Fix Your Finances: Ideas for Rebuilding Credit
“Remember that credit is money.” ~Benjamin Franklin
There are several ways that we can rebuild credit when you’ve had tough times. Financial abuse is real for narcissistic abuse victims! No one should judge you. But if you are tired of collectors hounding you, or if you are frustrated that no one will loan you money because you never had credit, it is time to learn how to build your credit. First, and foremost, never purchase items you do not need. If you ‘want’, do not let your wants wear you down and get you deeper in debt. If you are searching to build credit and have no history at all, make sure you have your priorities in order.
Bad Credit? Tips for Building Credit
So, you got yourself in a little trouble. Whatever the reason your credit’s bad, I’m not judging you. We’ve all been there–but we are here to fix this problem, not talk about how terrible it is, so let’s do this.
- Start by getting your free credit report. Obtain it at AnnualCreditReport.com for free. (You’ll get one each year)
- Then, figure out your credit score. You can do this for free with the MSN Credit Score Estimator
- Next, check out the FTC’s free Credit Repair Guide. They offer TONS of useful info and helpful tips that will make this process easier for you.
- If all else fails, it might be time to bring in some professional help. But be careful–you need to know what to look for in a credit repair agency. To ensure that you choose a reputable one, check to make sure your agency is listed in the Justice Department Approved Credit Counseling Agencies
What are my rights when it comes to credit scores?
Your rights, as they apply to your credit and according to the FTC, are as follows.
- You’re entitled to a free credit report if a company takes “adverse action” against you, like denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment.
- You have to ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. The notice includes the name, address, and phone number of the consumer reporting company.
- You’re also entitled to one free report a year if you’re unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days; if you’re on welfare; or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.
- Each of the nationwide credit reporting companies — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — is required to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, if you ask for it. To order, visit annualcreditreport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228. You may order reports from each of the three credit reporting companies at the same time, or you can stagger your requests throughout the year.
- It doesn’t cost anything to dispute mistakes or outdated items on your credit report. Both the credit reporting company and the information provider (the person, company, or organization that provides information about you to a credit reporting company) are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report.
- To take advantage of all your rights, contact both the credit reporting company and the information provider.
More Tips for Bad Credit Repair After Narcissistic Abuse
- There are systematic guides at your local library that will teach you, as a debtor, how to write letters to creditors.
- Don’t be afraid to call a creditor and explain your situation. Even if you have ignored their calls for months, they will work with you in most cases. Communication will make you feel better and will help your creditor to understand your situation. While it may not immediately solve your credit problems, it is definitely a step on the road to recovery.
- Any documents that pertain to your credit history should be stored in a safe area. If you send letters to your creditors keep a copy of each letter sent and store it in a safe area.
- If you notice any errors on your bills or credit, reports make sure that you contact the appropriate professionals and dispute the charges immediately. Once you have disputed the charges with the sources you will then contact your card provider and let them know what occurred.
- If you are lucky enough to have a credit card with bad credit, please don’t use the card to repay your debts and then meet the monthly installments on the credit card each month. That would mean getting out of debt while going in debt deeper–how sensible is that? It might seem like the only solution when all else false, but credit cards have interest rates so the bills each month on the card will increase.