I remember when I was feeling lost about my finances and credit. I didn’t even know where to begin. I actually didn’t even think the basics would even work, but I had to start someplace. Step one, I ordered my Equifax, Transunion, and Experian credit reports from MyFICO just to face EXACTLY where I was. I also ordered my FICO scores from www.myfico.com. After that I quickly realized that I have things a little bit more under control than I first thought. Sometimes this first step is the hardest, but it sure feels good after you do!
I carefully read each section of the credit reports while looking for inaccuracies in the reports. More importantly, I gained an understanding of the credit report and terms. Studying my credit report was actually something I had never done before until I was in my early 30s. You actually would’ve thought I went back to elementary school and did not know how to read. The MyFICO Community and glossary help me comprehend the information that was provided on my credit reports.
Once I was able to fully comprehend everything that was on my credit report I begin to audit every section of all three reports. This allowed me to look deeper into the information that was provided and how it was reported on my credit report. By doing a deep analysis and taking my time I saw the mistakes that I made with my credit and finances. I was also able to identify the errors Equifax, Transunion, and Experian was reporting.
Things you should look for when auditing your credit report: Personal Information Open Accounts Closed Accounts Collection Accounts Public Record Inquiries
I was able to have a better understanding of how credit scores work. It was actually a turning point in my life from then on I became a “credit junkie”. I was talking about credit and finances like it were my second language. I attended webinars, acquired a credit library of books, and developed a 12 step program for me and family.
I would scream and jump for joy each time I had a score increase. I viewed my FICO Scores every day. (It is not necessary to review your scores daily. MyFICO monitoring services will send you notifications when changes occur.) I use to close my eyes every time like a child watching scary movies. I would open my email notifications like it was in an acceptance letter from an Ivy League College.
When you start your credit recovery journey remember to stick to the basics. Research credit terms like: charge off, medical collection, tax lien, and etc. Learn how to read your credit report as if you were studying for a test. TAKE YOUR TIME, remember your scores will not change overnight. Create a credit plan that is divided into 4 phases:
Phase ONE: BUDGET, order credit report or get MyFICO credit monitoring service
Phase TWO: Identify errors, create a debt repayment plan, contact lenders by mail if needed
Phase THREE: Pay down open accounts
Phase FOUR: Send dispute letters (if needed), send settlement offers (if needed)
You will fastly gain passion and a greater understanding of stewardship and credit. You’ll learn how to obtain good credit characteristics and understand how stewardship plays a huge part in achieving a high credit score.
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