Who wouldn't love to get paid to shop, eat out, or go to the movies? That may sound too good to be true, but thousands of mystery shoppers across the US and Canada are doing just that: getting paid to visit restaurants, retail stores, and even theme parks in order to provide a customer's perspective on the cleanliness, service, and overall experience at the location.
You've probably seen advertisements for credit repair on television or heard them on the radio. Maybe you've even seen credit repair signs on the side of the road. You don't have to hire a professional to fix your credit. The truth is, there is nothing a credit repair company can do to improve your credit that you can’t do for yourself. Save some money and the hassle of finding a reputable company and repair your credit yourself. The next steps will show you how.
There are no overnight fixes when it comes to your credit, and repair is no exception. Depending on the type, and number, of items on your report you wish to dispute, repair can take anywhere from six weeks to more than a year. No credit repair agency can give you a “30-day guarantee” to solve all of your problems — not only is it unlikely, it’s illegal.
It involves identifying questionable negative information on your credit reports and challenging the negative items in question. But, it can also require following up with the credit bureaus and to get the negative items from your credit reports removed. If you have been a victim of identity theft, it is highly likely that you have multiple accounts that need to be disputed.
There are a lot of reasons that your credit may be in rough shape. Most are related to your spending habits. And, if you missed a few payments or your debt levels are too high—think over 30% of your total available credit limits—disputing errors won’t help you. You’ll have to make some changes to improve your credit scores instead. And you may have to wait a bit to see an uptick.
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In some cases, it's difficult to determine what to include as far as supporting documentation goes—that’s another way a credit repair company can help. For example, if you’re a victim of identity theft and a fraudulent account appears on your credit report, it can be tough to prove it isn’t yours because you don’t have any documents that relate to the account.
The best credit repair service includes credit education tools that help you maintain your improved credit once it’s repaired. Credit coaching helps you better understand how different decisions affect your creditworthiness. Many credit restoration companies provide credit score simulators to see how specific actions are likely to affect your credit score. Financial education tools help you better manage your future credit profile after your reports are cleaned up and your score is improved.
Amber Brooks is a Contributing Editor at Digital Brands. She spends her days consulting with financial experts to bring readers the best recommendations and tips on the web. She's interviewed financial leaders from all around the world. With a background in writing, she's uniquely suited to diluting complex financial jargon into terms that are easily understood. When not obsessively budgeting out her days, Amber can often be found with her nose in a book.
Opening several credit accounts in a short amount of time can appear risky to lenders and negatively impact your credit score. Before you take out a loan or open a new credit card account, consider the effects it could have on your credit scores. Know too, that when you're buying a car or looking around for the best mortgage rates, your inquiries may be grouped and counted as only one inquiry for the purpose of adding information to your credit report. In many commonly-used scoring models, recent inquiries have greater effect than older inquiries, and they only appear on your credit report or a maximum of 25 months.