Common Mistakes that Hurt Credit
Some of the common mistakes consumers make when trying to improve their credit are:
- Closing accounts – this could actually raise your debt to total credit ratio, an unfavorable factor when calculating a credit score.
- Stop using credit cards altogether – this prevents new credit history information from being obtained and could result in the credit card issuer closing the account, thus increasing your debt to credit ratio.
- Debt consolidation – Although debt consolidation offers savings in low interest rates, consolidating credit cards impacts your debt to credit ratio, bill payment history and types of credit in force.
The best approach to debt management is to do it slowly. If you have to close any accounts, do so one at a time over several years.
How to Repair Credit in Greenville, South Carolina
Complete the following to-do list, or subscribe to a credit repair service to have a professional perform the tasks:
- Collect your credit reports from the three major credit reporting agencies.
- Locate errors or disputable points on your reports.
- Collect evidence to argue that the erroneous entries exist.
- Properly dispute the errors in accordance with the credit bureaus’ procedures.
- Improve your debt-to-credit ratio.
Your Credit Score
It’s only a three digit number, but it means so much. A credit score, commonly known as a FICO score, is what creditors and others use when deciding whether to do business with you.
An individual has three credit reports, plus three FICO scores, one from each credit reporting agency. FICO scores change as the data changes in your credit reports.
Most lenders look at a FICO score from one or more consumer credit reporting agencies, as well as their own score from analyzing your credit report, when making lending decisions.
A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850 and is based on the following:
- Bill payment history
- Ratio of debt to total credit amount available
- Credit history
- Types of credit in force
- Credit inquiries made by lenders
A high credit score means better interest rates, favorable lending terms and a greater amount of credit extended.
The law entitles you to one free credit report every 12 months from each of the three credit reporting agencies. There are many free credit report companies on-line, but they are not all safe and secure. Be careful with your social security number especially when entering it online. AnnualCreditReport.com is the only authorized source to get your free credit report under the federal law.
It is the safest free resource for you to receive your free annual credit report. Your individual credit scores are not included with your free credit report however that are available at an additional cost.
You can also reach out to our team, and we can put you in touch with a great lender who can run your credit report for you which will include your credit scores.
Free legal aid and assistance
Several firms provide free legal programs. You can receive everything from consumer/ Bankruptcy, education, employment, help stopping a foreclosure, family law, health, housing, income maintenance/public benefits, elder law, divorces, probate, to assistance with debt collectors, and learn how attorneys can settle debt.
- South Carolina Legal Services – Greenville, SC 888-346-5592
- South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center – (803) 779-1113
- The South Carolina Bar – (800) 868-2284 for Lawyer Referral – The South Carolina Bar sponsors free legal clinics around the state. Most involve a 30-45 minute lecture followed by either a question and answer or five minute one-on-one session with an attorney.
Consumer Credit Counseling
Debt reduction and foreclosure prevention in Greenville, Pickens, Anderson and Oconee Counties
ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (CCCS) has been providing consumers with budget, debt and housing advice for 50 years. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with branches across the country, ClearPoint’s counselors help consumers identify the causes of their individual financial problems and make a plan to address them. This non-profit credit counseling firm offers counseling, debt assistance programs, payment negotiation and alternatives to personal bankruptcy. 864-477-7023