Raising your credit score can be a fairly simple and straightforward process unless you have derogatory marks that need to be disputed (which will be explained below).
The reasons for bad credit can be as follows, high balances, bankruptcies, late payments, and many others. The most significant thing you can do to raise your score is to change your financial habits. Chances are that if you have a bad credit score, you did something to make it that way. Here are some of the best ways to quickly raise your credit score:
1. The most obvious: pay off your debt! This doesn't include a home mortgage, but revolving balances such as credit card debt, a car loan, etc.
2. Make every payment on time. This is the most important factor in your credit score rating. If you have had late payments in the past, it will take some time to see real results from your on-time payments, but keep it up, sooner or later the credit bureau will notice the change in your payment habits. Develop the mentality that no late payment is acceptable!
3. If possible, pay over your minimum amount. This is especially important with credit card balances, and will reflect a slight boost in your score.
4. If you have paid off all your debt, and your credit score seems to be at a stand still, you might want to make small purchases each month with your credit card and pay them off immediately. Often times the credit bureaus like to see at least some kind of activity. Otherwise, they have no way to gauge how you are doing financially.
5. Be patient! Sometimes repairing credit can be a long and arduous process. Especially if you have had a bankruptcy. It can often take the better part of a year or more to see any significant raises in your score.
Clearing a derogatory mark on your credit report:
This is probably the most difficult in regards to credit repair. If you have requested a copy of your credit report, and notice a problem (an example would be a late payment mark), that shouldn't be there, you need to take action to get the derogatory mark cleared as soon as possible. It is extremely important to get your credit score cleared before you attempt to get prequalified for mortgage.
Here are the steps you should take:
First of all, if you are in contact with a loan officer, you may want to describe the problem you are having to them. They can be very helpful when it comes to credit repair, and should know exactly what to do if you have a bad mark on your credit that is a mistake. In some cases, they may even call the creditor for you to address the situation.
Second, you should call your creditor and each credit bureau to find out which course of action you should take. In most cases, writing a letter will do. Here is an example letter:
Dear Big Credit Bureau,
This letter is a complaint that you are reporting inaccurate and / or incomplete credit information on my credit report.
I am displeased that you have included the below information in my credit profile that includes the following errors. Credit reporting laws ensure that bureaus report 100% accurate credit information.
The following information regarding my credit report needs to be re-investigated. I respectfully request to be provided proof of this alleged item on my credit report. If this cannot be provided, the item must be deleted from my report as soon as possible:
CREDITOR AGENCY, acct. 123-34567-ABC
The listed item is inaccurate and / or incomplete, and is a serious error in reporting. Please delete this information, and supply a corrected credit profile to all creditors who have received a copy within the last 6 months, or the last 2 years for employment purposes. Also, please provide the name, address, and telephone number of each credit grantor or other subscriber.
Under federal law, you have 30 days to complete your re- investigation. Be advised that the description of the procedure used to determine the accuracy and completeness of the information is hereby requested as well, to be provided within 15 days of the completion of your re-investigation.
SSN # 123-45-6789
Unfortunately, you will need to write 3 separate letters to each of the 3 major credit bureaus. Here are the contact addresses for each:
PO Box 1000
Chester, PA 19022
PO Box 740241
Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
PO Box 2104
Allen, TX 75013-2104