So how do I start to fix my credit?

Here is the process!

  1. Order your free credit report from www.annualcreditreport.com . This is the only site where you truly get a free credit report that isn’t a come-on for an unnecessary credit monitoring service. In addition, order your credit score from www.myfico.com. You will have to pay to obtain your credit score. Ignore any offers to monitor your credit score from any place other than at myfico because FICO is the only company that provides credit scores to lenders.

  2. Go through all three credit reports carefully and take your time. Dispute any late payments on any debt that you have paid off, on any debt where the late payment was more than a year ago. Dispute any credit inquiries that impact your credit rating. Dispute any collection account that has been paid off more than a year ago. Dispute any untrue negative information. Follow up on your disputes.

  3. Pay down your small balance credit accounts, but keep the accounts open, using them occasionally to make small purchases.

  4. Work towards paying off your large balance credit accounts. Always pay more than the minimum payment, even if you can only afford an extra $5 to $10 more a month.

  5. When you use credit, never use up more than 1/3 of the credit limit available to you. In the future, never charge more than you can afford to pay off in 3 months.

  6. Always pay your bills early. Pay through the creditor’s online site if at all possible. If you are trying to repair your credit, you cannot afford to have any payments be reported as late. It does NOT matter if it is not your fault, whether your check got lost in the mail, or whether the dog ate your homework! Don’t pay any debt late if it is being reported to the credit bureaus!

  7. Check your credit score after 6 months to see how your hard work has paid off. Without working to repair and rebuild your credit, don’t expect there to be any changes to your credit score.

  8. Don’t be afraid to say "no" to an offer of credit. Just because you receive an offer of a credit account doesn’t mean you should accept it. Say "no" to come-on offers that sound too good to be true or for things you don’t really need. An old bankruptcy attorney once told me that "all my bankruptcy clients drive new vehicles." If having good credit is important to you, you may have to settle for driving an older vehicle and not a brand new gas guzzling SUV.

  9. Credit repair is a process that takes time and effort. A promise to quickly increase your credit score is a promise that is "pie in the sky." Don’t fall for a scam like this.