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Chris Has Bad Credit. I Show Him How to Easily Get Good Credit.

“Dear Steve,

I’m 35, new dad, have a terrible credit score(in the 400s), want to improve my score for a better quality of life, and most of my debts are 8 years and older.

I want to find specific information on how to remove old debts from my credit report. (ex. To whom do I write my letters? What should my letters say? What exactly should I do, step by step?)

Most of my debts are over 7 years old and include cell phone bills, appliance store credit, medical bills etc. . Thank you in advance for your help. I look forward to improving my life, with your help.

Chris”

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The Answer

 

Dear Chris,

Thanks for writing me for help. And if you follow what I’m about to tell you this nightmare will be over soon and you can put this period of financial mess behind you. In fact after my own bankruptcy this is the process I used and it worked perfectly to rebuild my credit quickly.

Step 1 – Get a Copy of Your Consolidated Credit Report

Get a copy of your consolidated credit report. It is the type of report that includes all the major three credit reports in one report. I only use a consolidated credit report to check my credit and the link will take you to the credit report I use.

Your credit report is like a report card of sorts. You need to look it over and make sure that all the accounts listed on your credit report are yours. If they were not, you need to write to the credit bureaus that are reporting them and tell them they are not your and ask to have them removed. It’s like you looked at your school report card and it listed classes you did not take. They should not be there.

If the rest of the accounts belonged to you but you had a bad track record with them, that information stays on the report just as if you got a D in a class you took. Just because you got a bad grade does not mean the class is removed from a report card.

After seven years the bad credit items will no longer be reported on your credit report. When you look at your consolidated credit report if any of them list negative information longer than the seven year period, then when you write to the credit bureaus to point out any incorrect information, you can tell them about the old items.

Generally the credit bureaus are good about automatically removing the old items.

While you are at it, look for any delinquent accounts that may be younger than seven years old. If you have any, pay them off. The contact information for the creditor will be on your credit report.

Step 2 – Boosting Your Credit Score With Good Credit Using a Secured Card

Using the report card analogy, if you wanted to bring up your GPA you would need to earn some better grades to do it. It is the same with your credit report. If you want to bring your score up you need to start having new and good credit reported about you.

The best way to do this is to get and use a secured credit card. In fact get two different ones. I put together a section of the site that lists reviews for secured cards. Look at the secured cards here.

The advantage of getting a secured card is that you will get the credit card and not get a rejection on your credit report that will further hurt your credit. A rejection can be easily spotted by looking at the inquiry section of your credit report and seeing there is not a corresponding card opened. And with your current bad credit, if you applied for an unsecured card, you would get rejected.

The reason you will get the secured credit card on the first attempt is because you need to put up a deposit with the bank that is equal to your credit limit. The deposit will earn you interest and in the unfortunate event you were unable to pay your card and defaulted, the bank would use your deposit to pay the debt.

When looking for a secured card you want one that will report to all three credit bureaus. This is key. We need your new good payment history reported.

Now when I say use the card, you do not need to carry a balance from month to month. Just use the card for regular purchases and pay the card off either immediately or at the end of the month.

Also, if you get a secured card with a $300 limit, never have more than 35% of the limit on the card. Even though your initial limits may be low, you don’t want to max them out. You can always increase your limits by increasing your deposits. You can increase your credit limit by increasing your deposit with the card company.

I suggest getting more than one card so you can get as much good juice flowing to your credit report without having too many credit cards open. You could actually go with three if you wanted to, but no more than that.

Step 3 – Enjoy Your New Legally Rebuilt Credit

If you follow these steps now in a year you’ll feel better about yourself and you’ll have substantially better credit. If you don’t want to follow these simple steps, Chris, do it for your child.

To keep your score growing just make all your future payments on time and avoid defaulting again.

Many people who have lived through a period of bad credit are often credit shy, me included. For them, credit equals pain. So what they do is avoid getting any new credit. But this only prevents them from bringing up their grade point average.

