The only one who can fix your credit is you, and this process can only happen over time as you take steps to improve your credit on your own. First, contact your creditors when you realize you are unable to make your payments. If you need help preparing a budget and working out a payment plan, contact your local credit counseling service.
To locate a credit counseling service near you, go to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling web site or call 800-388-2227. Next, check your credit report. About one out of every four credit reports contains errors. You may dispute, at no charge, any items you believe are inaccurate. Each credit bureau usually has its own method for filing a dispute, so contact them for more information. You should collect copies of any supporting documentation and send these with the form you submit.
The credit bureau will investigate your dispute and delete or correct any information found to be inaccurate. You may request that a copy of your corrected credit report be sent to everyone who has requested your credit within the past six months. If the dispute remains, you can file a written explanation that will be sent with your credit report whenever it is requested.
You can also file a written explanation if there was a good reason that you could not pay your bills on time, such as unemployment or sudden illness. Most negative information will only appear on your credit report for seven years. However, there are a few exceptions: Bankruptcy information can be reported for ten years. Information about a lawsuit or judgment against you can be reported for seven years or until the statute of limitations runs out, whichever is longer. Information reported because of an application for a job with a salary of more than $75,000 has no time limit.
Information reported because of an application for more than $150,000 worth of credit or life insurance has no time limit. Continue to pay your bills promptly, and apply for credit only when absolutely necessary. With your hard work, your credit will improve over time. You just have to be diligent and set your mind to the task at hand.
Yes, it will take time. You have to persevere and get yourself out of the mess you created.
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