Your credit score is an important part of your financial health. Many have poor scores that are completely justified, and others have issues with their credit scores that are not valid. Sometimes we have bad scores because we hit rough times and could not pay our bills on time, if at all. Job loss, income drops, unexpected expenses, and a myriad of other issues can affect your income and put your credit score at risk, but there are ways you can remedy these things and repair your score.
You can take some outside actions to raise your score, such as paying back secured loans, getting secured credit cards, paying balances immediately, and working hard to pay all reported bills on time. However, there are some things you can do to remedy those credit issues that are on your report and will remain there until you deal with them or wait seven years.
It is not suggested that you wait seven years for a credit issue to drop off your credit score for a few reasons. One of the main reasons is that whoever holds the credit issue has a longer statute of limitations to bring a lawsuit against you to collect beyond those seven years. If you plan on taking this route, do not contact the debt holder because this contact will reset the lawsuit clock. Therefore, since it is suggested that you somehow deal with any collections that are on your credit, here are three options you can take to repair your credit score immediately.
Option 1: Dispute the collection
Disputing collections and other issues on your credit report is the most popular option of the three that will be discussed. A common misconception is that you can only dispute things on your credit report that you don’t recognize. However, most debt collectors only hold the debt for six months in hot pursuit of payment, and in some cases, if you dispute them since they are no longer being pursued, you can successfully dispute them for removal.
This option is the most popular because it costs you nothing to get the collection removed from your credit report. However, it is not easy to get issues removed, and you have to follow up. Also, while it will raise your score, it is not the highest score raising option.
Option 2: Negotiate your debt down
Many people don’t realize that debt collectors have bought your debt for pennies on the dollar. If you decide not to pay it at all, while they can bring a lawsuit to collect the amount, most of the time, the debt amount is not enough to merit the costs of trying to take you to court. However, if you want to immediately repair your credit, you need to have the collection removed before the seven-year mark.
Since the debt collector has paid so little to purchase your debt, and their goal is to get something for that debt to make a profit, most will negotiate for a lower payoff amount. If you are unable to get the debt removed, this would be the next suggestion. However, keep in mind if you plan on not paying the debt at all, do not make contact with the debt collector as it resets the statute of limitations for them to bring a lawsuit against you for collection.
While this option is the next best thing to having the debt completely removed, it also gives you the lowest credit score boost of the three options.
Option 3: Pay your debt in full
Of the three options to deal with your credit report collections, paying your debt in full is the most expensive. It would be the most financially advantageous to have the debt removed or have the debt amount lowered. However, paying your debt in full raises your credit score the most and can help you repair your score more quickly. Therefore, if you can’t get the debt removed, if you have the funds, it is recommended that you pay it in full if your sole goal is to repair your credit.
What are the credit score ranges?
- 300 – 600 Poor
- 601 – 700 Fair
- 701 – 750 Good
- 751 – 800 Very Good
- 800 – 850 Excellent