My Credit Is Terrible—What Can I Do?

Is your low credit score keeping you from accomplishing a goal? Maybe you want to buy a house or a car but you can't get the loan you need. If things feel like they've hit rock bottom, it's time to get serious about repairing your credit. Here's how you can start moving forward (and upward) when it comes to your credit score.

Pull Your Full Report

You can't start fixing your credit problems until you see them all laid out in front of you. Pull your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. That is to say, don't just get your credit score; have them send you the full list of all of your active and closed accounts with the names of the creditors, their contact information, and the amount you owe.

Take a look at your report line by line once you have it. If you notice any mistakes, your first concern is getting any inaccurate information removed. Then, you can start fixing the legitimate damage.

Call Each Creditor Individually and See What They Can Do

Many creditors spend so much time making robocalls to people that owe them money that they can be actually somewhat pleased when someone calls in with an offer to pay them directly. Their phone numbers or their addresses should be listed on your official credit reports.

There are a number of ways you can immediately improve your credit score. You could ask to pay a smaller lump sum payment in exchange for having the account marked paid as full. The creditor might accept less money than you actually owe because they figure they are at least getting paid something, and that's different than what happens with most of the people that ignore their robocalls.

If your history with one particular creditor is actually mostly positive, see if they will raise your credit limit. Having a higher debt ceiling can give a big boost to your score. Just make sure you don't actually start spending up to the limit again.

Get Professional Help

If you can't get the creditors to work with you or you don't want to call all of them individually, you could instead hire a credit repair service, like Ashton Henry Financial. This is a third-party company that will look at your credit history and then contact the creditors on your behalf. Different credit repair services use different strategies, so be sure to get the details from anyone you contact. But with professional help, it's absolutely possible to improve your credit score and get your life back.