credit history

The Three Steps to Fixing Your Credit

There are a couple of things that you need to know about having less than perfect credit  The first is that there are more people out there whose credit profiles are not nearly as awesome as they’d like them to be—so there is no reason to feel embarrassed about your score or situation. The second is that credit scores change all the time. The credit you have now is not the credit you’ll have next month or next year. This means that you can fix your situation.

Step One: Finding Your Starting Place

The first thing that you need to do is get copies of your credit reports. You are entitled to at least one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

It’s important to understand that accessing your credit reports does not necessarily mean learning your credit score.

Once you have your credit reports, you’ll want to make sure they are absolutely accurate. This means going over every detail and making sure that it is correct. If you see something that is even a little bit off, you need to dispute that detail with the reporting bureau. In addition to raising your credit score, it is important to get a clear and accurate idea of how much work you are going to need to do.

building-creditStep Two: Fixing Bad Credit

Most of the time, the key to fixing bad credit is getting back on track with your bills. Don’t worry about the payments you’ve missed in the past. You can’t do anything about those now. What matters is that you create a positive and steady payment plan for your future. It is also important that you work very hard to reduce your debt to income ratio. Your debt to income ratio is a big factor in your overall credit score. It is what lenders look at when you apply for loans or financing.

The best way to reduce your debt to income ratio is to increase the amount of money you send in to your creditors each month. By now you already know that you need to pay more than the minimum amount due if you ever want to get out of debt. Even $5 more toward that balance is a good thing. A better way to do it though, is to take your minimum amount due, add however much you are charged in interest every month and then tack at least $10 (though 10% is better).

If you have a lot of bills or if you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford to make even your monthly payments each month, don’t panic. Many creditors are willing to work with clients when it comes to things like interest rates and minimum amounts due. They’d rather reduce your interest rate than lose you as a customer. If this process intimidates you (or if you don’t have time to call and haggle with all of your creditors), a credit repair service can reduce the stress of the process. These companies negotiate with creditors on your behalf and help you set up budgets and payment plans that you can afford to keep.

Step Three: Building Good Credit

Don’t wait until you are out of debt to work on building good credit for yourself. You need to work on both simultaneously. Yes, paying down your debt and creating a positive repayment history will accomplish part of this goal. The other part, though, is proving that you can handle credit responsibly. The easiest way to do this is to open a secured line of credit with your bank.

If you are willing to work hard, you can fix your credit. It won’t happen overnight. It might take a few years—but it will happen.

How Important Is Your Rental History

How important is rental history when your trying to get that new apartment you just viewed? Apartment owners and landlords use a variety of different metrics to determine whether or not your rental application will be approved.  Nowadays, your actual credit score may come into play too. But in the end, your history is extremely important and will be used in the evaluation.

Why is your rental history examined with a fine toothed comb? Good rental history is a strong indication of your ability to balance your finances. It also may be an indication of how responsible you are in regards to paying your other bills like your credit cards and utility payments. If you have a positive history of paying your bills on time, and no negative items are currently part of your credit profile, chances are you will earn the lease.

Your Landlords Can Check Your Credit…

In fact its really easy for landlords to check your credit history via the big the credit bureaus. With a few clicks of a button, your entire profile will be immediately available. This can be both a positive and negative aspect.

Its always a great idea to pull your own credit report and see if you have any negative items that have been reported to one of the 3 credit bureaus. They include Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. You can actually check each one free of charge yearly.

Being a First Time Renter…

If you’re a first time renter you might ask how you can be approved for a lease when you’re applying for the first time. There is not much to worry about here. No credit is always better than bad credit. Also, many apartment communities around the nation accept first time renters. And you can also go about getting a co-signer.

The co-signer will usually be a parent or a close family member. Although they will not be a tenant in the community in question, they will be held liable if rent is not paid on time by you.

Pay Your Rent…

Keeping good rental history can go a long way. Making sure you have paid your rent for the entirety of a lease will assist you in renting your next place and even buying a new home. When you apply for your next apartment home, you will feel great knowing that you will have a strong chance to be approved.

If for some reason your complete rental history is not reflected on your credit report, you might want to consider contacting the former landlord on the property. They might be willing to share your rental history with any future communities in which you may apply.

Keep in mind that if you have failed to pay your rent on time, or have any broken leases on your credit report, that you may be fighting an uphill battle. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be accepted. You just have your work cut out for you.

Remember that your good credit will go a long way. Be sure that you do your best to pay all of your bills on time. And if for some reason you have any bad marks, attempt to reconcile them the best you can.

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By Henry H. Hernandez

Henry Hernandez is an entrepreneur and veteran from Texas. Henry works with Houston apartment locator Henry can be found on Google+.

Selecting the Right Debt Settlement Attorney for Debt Settlement

Selecting the Right Debt Settlement Attorney for Debt Settlement

Are you tired of weekly collection calls, little sleep, and a spiraling debt burden that is pushing you further and further behind your ideal life? With the current economy, today is a perfect time to present your creditors with a debt settlement offer. Let go of some unnecessary stress. A debt settlement attorney is specially trained to help you navigate the legal system and settle your unsecured debt for less.

What Is Unsecured Debt?

First off, what kind of debt qualifies for assistance? An unsecured debt is simply a financial obligation where the lender does not hold any collateral. Most credit card debt, department store debt, personal loans, and medical bills are unsecured and can be settled for less than you owe.

Examples of bills that are NOT eligible are mortgages, car loans, student loans, alimony, and tax debt. You may have other options for renegotiating these obligations, but they will not be part of your unsecured debt settlement.

Creditors make their money off interest payments and fees, so as long as you are able to make minimum payments, they will not be interested in settling. When you slip to 90 days or more past due and the risk of bankruptcy increases, most creditors will finally consider a debt settlement agreement.

The Next Steps of Debt Settlement

If you meet these guidelines and qualify for financial relief, your debt settlement attorney will work with you to prepare the best course of action for your situation. Typically, the initial plan involves contacting each creditor and negotiating reduced interest rates, debt forgiveness, or other payment plans. The goal is to eliminate fees, reduce your payment burden by up to 60%, and give you some room to afford regular payments. Your debt settlement attorney will take care of all communications with creditors and collection agencies, help you correct errors on your credit report, and give you the tools to get your credit history back on track. Keep in mind that settling unsecured debt will impact your credit history, but it is often a better route than giving up and declaring bankruptcy.

When you are beyond the help of credit counseling, debt settlement is an excellent solution. The small amount you will pay in attorney fees is well worth chopping your unsecured debt in half and getting your finances back on track. Contact your debt settlement attorney and discuss your options for financial freedom.

About the Author: The author of this article has good experience in the finance field, specializes in the process of settling debts and he has written several articles on Debt Negotiation Attorney for those people who would need financial assistance and debt settlement services.

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