Please update me on your progress by posting updates here in the comments section of your question. I’m very interested in how this works out for you.

Big Hug!

Chris Has Bad Credit. I Show Him How to Easily Get Good Credit.
Get Out of Debt Guy – Twitter, G+, Facebook

P.S. Be sure to read ‘The Secret of Surviving Through Difficult Economic Times. What I Learned On My Journey‘.

If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

Chris Has Bad Credit. I Show Him How to Easily Get Good Credit. by

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Ateasa

    Hi Steve,
    I enjoy reading your posts. Your advice is very direct and informative. I also have made many mistakes regarding my credit. Your advice has given me a foundation to start repairing my credit and has inspired me to do so. Thanks and keep the good information coming!

  • vic

    Hi Steve I have a secure card I put 2000 in it nhave two student loans up to date my credit score is 580 and it hasn’t went up why can I help me I need it to be 630

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Do you have have other negative and open items on your credit report? How long have you had the secured card and it is reporting to the credit bureaus?

  • Carole

    Steve, I have a few small debts from medical bills that went to collections, and a delinquent payment on a vehicle that I freely sent back to the bank. My question is this: if I continue to try to pay off the debts, and open two secured cards, and pay them off monthly, will my credit begin to go up even before the delinquent account is paid off? I still have a bit to go, but am eager to start raising my credit, and killing to birds with one stone.

    Thanks for your help!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Yes. Anything positive that you keep consistent helps to bring up your “grade point average” while you are dealing with the old stuff.

  • Nancy

    I am 53 years old and my credit score is 519. I have years of unpaid debt — some of everything. I want to clean up my credit.

    I am not disputing the negative items, however, I have heard that if I pay them off, they will remain on my report and not improve my score. Is this true and what do you recommend?

    Thank you,

    Nancy

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Nancy,

      If you follow the advice in this article it will help you to quickly rebuild your credit. Poor payments can’t be reported for longer than 7.5 years from the date it first went delinquent.

      Steve

  • Brian

    i had tried to get an approval for a home purchase loan. when they pulled my credit they said that i need to pay off old debts to make my credit score go up. i paid them off 7 months ago and i cant get anyone to remove them so that my score will go up to get the loan. i have all the receipts of the the debtors i have paid off in full.. please help

    i need help on how to get someone to do their job and get this matter resolved. my wife is excepting and we would like to move into a house to raise our child.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Brian,

      Rebuilding your credit is a two step process. Follow the steps in this article to bring your score back up.

  • Jennifer

    Low credit score… I have over $3,000 in hospital debt that is about 3 years old now in collections showing on my credit. I filed Bankruptcy about 7years ago to free my debt and since then the only credit i have estiablished is my car loan that is only a year old that I had to get a co signer on, and a small $1000 limit that I owe about $700 on for a local furniture company.

     I have applied for a few small credit cards to help my debt to ratio but I keep getting denied, and today I found out my credit score is only a 401!!!

    I would really like to know the best way to pay off the hosptial debt and estiablish my credit again.. my ultimate goal is to own a home in the next 2 years?? Also since the hospital debt is already 3 years old is it even worth attempting to pay?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Jennifer, 

      The reason your credit score is probably low is because your credit history ended on a down note. It’s time to bring it up again. Just follow the advice in the article your comment is posted on and that will do the trick.

  • Mike

    I’ve been looking into ways to improve my credit. I have two late payments which have been turned into negative items on my credit report. I would like to know if paying an agency or lawyer to get them removed is worth the investment? I have limited knowledge in improving my credit score. Thank you.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      If you follow the process from this article it will help you to rebuild your credit. Don’t pay someone to remove them. Pay them off or settle them and then concentrate on rebuilding your credit.

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  • olivia12daniel

    thanks for putting this to discussion because i was waiting to this article and i should go for it…..

    Olivia,

    Getting Out Of Debt

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