As most consumers are aware in 2015, having good credit means everything when it comes to your personal finances. The editors from KBUTexas.com send us some great tips about how your credit report can quickly spiral in the wrong direction. The credit reporting system is not perfect. You could even say that it has many faults…but being unforgiving is not generally considered to be one of them. Under Fair Credit Report Act (FCRA) laws, every negative record has a set expiration date. In today’s reader Q&A, we received a question from a woman named Mary about rebuilding her credit:
What can do to make my credit good? Do you think the credit reporting bureaus will be forgiving?
It’s an interestingly phrased question, isn’t it? Equifax, Experian and TransUnion have probably earned their reputation as “credit gods” due to their relative power over people’s financial lives. Credit impacts your loan rates, credit card rates, home insurance, auto insurance, utility rates, employment, apartment deposits and cell phone rates. Combining this power with a long track record of secrecy (now finally lifting) is a recipe for Zeus-like status.
Luckily the credit bureaus are very forgiving deities. Under national FCRA law, every negative record on your credit report has a set expiration date. This includes bankruptcy, late payment, foreclosure, lien, judgment and collection records. All it takes for a clean slate is 7-10 years of patience. You can read a full list of when negative records expire from your credit reports here.
However, most of us aren’t willing to wait that long to see some improvement. Instead of waiting you can start improving your credit now by opening a few new accounts, using them responsibly each month and paying the bills on time. It’s amazing how this simple process can cause dramatic improvement in credit scores. If you have trouble opening standard accounts, try applying for a secured credit card or card that accepts borrowers with poor credit first