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How to Start to Repair Credit and Uncontested Divorce

Posted By Attorney Jim Cairns || 19-Mar-2013

After an uncontested divorce you may find yourself in need of credit repair. Having poor credit can affect several areas of your life. A negative credit report can affect your prospects from employment to obtaining a bank loan. Reasons for repairing your credit can include getting a lower rate on your car insurance to not having to pay a deposit for your utilities.

If you are looking to repair your credit, the chances are that you don't have the finances to hire someone to fix your credit for you. You can save yourself money by repairing your credit yourself. Companies claiming to be able to repair your credit don't have any secrets to getting you a high credit score. You are able to do what they would do. So, why pay extra money when you don't have to?

Don't expect for your credit score to improve overnight. If anyone promises you they can fix your credit instantly, be assured it's a scam. You will have to put in some effort and it will take time. It's a process, but well worth the time you put into repairing your credit score.

You will want to start with getting free credit reports. Each year you can obtain a free credit report from TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Look through the reports and see if there is anything that should not be there. The last thing you need is to be responsible for debt you didn't incur. You can order one credit report every 4 months from each credit bureau, so you will be current throughout the year.

Next, take a realistic look at your finances. If you have not created a budget, do so immediately. This will give you a clear picture of your income and expenses/debt. Should you find that you cannot keep up with your bills, contact your creditors directly. Explain your situation and see if you can negotiate a new payment plan at a lower interest rate. Make sure the new amount negotiated is something you can realistically afford to pay, otherwise it will reflect poorly on your credit report.

Be sure to ask how the creditor will report the new terms to the credit bureaus. You want to aim for them to report that you are paying as agreed, versus not paying as agreed. Also, get all agreements in writing and keep them stored in a safe place.

Should you have debt with a company which no longer exists or if the institution has merged with another company, it would be advisable to start there. This is because the credit bureaus are required to remove unverifiable information from your credit report. Also, note that paying off a credit card before a mortgage or student loan tends to improve your credit score more rapidly.

You may want to consider shopping around for a lower interest rate on your largest balance, which can include loans as well as credit cards. If you believe you may need a loan in the future you may want to join a credit union. Generally, they are more flexible than traditional banks when lending money and reestablishing credit.

Write a statement on your behalf. Send in the statement to the credit bureaus, which will be added to your credit reports, explaining your hardship. Hardships can include: an unexpected illness, job loss or divorce. This can help when an employer looks at your credit report.

Do your research before committing to open a new line of credit. Unfortunately, there are credit cards which purposefully target people with an adverse credit rating. Often these companies will end up costing you a considerable amount through fees and high interest rates. Also, if a credit card has the option between earning points and cash back it may be wiser to go for the cash back.

Should you find yourself needing to apply for a credit card, but have been turned down by the traditional cards, there are two additional options. First, you may want to apply for a store credit card. They tend to be more flexible when approving applications. Secondly, you may want to apply for a secured credit card. However, be aware of hidden fees, higher percentages and security charges which may be charged to your card.