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Credit Repair - Understanding The Basics
What is Credit?
Credit means that you are using someone else's money topay for things. It also means that you are making a promiseto repay the money to the person or company that loaned youthe money.
Whenever a person applies for a loan, mortgage, a creditcard or for any other purpose for which he needs to borrowfunds from a lending agency, the agency will check thefinancial credit-worthiness of the person and based uponits assessment of the financial risk involved in the deal,the agency will decide upon the terms and conditions ofgranting credit. A positive assessment necessitates a soundfinancial background and a credit history with no badremarks.
What is Credit Repair?
'Credit repair' is a process in which consumers withunfavorable credit histories attempt to re-establish theircredit-worthiness. The process usually involves procuring acredit report from the rating agencies and then takingappropriate steps to address any apparent issues such aserrors, omissions, misinformation, misreporting ormisinterpretation. A consumer can then formally disputethose errors or issues which unjustly distort their financialhealthiness and credit-worthiness. Various laws andregulations designed to ensure legal and fair undertakingof the credit repair process can then be utilized toformally and legally start the credit repair process.
Consumers are entitled to a copy of their credit reportlegally, if they have been denied a credit card or loan andif the information provided on the report is inaccurate, aninvestigation relating to true facts is necessary for acredit repair.
Why Repair Credit?
A consumer's credit record significantly influences hisfuture purchasing power and his eligibility of availing anycredit facilities in the future. A good rating, or score,can insure a low interest rate and loans for longer termfor various purposes like credit card balances, car or homeloans. A poor rating makes a consumer vulnerable to financecompanies charging exorbitant interest rates and imposingvarious unnecessary repayment and loan terms. Consideringthe stakes and the consequences involved, it is absolutelyimperative for consumers to understand the importance ofrepairing their bad or low credit ratings.
The Safe and Legitimate Way to Repair Credit
Credit repair can only be achieved through financialdiscipline and hard work. Any easy way out of a poor credithistory is undoubtedly tempting, but it may lead to furtherfinancial difficulties in the future.
If a poor credit history is due to circumstances beyond aconsumer's control, and they are able to somewhat make amendsto their credit records after that time, then a creditor canbe requested to upgrade credit rating because of a sense ofcustomer loyalty.
Most creditors don't trust the customers defaulting ontheir debts, so it may be very difficult to obtain newcredit. But once a person is able to demonstrate continuingincome stability and prompt payment patterns, his situationcan improve in a period of two to three years. This way,even in the case of bankruptcy, a consumer is likely to beoffered charge and credit cards within a year or two ifmaintaining a steady income.
What is most important is evaluating the financialsituation. If one finds that they are unable to make at leastthe minimum payment on outstanding accounts, a contactshould be made with the creditors. Many creditors willappreciate the willingness to pay and are most likely tohelp set up plans for repayment. Avoid making promiseswhich cannot be kept as a small payment is preferable to alarge payment that never arrives. Sometimes a small contactcan be enough to reduce payments and forestall more severemeasures.
The next step is consulting a credit counseling agency.These organizations are staffed with trained individualsexperienced in the credit field. A distinction needs to bemade between these and the commercial "credit repair"companies who claim that, for a fee, they will undertakecredit repair.
No one can legally remove accurate and timely negativeinformation from a credit report. But the law does allowone to request a reinvestigation of information in their filethat may be inaccurate or incomplete. There is no chargefor this. Everything a credit repair clinic will do can bedone by a consumer themselves at little or no cost.
The most important factor in credit repair is recognizingthe legitimate and viable options available, recognizingwhat the scams are, and differentiating between the two. Apoor credit history can make it difficult to obtainadditional lines of credit making consumers fall prey tomany unethical programs that target consumers with less-than-perfect credit. There are no quick fixes in creditrepair. Common sense tells you that a third party doesn'tknow your credit history better than you. Throughcontacting credit bureaus, making your own corrections,consolidating your debts and budgeting, you can improveyour own score. You don't need to pay someone to fix it foryou. It's better to apply that money towards dischargingyour debt.
Understanding the basics of credit repair and knowing what exactly is needed in order to rebuild your credit history goes a long way to getting it resolved. However, you must be disciplined, find the right credit repair solution for you and not be tempted to fall back into debt.
Claire Bowes is a successful freelance writer and owner of http://www.uk-secured-loans-centre.co.uk where you will find further advice and information on all aspects of secured loans for debt consolidation, car loans and home improvement loans.
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