What to do with a bad credit score?
Question: I am purchasing a house and have two recent hits on my credit (past due 30 days 2 months in a row – pretty much my fault actually). Is there any reliable and quick way to boost my credit in a week? Even if it costs a bit? Answer: I doubt you are going to be able to fix your credit in a week. Just consider paperwork and processing of new information to start with. That right there is longer than a week in most cases. Let us talk a little about how credit scores work to begin with.
I personally belong to a service called CreditInform. Every 3 months they send me a copy of my credit report broken down. I started this a couple of years ago when I wanted to fix/build my credit score up. I HIGHLY recommend them if you would like to track and raise your score. In 2 years, I have raised my credit score over 300 points.
There are three main credit bureaus:
Equifax, based in Atlanta, Georgia
Experian, based in Allen, Texas
TransUnion, based in Springfield, Pennsylvania.
These three agencies are going to be where you file any disputes regarding your credit and who reports information to lenders when you apply for credit. These ?Big 3? do not exchange info with each other, so, depending on whom the lender pulls information from, they can get a different picture of your credit history, giving you a different credit score. Credit Inform pulls all three into one report to give you the most accurate picture of your credit. I chose to use them for that reason alone in the beginning.
How long do things remain on your credit report? Public records and collection items stay on your report for seven years with the exception of bankruptcies, which stay on for ten years, except successfully completed Chapter 13 bankruptcies, which are also removed after seven years.
Unpaid tax liens remain for 15 years.
Positive information remains indefinitely, although agencies can remove it after seven years.
Inquiries remain for two years.
If there is inaccurate information on your credit report, you can dispute it. This process can take up to 30 days for the initial dispute. Here is a Sample Dispute Letter that you can use to dispute charges
Credit scores range from 350 to 850.
350-475 is considered Very Weak
475-550 ? Weak
550-630 ? Fair
630-740 ? Good
740-850 ? Excellent
As far as your late payments, here is what Credit Inform has to say about that
Some cases of late payments are worse than others. If you have not been late with any payments recently, lenders may think you are responsible and do not (or will no longer) miss payments. Lenders realize that many people occasionally pay late. Therefore, being late with a single payment is typically not as harmful as being late with two or more consecutive payments. Similarly, being late on many accounts is typically worse than being late on one. In addition, lenders may view late payments as a more serious problem if you have collection accounts or negative public records such as bankruptcies or court judgments. These types of credit records indicate a pattern of credit problems. Finally, it may not be as harmful to be late with your payments if the past due balances are small, because lenders stand to lose less money if they remain unpaid.
Also, from another site about late payments
?Your payment history makes up 35% of your total credit score. Your recent payment history will carry much more weight than what happened five years ago. Missing just one months? payment on anything can knock 50 to 100 points off your credit score. Paying your bills on time is a single best way to start rebuilding your credit rating and raise credit score for you.
I recommend in order to raise your score overall (and it will take longer than a week) to get a copy of your credit report from all three major Agencies and check it over. Are all of your closed accounts actually closed? Are all of your payments reported correctly? Are the accounts all yours? Credit Inform also has a tool where you can propose a scenario and it tells you how that will affect your credit score. IE: Paying everything on time for 6 months, applying for a loan, etc.
You also have to be aware that some Credit Repair places are scams.
??Credit repair schemes are a big problem for consumers,? said Eileen Harrington, Deputy Director of the FTC?s Bureau of Consumer Protection. ? Credit repair promoters generally charge hundreds of dollars, but do not deliver on their claims. The fact is, they cannot. No one can legally remove accurate and timely information from your credit report.
Bad information cannot be removed from a credit report if it is legitimate information. If in the process of trying to raise your score, you encounter anyone who says they can get rid of info on your report that is legit info (IE your 2 late payments) its a SCAM. It is also ILLEGAL.