Monday, November 8, 2010
Money Monday: Repair Credit
The economy has forced a lot of people to run up credit cards and miss payments, and that can ruin your credit score. But in tonight's Money Monday, we're showing you how to raise that score back up. Here's 7's Lynn Martinez.
WSVN -- Roland Poitevien had several credit cards, and before he knew it, he was $10,000 in debt and started missing payments.
Roland Poitevien: "I was trying to get loans for school, and I was getting denied because of my bad credit."
Roland's credit score was a low 510, making him a bad risk for lenders.
Roland Poitevien: "I didn't know how I could let it get so low."
Nicolas Brocherie also had bad credit, but in his case, it was inaccurate information on his credit report bringing his score down.
Nicolas Brocherie: "I felt betrayed, because I always pay everything on time."
Elizabeth Karwowski, Get Credit Healthy: "The good news is that everyone can get back to credit health."
Elizabeth Karwowski of Get Credit Healthy helped both men get their credit back on track. She says there are several things you can do to repair your own credit.
Elizabeth Karwowski: "There is work involved in doing it, so it doesn't just happen overnight. It can take three months, four months, six months. I have a few clients that are with us for nine months."
First, review your credit report from all three credit reporting agencies.
Elizabeth Karwowski: "Eighty percent of individuals have something inaccurate on their report. If you don't look at it, you really don't know what's going on."
Nicolas got his fixed and saw a big difference in his score.
Nicolas Brocherie: "Within two or three months, my score went from the high six to the mid sevens, high sevens."
If your problem is high debt and late payments, the number one thing you can do is pay your bills on time. Then, start paying off those accounts. But even after you pay cards off, keep them open to establish credit history, and make sure you are keeping balances low.
Elizabeth Karwowski: "The way the formula works is that ideally, one individual should not use more than a third of their credit limit. If you use over 50 percent of your credit limit, all of a sudden you become a risk to the creditors."
Roland has paid down his debt and learned how to use his credit cards and now has his score back on track.
Roland Poitevien: "I feel that, you know, the next month, the next 30 days, my credit score is going to be ideal to 790 where it needs to be, and I know how to keep it there."
Lynn Martinez: "To find out your credit score, go to www.annualcreditreport.com. It will give you a free copy of your credit report once a year."
If you have any other money questions or story ideas you'd like us to look into on Money Monday, you can tell us about it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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