With the New Year come new promises to ourselves and to each other. We love to call them resolutions. Just looking at the root of the word we are resolving to do or be something that we have not in the previous year or years. At the top of the list typically comes dieting, drinking, debt and credit. If you are one of the many looking to resolve your debt or credit this New Year you should follow these simple steps.
Check your credit.
To start resolving your debt and credit you will first need to know what you are up against. You can pull individual credit reports from annualcreditreport.com if you have not already done it in the last 12 months. They will be individual reports and somewhat tricky to read. You can also use a reputable credit monitoring service that will give you all three reports AND scores in an easy to read format at FreeScoreFinder.com. Look carefully at the accounts listed and notate any errors. If there are inaccurate items listed you may want to dispute those items, or at least get clarification as to what they are.
Put together a plan.
Prioritize any debts you will be paying off. Your current obligations are always the most important. Stay current on your bills. If you have collections you can offer a settlement or pay them off. Keep in mind when you do they will remain on your credit as a paid collection and will still take some time to improve your credit score. They can report for 7 years from the date of last activity (the last payment or charge).
Stick with it.
Like a lot of resolutions, over time you become less gung-ho and driven to carry them out. Keep your focus and look for the end. It may be you are looking to purchase a home, a new car, or just want to resolve the issues so they are not lingering around. Whatever it may be, you will never get to it if you stop.
Ask a professional.
There are a number of debt counselors, debt settlement companies, credit restoration firms and experts out there. It can be difficult to decipher which is the best option for you as they are all similar in results but very different in approach. All of them should be able to give you a free consultation to know their process and what they do. Understand the differences and do your research before employing a third party. If you need guidance or want to know the differences you can reach out to us at Smart Credit Building for free unbiased information.
Happy New Year all!