Figure out the extent of the damage. Get copies of your credit report from all three bureaus, and collect all the bills and collection notices you’ve been receiving. Figure out which of your bills are reporting to the credit bureaus as past due, and add up the amount each of those creditors is asking for. You need to know what the total amount of your debt burden is before you can start planning how to pay it off. If you have any bills that are past due but for some reason isn’t reporting to the credit bureaus, mark them as a lower priority. You’ll still need to pay them, of course, but if your focus is on improving your credit score, pay off the ones with an affect on that first.
Make a plan for how you will fix your credit. Learn everything you can about credit repair and debit relief. Figure out the amount of your monthly payments to get bills back to current, and then work out where you can find that money in your monthly budget. A written plan will make it easier for you to stay on track. You can also write your goals for your improved credit score, such as getting a mortgage on a house. This way, you’ll have the reason for paying your bills right in front of you when it’s time to give the creditors all your money.
Determine if a credit repair or consolidation company will be able to help you. There’s nothing those companies can do for you that you as a consumer can’t do. However, the employees of those companies are more experienced in dealing with collectors and creditors. They may be able to negotiate payoff amounts or consolidation packages that you weren’t able to persuade the creditors to give to you. If you’ve already exhausted every consolidation and payoff avenue, though, the credit repair or credit consolidation companies won’t be able to do much for you. Look at your situation and your options and decide for yourself if their services can help you. Additionally, remain vigilant for scams and research any company before you give them any money.
Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Repairing a damaged credit score can take a long time and a lot of work. You’ll probably have to make some changes in your life, to stop the behaviors that got you into this credit problem in the first place. But in the end, it will all be worth it. Focus on what your life could be like once you get your finances and your credit straightened out, and keep a good attitude about paying off your debt.
Your poor credit score could have a serious negative impact on your life. Don’t let these problems continue to multiply; start making positive changes today. Use this information to get started on fixing your credit score.