Credit restoration is a process all Australians should understand. Unfortunately, this financial literacy can be overlooked, meaning people are missing restoring their credit rating, along with opportunities for a brighter, better future. At Credit Repair Solicitors, we want to help as many Australians as possible navigate this difficult area. Therefore, we’ve put together this introductory guide to repairing credit ratings and histories.
What Do You Need to Know About Credit Restoration?
When it comes to what consumers like you need to know about credit restoration, it’s important to understand the basics. This includes what a credit score is and the importance of restoring it.
Defining Credit Ratings & Restoration
Put simply, your credit rating is a number, or score determined by your personal financial history. It can be anywhere between 0 to 1200, with numbers closer to 1200 indicating a better financial history and, therefore, a better credit history.
Prior to July 2018, this number was only affected by negative or potentially negative actions, like defaulting on loans, credit applications and missed payments. However, the introduction of Comprehensive Credit Reporting (known as CCR) means any positive actions, like paying bills on time, now also affect your credit score. This is important for restoring credit.
Restoring credit is when you raise your credit score rating, allowing you to borrow more funds and be more successful on applications for loans and credit.
You Can Fix Your Credit Score
When it comes to credit scores, a lot of people want to know if they can fix them. With the introduction of CCR and through other methods, we’re pleased to say it is possible to restore your credit rating and even improve it.
However, it’s important to realise that credit restoration, whatever methods you choose, will take some time and work. But the end results are well worth it. With a restored credit score, you can start living your life with greater financial freedom and security, like applying for a larger home loan, car loan or personal loan with greater chances of success.
As your credit rating has such an impact on your life and future, it’s also incredibly vital that when you do begin restoring your credit you trust the right people to help you. While you certainly can do a lot of credit restoration work on your own, you may need to turn to credit repair services for advice or to advocate for you with more difficult issues. For instance, Credit Repair Solicitors has a stellar history of helping people restore their credit through appropriate, legal methods, allowing them to enjoy a better credit rating and its many benefits.
How to Restore Your Credit in 5 Steps
Get Your Hands on Your Personal Credit Report
Before you begin any credit restoration work, you need to know what you’re working with. Therefore, you need to order your credit report from a credit reporting body. Your credit report will list all instances that have positively or negatively affected your credit score.
It’s straightforward to order your report and will not cost you any money. In Australia, you can order your credit report from Equifax, Experian and illion. You can also ask Credit Repair Solicitors and we can get it sent through to you. Please note, though, that different credit reporting bodies may have different credit history information for you, so if you want a full picture, you may need to order your report from multiple places.
To order your credit report, you will need to provide your name, date of birth and address. In addition to this, you will also need to show 100 points of identification. This can be done with a driver’s licence, passport, and Medicare card, for example. Doing so ensures the credit reporting body can accurately and quickly find your history.
Carefully Read & Check Your Credit Report
Once you have received your credit report, you can begin to put together how your credit score has gotten to this point. While there may be a lot of information to work through, be sure to take your time to review everything thoroughly.
As you read the report, check that the information there is correct. For instance, if it is noted that you paid a bill late, check your own financial records to confirm this is true. It is possible for the information recorded to be incorrect. Similarly, you may not have received appropriate correspondence from the creditor about the unpaid debt. As a result, you may be able to dispute the debt and have it removed from your report, thereby negating its effect on your credit score. For any of these instances, make a note of them to return to later.
Along with checking if all the information provided is recorded correctly, you can also use your credit report as a bird’s eye view of your financial habits and situation. Noticing patterns or certain behaviours can be key to helping avoid further and future negative actions against your credit rating.
Choose a Credit Restoration Service You Can Trust
To best address the discrepancies, errors, and issues you found in your report, you will need a credit repair service. However, as discussed above, this is a serious job, so picking a service should not be done lightly. You want someone who will do their best for you, while also being honest with you about the results.
Start your search by speaking with friends and family. They may be able to recommend a credit restoration and repair service they have used and had a positive experience with. Similarly, they may be able to tell you who to avoid if they were not satisfied with the service.
If no one can recommend anyone to you, that’s okay. You will just have to be more vigilant with the next step.
Take your search online. You will come across many credit restoration services very quickly. However, be sceptical of anyone who guarantees they can always fix your credit score. As with anything, if it sounds too good to be true, it very likely is. They may not be able to do everything they promise, while also charging you high fees for things you can do yourself at no charge.
Ideally, your credit restoration service should be upfront about their capabilities and if they can help. At Credit Repair Solicitors, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation so that we can better understand your situation and how we can help. We can then present to you our strategies for restoring your credit and you can decide if you would like to use our services.
Meet to Discuss Next Steps
And that’s exactly the next step! It’s important to meet with the credit restoration service you choose to discuss your credit report and the issues you have noted down. Otherwise, it can be difficult to ensure both parties are on the same page as to what is to happen next.
The credit restoration service can also explain to you the process moving forward, including what documentation they need from you and how they intend to have discrepancies or errors corrected. You may need to have several meetings to go through all this. Additionally, you want to be getting regular updates about their progress to ensure that the work is being done.
At Credit Repair Solicitors, we will work with you to review your credit repair report, ensuring that all issues are picked up. We will then keep you updated as we dispute these and get your credit report fixed. This leaves you free to continue your day-to-day life, confident that your credit restoration is happening and being handled by professionals.
Keep Working On Your Credit Habits
While Credit Repair Solicitors handle restoring your credit, there’s still work you can do to ensure you maintain or improve your credit rating though. Namely, it’s time to look at your credit habits and behaviours to better manage your finances and avoid any other negative impacts to your score.
A great first place to start is by looking at your budget. Begin with your regular income and expenses. This should include necessities like food, utilities, and rent, as well as any regular debt repayments, like loans or credit cards. You want to be sure that you can always pay these bills on time. If you have to manage a number of debts, you may want to look into debt consolidation to make payments easier and more straightforward.
Along with your budget, be sure to look over all your credit cards. While they can certainly be convenient, they can also be an effortless way to run up debt and spoil your credit score. Take the time to consider if you need them all, or if you can change their limits to help reduce your potential debt. Similarly, don’t forget to pay attention to their interest rates and if they are reasonable for your budget.
Restore Your Credit Rating the Right Way With Credit Repair Solicitors
While credit repair can take some time, the sooner you start the better. You can even get started today by contacting Credit Repair Solicitors. Simply complete our online form to order your credit report and get in touch to organise your free, no-obligation consultation to look at your next steps.