This part of your credit score will look at how much debt you have. Your credit report uses your statement balance. So, even if you pay your credit card statement in full every month (never pay any interest), it would still show as debt on your credit report, because it uses your statement balance. This part of your score will look at a few elements:
The best way to handle these types of information lines on your credit report is to dispute them but you have to remember that if that isn't done correctly, it is like kicking a hornets nest. Just calling them and saying, "hey, I dispute this." is NOT good enough, regardless of what ANYONE says. It has to be done with a certified, return receipt letter that has been properly worded to prevent the sleezy little buggers from using a loophole. You can find a lot of information out there about how to do this on sites from people like Dave Ramsey or with self help books like Weathering Debt (either one works, but I prefer Weathering Debt, it was much more concise and to the point) but whatever you do, DON'T try to wing it and don't pay someone to do something you can do yourself with ease and for free. Besides, you need to know how to stop the problem from happening again, right?
Call your credit card companies and request a raise to your credit limits. Ask if they can raise your credit limit with a soft pull of your credit, since a hard inquiry will appear under the “New Credit” category of your FICO score. If you can negotiate an increase of your credit limit with a soft inquiry, then you will instantly decrease your revolving balance ratio (revolving balance divided by your credit card limits).
While multiple hard inquiries can increase score drops, particularly for those who are new to credit, credit-scoring agencies recognize the importance of rate shopping. As a result, multiple inquiries for student loans that occur with a 14- to 45-day window (depending on the type of credit score) only count as a single inquiry when your score is being calculated.
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It’s a good idea to set up a payment plan for an amount that is within your monthly budget. You should have a plan to submit to creditors before calling; do not call before you have a proposal. Assuming the agency agrees, you will soon receive paperwork finalizing the deal. Make sure that you pick an amount that you can pay each and every month, or the creditor may sue you or garnish wages.
If the dispute is denied because the lender believes the information they provided is accurate, you can place a statement of dispute on your credit report. This won’t change your score but it will give you the opportunity to let future lenders know that inaccuracies exist and to consider these when determining to offer you credit. These statements of dispute remain on your credit report for two years.
The Citi® Secured Mastercard® requires a $200 security deposit, which is typical of secured cards and a good amount to establish your credit line. You can deposit more money if you want to receive a higher credit line, but if you don’t have a lot of money available to deposit, coming up with $200 is manageable. This card doesn’t have any additional card benefits like rewards or insurances, but you can access Citi’s Credit Knowledge Center for financial management tips.
The most important thing to keep in mind about credit repair software programs is that they can’t do anything for you that you can’t do yourself. Pulling your credit reports, writing dispute letters and following up on your requests may be time-consuming but it won’t cost you a dime. Indeed, in exchange for your time, you’ll be paid in valuable knowledge about how the credit process works. In the end, a credit repair company can’t promise results that are superior to what you can achieve for yourself.
Once you’ve filled out the form and requested reports from all three bureaus, you’ll fill out some security questions and be directed into your report, one agency at a time. If the security questions trip you up, the website will lock you out of your report, but it will offer a phone number that you can call to get your credit report via mail. If you get locked out, request the report via mail.
Your credit score won’t be affected by placing your loans into deferment, forbearance or using a hardship option, as long as you make at least the required monthly payment on time. But interest may still accrue on your loans if you’re not making payments, and the accumulated interest could be added to your loan principal once you resume your full monthly payments.