It’s no secret that your credit report is very important to your credit score. When your credit score gets calculated it looks at your report for your payment history which is about 35% of your overall credit score.
The other big thing your credit report shows is your available credit to debt or utilization ratio. This is fancy terminology for how much debt you have and how much available credit or money you can borrow.
The reason this is looked at is because if you have a lot of debt and are unable to borrow any money; for example your credit card is maxed out, then your score will suffer because it doesn’t appear you are in a secure financial position. If however you have available credit on your credit card or other money that you could borrow but aren’t using then it will appear that you are in a secure financial position.
The experts say you should try to keep your monthly credit card balance at roughly 30% of your credit limit. For example if you have a credit limit of $ 1000 then you want to keep a monthly balance of about $ 300.
The Difference Between A Good Score And A Bad Score
While we don’t deny that paying your monthly bills on time and making sure you have available credit does improve your credit score, there is one essential key that is missing. Unfortunately no matter how many positive items you have on your credit report the negative information will far outweigh it. You will have to remove bad credit to ever really fix your credit score.
If you have a charge off, collection, judgment, repossession, foreclosure… on your credit report their is no way you will ever get a good credit score. The reality is having a listing of this nature on your credit report even if it is 6 years old will still dictate to lenders and creditors that you are not credit worthy. The fact is you must have a clean credit report to ever get a good credit score.
With bad credit items on your report the only way you’ll be approved for new lines of credit is by paying high interest rates, large down payments, or with the help of cosigners. More likely yet is that you will be denied for credit lines especially after the financial crisis in our economy. A result of it is many lending institutions have created much more demanding approval requirements of applicants.
How To Remove Bad Credit From Your Report
Contrary to popular belief you don’t just have to live with a bad credit score for 7 long years. Instead you can file a dispute with the credit bureaus and potentially have any item on your credit report erased. You are given this right under a federal law called the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
To file a dispute you must write a dispute letter in which you include your name, personal information, the item you are disputing, and the reason for your dispute. There are any number of reasons to dispute an item such as: not my account, account is paid, the dates are wrong, the debt is older than 7 years….
You can also hire a credit repair firm to perform the dispute process on your behalf. Typically the credit bureaus are going to make you jump through a few hoops before they investigate your dispute and potentially remove your bad credit. Experts estimate that over 70% of all credit bureau dispute investigations result in the removal of an item from your credit report.