Repair Advice for Consumers
It is generally
agreed by experts in the credit repair industry that there are certain
measures that anyone can take to improve or repair their credit rating
(however, these people - or consultants - usually charge a pretty fee
along with their services). When money is short, as it is with everyone
who is seeking credit repair, there is a lot you can do yourself for
very little cost and in some cases no cost at all.
It is a matter of
public record that people who wish to repair their credit rating may
be able to do so by considering the following courses of action. Some
may be more suitable than others, depending on your circumstances.
Order a Credit Report
Most people have
heard of the two big credit reference firms Equifax and Experian. However,
a strong contender which seems more geared up to modern problems with
identity theft is QuickCreditScore. A free trial is available so you
can check their service before spending any money, and it has ID theft
security, as well as advice and strong backup in case the unthinkable
happens and your identity is compromised by online crooks. Click
here to apply for the free trial.
Review Your Report
Read through the
credit report, making sure you understand the terminology which is explained
as you go along. These reports generally come with useful notes, and
often use symbols denoting things you should be aware of. Just spending
half an hour with your report will make you familiar with the language
and the terms used. Make a note of anything that you think should be
changed. In particular, highlight items which you think could be improved
on, or even removed with a bit of time and effort, such as CCJs.
Also watch out for:
- Wrong information
(names, addresses, etc.) which indicate incorrect recording of defaults;
- Past accounts
which are late or have been assigned to debt collectors;
- Credit accounts
which are near or over their agreed credit limits.
If you are able
to identify any errors or factual mistakes, tackle the people responsible
(either the original lender or assigned debt collector or debt purchaser
if applicable) in writing (not by phone, as these people are slick talkers
and have a habit of fobbing you off).
Apply For Debt
Some kind of debt
management plan, or even an IVA (individual Voluntary Arrangement) may
be appropriate if you have a large amount of unsecured debt which is
eating into your monthly income. If you want to deal with that debt
permanently, without taking on new debt such as a consolidation loan
(this is never a good idea except in special circumstances, as it only
causes more problems down the line) then you can consolidate your several
accounts into one account which is much smaller.
An IVA will actually
write off the majority of your unsecured debt, leaving you with a much
smaller sum. This is divided up into (usually) 60 equal payments, to
be repaid at the end of every month. It is an excellent way to deal
with a large amount of debt permanently. So if you haven't already applied
for debnt management, you can do so by going to our debt
But remember to
come back to this page, because there are many other things you can
do here which can and will improve or repair your credit rating.
Get A Prepaid Bank
here to apply
Get New Credit
This is quicker
than paying off the debt on any delinquent accounts, but you should
be doing that as well. Any credit accounts which are being kept in good
order, with payments up to date, will improve the look of your credit
profile. The problem is that people with poor credit ratings will find
it difficult to successfully apply for conventional credit cards once
their credit rating has dipped.
No matter. There
are cards which are specifically designed for people with bad credit
histories, and these are ideal to start the ball rolling. Their APR
is very high, but that doesn't matter because you are not going
to use these cards for any reason but to show you can stay within your
limits. Borrowing ten or twenty pounds here and there is fine, but you
will always pay the full balance every month so you
do not incure the big interest rates or attract any late fees.
These cards are
not to be used for splashing out, remember: their purpose is to get
your credit rating back on track. Their usage will reflect your new
squeaky-clean attitude towards money!
We can recommend
two such cards for this purpose. These are the Vanquis credit card and
the CashPlus Gold Card.
The Vanquis card
is designed specifically for people with poor credit who wish to improve
or build their credit. Apply for this first. If successful you can always
apply for the CashPlus Gold Card later if you want.
With the CashPlus
card you are basically guaranteed acceptance, but the Vanquis card is
more suitable for purposes of building a credit rating; it is more "prestigious"
in the sense that it carries more credibility. The CashPlus card is
a prepaid card, designed to give you spending power without credit,
and the convenience of being able to buy things without carrying lots
of cash around ; the Vanquis card is a genuine credit card in the full
Don't apply for
the CashPlus card first, because if you are turned down it might jeopardise
your Vanquis application. Always apply for the Vanquis first, then the
CashPlus, never the other way round!
Early Pension Cash
One way of getting
cash if you really need it is by unlocking some of the funds in your
private pension or company pension scheme. This applies only if you
are 55 or over. The sector is heavily regulated and the statutory requirements
are strict and change from time to time; so for an up-to-date account
of what the requirements are go straight to the early
pension cash release website.
We will be updating
this page whenever anything of relevance becomes available; we are expecting
quite a lot of credit repair help and advice to become available as
we come out of recession and the market finds ways of helping people
get back on track.
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a look at the Insolvency Service's leaflet called 'In Debt', downloadable