How to change my bad credit history is often a question on consumer's minds. If you're like many consumers and have experienced financial hardships in the past, you have likely fallen behind on your debts. Although late and missed payments can have a negative effect on your credit history, fortunately, you can do something about it. You can take measures, to change your bad credit history yourself .
Understand your credit report. Consumers generally have a file, also referred to as a credit report. Your file contains personal information about yourself, such as your physical address and your Social Security number. Your file also reflects any outstanding balances, late or missed payments, as well as any bankruptcies or arrests. Creditors and landlords analyze the information in your file to determine your creditworthiness. A bad credit history can affect your ability to qualify for a lease or obtain credit. Even if a creditor gives you a loan, a bad credit history generally means higher interest rates.
Analyze your credit report. Order a copy of your credit report. You do not need to contact each of the three major credit bureaus, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax, anymore. You can submit your request online from AnnualCreditReport.com. Review the copy of your credit report and identify any inaccuracies.
Report inaccuracies. Write a letter to the credit reporting company and point out any inaccuracies. Make copies of any supporting documents and include the copies with your letter. Make sure to include the following in your letter: Social Security number, complete address and complete name. Make a copy of the credit report and highlight the disputed item or items. Include the credit report copy and supporting documents with your letter. Your bad credit history will improve once the inaccuracies are deleted or corrected.
Take care of unpaid debts. If you have unpaid or discharged accounts, they generally drop off your report after seven years. However, if you need to secure a loan in the meantime, you will need take care of the debt. Even if you don't need to secure a loan, you might decide to pay off or settle any unpaid debts to avoid collection calls and possible legal action against you.
If your debt is old, your creditor will likely agree to settle for pennies on the dollar. Contact the creditor and make a settlement offer. Once you reach an agreement, ask for the terms in writing. Make sure that your creditor agrees to report the settled or paid debt to the credit bureaus. Mail in your settlement check only after you receive a written agreement from the creditor. Wait about 60 days, and check your credit report to make sure that it was updated. As you settle or pay off old debts, your debt-to-income ratio will improve and change your bad credit history. Hence, your creditworthiness will also improve.
Avoid late payments and change your bad credit history. Once you take care old debts and inaccuracies, it's important that you pay your bills on time going forward. Although any bankruptcies in your credit history can remain on your report up to 10 years and negative information for about seven years, your credit score will likely improve as you continue to pay your bills on time.
Change your bad credit history. If your bad credit is the result of insufficient credit, request that credit reporting agencies add gas card accounts, as well as accounts from credit unions and local retailers to your file. Such accounts are often not included in your credit report unless you request it.
In summary, it's possible to change a bad credit history without hiring the services of a third-party agency. If you correct any inaccuracies on your report, pay off or settle old debts and pay your bills on time, your credit history will likely improve. Although most negative information remains on your credit report for about seven years, creditors often look back two years when determining your credit worthiness. Thus, if you take measures to avoid late payments, you will likely change your bad credit history.
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