Q:

How do you repair your credit?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Federal Trade Commission, people can repair their credit by fixing credit errors, exercising patience and discipline, repaying debt, and avoiding credit repair scams. However, the FTC adds that legitimate credit counseling is an option for people who have trouble sticking to budgets and debt payment plans.

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Full Answer

To identify legitimate credit counseling organizations, the FTC recommends looking for non-profit programs through local universities, credit unions, housing programs and military bases. Banks, friends and family and consumer agencies are also good ways to find referrals. The FTC recommends ignoring ads that claim to erase 100 percent of bad credit and to remove bankruptcies from credit records; these are probably scams.

The FTC suggests getting free annual credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. These reports should be examined for errors. The relevant bureau should be contacted in writing with details of any mistakes.

FICO recommends paying bills on time, because payment history is 35 percent of a credit score. Setting up automatic payments and payment reminders can help. Contacting creditors and working out a debt repayment plan may also be possible. FICO also says that paying down debt, which comprises 30 percent of a credit score, helps with credit repair.

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