A good credit score is extremely important in your everyday life. It determines whether you are approved for a loan, whether a landlord will let you lease his/her property, your spending limit for a credit card, and more. If your score is damaged, follow these tips to repair your credit and get back on the right track. While you may be scared you will fall back into the credit card trap, avoiding the use of credit cards entirely does little to boost your credit score. Use each card for at least one purchase every month to keep the account active and reporting on your credit report. Carrying even a small balance and paying it off the next month may cost you a bit of interest, but is well worth showing your potential creditors that you make timely payments.

When trying to get your credit back in order you may deal with some not-so-friendly bill collectors. Be prepared to use the same tactics with them that they will use with you. Purchase a cheap recording device and ask the collector if you have their permission to record the conversation for reference. Even the nastiest collectors will soften and change their tune if they know their words may come back to haunt them. While having good negotiation skills is helpful when dealing with creditors, more importantly, practice your tone of voice and cadence when speaking. Avoid stammering or stuttering and keep your tone serious. No matter how rude or upsetting a bill collector or creditor may be on the phone, it is imperative that you stay strong and not allow them to hear any nervousness or upset in your voice.

A store credit card with a small limit may be your best start to credit repair as long as you don’t forget to regularly ask for credit reviews and credit limit increases. Most credit issuers will look over your account on a yearly basis and grant increases then, but if you need to up your credit score fast, call and ask for an increase. While most credit issuers won’t welcome calls on a weekly basis, calls on a monthly basis can speed things up. Every credit and loan application you submit causes an inquiry to show up on your credit report. Too many inquiries on your report will cause you to be deemed a credit risk because it looks like you are desperate for cash. Avoid applying for any loans or credit cards until you know exactly what the creditor needs to see to grant you a card or loan. Don’t be shy, most will be completely upfront with you if you ask.

When calling creditors to make payment arrangements to settle debts, know what your ideal arrangement would be before picking up the phone. Be prepared with several options to show the creditor you are willing to compromise and underestimate how much you can commit to pay monthly in every case. When dealing with multiple creditors, that underestimation may be needed to apply to payments for less flexible creditors. Credit repair can be a completely embarrassing and demoralizing situation. To deal with your credit repair as painlessly as possible, look for a local debt support group. Besides the fellowship, and being able to commiserate with others in the same situation, use meetings to trade tips and information about credit department employees who were great to work with or beasts that couldn’t be beaten, what numbers to call to get results and information about creditors willing to give second chances. As stated in the beginning of the article, your credit score is crucial. If your credit score is damaged, you have already taken the right step by reading this article. Now, use the advice you have learned to get your credit back to where it was (or even improve it!)

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