If your credit score is too low don’t despair because you can improve credit with just a few techniques. How long it takes to improve your credit score really does depend on your personal situation.
The first thing you should do is request your credit report from all three of the major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. The law says you are entitled to one free credit report annually, so take advantage of it.
Go over it with a fine tooth comb and any information that is not correct needs to be filed as a dispute. Many people don’t realize that the major credit bureaus, who generate your credit score, do nothing to verify the information provided to them is accurate, so it’s up to you. Be patient since can take time because everything must be verified.
If you have debts in collection send off a letter offering a settlement amount. If they agree they’ll send you back a legal document that you will want to read carefully. Watch for wording and what it is they are going to do for you once your debt is paid in full according to the agreement.
The wording of the note sent through to the credit reporting agencies is very important as it can actually have the opposite affect causing your FICO score to go down instead of up.
For example, let’s say the terms of the agreement will let the credit bureau no it’s now paid in full. You don’t actually want that since it still shows that you were delinquent before it was paid in full. Instead what you want is for the creditor to remove it completely from your credit record.
Just that simple negotiation can increase your FICO score 40 to 100 points depending on the number of collections on your credit report and how many you are able to have deleted.
If you have already paid the account and didn’t know this, then dispute it with the collection agency. There are some excellent products on the market that can show you how to properly dispute an account that’s been paid in full. You can also learn the correct way to negotiate the deletion of the account from the credit reporting agencies in exchange for a settlement payment.
It is also important that you know how to protect yourself. Collection agencies are not to be trusted. Many of them are underhanded, sneaky, and slimy. Anything agreement you enter into relating to collections should begin with a letter signed, sealed, and delivered from the other party in the transaction.
How long it takes to improve your credit score depends largely on how actively you are attempting to improve your score. It also depends on what the cause was of your bad credit report. There are dozens of things that can affect how long it takes to improve your credit score. Relying on one of the many programs for guidance is a super idea!
You can improve credit scores in as little as a year. Nothing will change unless you get started. Focus on the things that will have the greatest impact. You might even invest in one of the products that can show in a step-by-step guide to improving your credit score.