How I Did It: Improving My Own Credit Rating

This article is about my experience improving my own credit rating. It is not a fuzzy scheme to do it or a dubious obscure procedure. It is just the description of what I have done.
I have done a couple of things to improve my credit score. Of course, there are plenty of more tips to repair damaged credit scores. I do not mean that they will work for any case, but they worked for me.

First, credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian or TransUnion (to name the larger three) are required by law to disclose consumers at least one free report of their credit rating every year. I started here and got these three free reports. These reports will build the basis of the credit repair endeavor.

Of course, you will see all that companies that sell credit reports. They just bet that you don’t know that these reports are free of charge and build their business upon the ignorance of some people. They will also try to sell you some sort of tips for improving your credit score. Beware of these tips. Some of them are not legal and most of them can be done by yourself.

With my credit reports on hand, I highlighted all information that was incorrect. Some of this information on my report was just not up-to-date anymore. One point was utterly wrong. I disputed all the wrong points. I sent letter (on paper) and got one reply within 10 days. The last credit bureau replied within 20 days. There are standard letters on the internet for this purpose. Had I not get an answer within 30 days, I would have sent a follow-up letter. At the end, I would have consulted with a lawyer who specializes in credit ratings. However, these harsh measures were not necessary. They accepted my rationale of why these points were wrong.

Getting these reports was also useful to understand better what kind of information is being collected. Although credit bureaus have a legit right to gather information, I didn’t know that this right was so broad.

If you don’t believe that some point is wrong, also don’t complain about it. Credit bureaus can put your name in a segregated file, as ‘people who make problems’. I don’t know if this is just an urban legend or if this file really exists. However, your chances of getting some point changed, if it is right, are probably quite low.

I went through the whole process because I am in need of refinancing my current property. A bad credit score will not only affect your chances of getting credit, but also your chances of getting credit at a reasonable rate. Personally I plan to review my file once every year.

Of course, the best advice for having a high credit rating is to pay the bills on time and don’t spend more than you can afford.

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