Whether we realise it or not, our credit report has a serious influence on our lives. It’s sort of like our health; we don’t appreciate good health until we lose it. Most people don’t even learn that they have a poor credit report until they make an application for a line of credit and it’s disapproved. It can come as quite a shock to some, considering that even one missed payment that is disclosed by your creditor can remain on your credit report for a maximum of seven years.
So, what is a credit report? A credit report is a report that stipulates information about your financial history with financial institutions. Recently, credit reports have been overhauled to place greater emphasis on constructive history such as paying your bills on time, but overwhelmingly, credit reports are used by creditors to check your ability to repay debts by assessing your past behaviour.
When creditors review your credit report, you typically either get a pass or fail so any default irrespective of its severity can have a long-lasting impact on your financial possibilities for years to follow. Whilst finding solutions to repair a poor credit report can be challenging, there are specific things you can do to boost it. Fortunately, we’ve gathered a list of recommendations that you can try to strengthen your credit report and your general financial health.
Inspect your credit report for any oversights
The first step is to examine your credit report to discover exactly what it features. You can do this by paying a modest fee to an agency like ‘Check My Credit File’ (https://www.mycreditfile.com.au). It’s not uncommon for errors to be made on credit reports which can have a negative impact on your financial capabilities. Read your credit report carefully and dispute any errors that you discover to make sure your credit report appropriately reflects your financial history. Some typical errors that can occur are:
- Errors in personal information
- Wrongful defaults and judgements
- Old defaults and judgements
- Inaccurate information concerning your credit history
If you discover any mistakes, inform the credit reporting agency in writing so these listings can be amended or removed to reflect your true credit history.
Pay your bills on time
People underestimate how important it is to pay your bills on time. Occasionally, people can be forgetful simply because they have too many bills to pay, so it’s a wise idea to call all your creditors and ask them to automatically debit your bank account each month. Normally, your creditors would be more than happy to do this as delivering paper invoices is time-consuming and expensive. By putting all your bills on autopilot, you can be sure that they’ll be paid on time and in full, which will have a positive impact on your credit report
Add extra information to your credit report
There are certain details throughout your credit report which creditors will view favourably. For example, if you are married, have been employed by the same workplace for over two years, or you are a homeowner, then this information will enhance your credit report. Lenders normally view this information in a positive light and it can help you in future credit applications. If you find that this kind of information is missing from your credit report, advise the credit reporting agency and request that it be added.
Steer clear of too many credit applications
Each time you request a line of credit, it is documented on your credit report. Naturally, excessive applications for credit will have a damaging impact on your credit report and the way in which lenders view your financial behaviours. It is very important that you are reasonable and selective when requesting credit and only apply when you are confident it will be approved. Moreover, if you recently had a credit application turned down, wait a decent amount of time before applying again.
Look at a debt consolidation loan
Of course, it can be very hard to control your debts when then you have lots of them. Forgetting just one debt repayment can become a default, which will stay on your credit report for at least five years. Look into a single debt consolidation loan which will accumulate all your debts into one, single, monthly repayment. Usually, interest rates on debt consolidation loans are quite low, and you’ll eliminate any further defaults which will have a positive impact on your credit report. If you’re interested in a debt consolidation loan, get in touch with our friendly team at Bankruptcy Experts Maitland on 1300 795 575, or alternatively visit our website for further information: www.bankruptcyexpertsmaitland.com.au