Your car or home, your college or trade school education, even your long dreamed of startup business – most of us would be unable to afford these things without the existence of credit. Unfortunately, a low credit score can severely harm anyone’s ability to get the money they need for such expenditures, not to mention potentially damage your reputation to prospective employers and landlords, many of whom will ask for access to your credit score before placing their trust in you.
If you have a low credit score, you can raise it. I’s not going to be easy – but it can be done. Here are five steps from J.G. Wentworth that can help lead to a higher credit score and a healthier financial life:
1) Access your current credit score
The first step towards a healthier credit rating is to find out your current score. There are three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each has created a record of your credit history, and must by law show it to you upon your request. To access your credit score, you can reach out to these companies directly, or go to AnnualCreditReport.com.
2) Carefully review your credit history to make sure it has been reported accurately
Credit reporting agencies record literally billions of financial transactions, and with those kinds of numbers, it’s no surprise that mistakes are made. Carefully review your credit report to see if the information within it is accurate, and/or has exceeded the allowable time (seven or ten years) after which certain financial details on the report be deleted.
3) Clear up any of the incorrectly recorded information
If you find a mistake, the credit reporting agency must fix it at no cost to you. If there are any disputes with specific items on the report, the reporting agency may reach out to the business that is responsible for that item on the report, or you may want to reach out to the business or company directly.
4) Clean up the correctly recorded information
Have some outstanding debt with a company or business that is severely damaging your credit rating? Consider contacting them directly with a very simple question: what would you need to do for them to clear away that item on the report? To give just one example, there may be a way for you to pay down the debt, or even a portion of the debt, over time in exchange for them clearing your record. As long as you get their assurances in writing, this step is potentially a great way to eliminate negative marks on credit score.
5) Don’t just fix the mistakes of the past – take positive steps towards the future
Last, but certainly not least, are the positive steps you can take that will help your credit score rise. These include making payments on time, lowering your credit card balances (though you should not necessarily close out accounts), avoiding cash advances, and not applying for new credit, to name just a few strategies.
The bottom line? – You can fix past mistakes, build new credit habits, and raise your score. As the nationwide leader in purchasing structured settlement and annuity payments for cash, we’ve seen folks all around the country truly transform their financial lives, and there’s no reason you can’t be one of them. We urge you to get started today! And if you have a pressing debt that needs immediate attention, and are currently receiving, or scheduled to receive money from a structured settlement or annuity, please know that you can also reach out to J.G. Wentworth today to talk about how you can get cash now in exchange for these future payments. For a free quote and a no-obligation discussion of your specific financial situation, call us today at 877-227-4713.
Please note that nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.