taking on more credit via a credit card, though this must be used wisely and sparingly so as not to add to your current level of debt.
A better option may be to take out a prepaid card, this means that you’re in no danger of racking up more debt as you can only load it with money from your own bank account, but will be able to rebuild your credit score.
If you do take out a prepaid card though, always be wary of the added fees involved and make sure that the card you are using reports to the necessary credit bureaus so you can start rebuilding your credit score.
And finally, it’s important to know how your credit rating can be adversely affected so you can avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Below is a list of factors that can have an effect on your credit score:
Making late payments on credit card bills, finance arrangements, utility bills or mortgage payments.
Being close to the limit on your credit cards or overdrafts.
Having a short credit or no previous credit history.
Applying for a number of credit lines in a short space of time.
Not having a variety of credit lines, for example, installment loans (fixed payments such as car finance) and revolving loans (unsecured borrowing such as credit cards).