If you’ve got bad credit, or credit that’s less than perfect, the first thing you need to do is relax, and stop internalizing any negative feelings you might have about it.
Plenty of people — especially in these trying economic times — have made credit mistakes, so you’re in very good company. Be sure to keep that fact in mind as you negotiate your way back to a better credit history and rating. Although it’s very important, confidence is just one weapon in your arsenal and should be used along with others in proper measure. Read on if you’ve got bad credit and are looking for more ideas and tips for negotiating your way back to a better place.
Step 1: Get your credit score
The first thing you need to do is get an accurate assessment of your credit history and credit score from one of the reputable credit bureaus. These are Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Be sure to get your FICO score. Once you have it, make sure it’s completely accurate: sometimes there are mistakes on our credit reports, so it’s critical to get them removed. If this turns out to be the case, have your paperwork in hand and be prepared to jump through some hoops. Credit bureaus will want to see clear proof that the problem is a mistake.
Step 2: What can you fix?
Next, see which credit issues can be resolved on your own. Sometimes they are minor and can be cleaned up quickly. Removing a few bad credit issues from your report and history will go a long way to improving your score.
Step 3: Talk to your creditors
Finally, once you’ve taken care of what you can take care of, then it’s time to be absolutely upfront about your financial situation with your creditors. This means alerting them to any potential problems you might have before you actually have them. By doing this you might actually prevent the problem from occurring by getting better rates or terms.
To learn more about negotiating tips for bad credit, be sure to consult with a financial adviser or a non-profit consumer protection agency. There are many of them out there, all seeking to help people who have bad credit.