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DIY Credit Repair: How to Get Started

| Tedis Baboumian |

Hey there, credit warriors! Are you ready to take control of your credit score and embark on a journey towards financial freedom? Well, you’ve come to the right place! In this section, we’ll walk you through the basics of DIY credit repair and help you get started on the credit repair process.

What Is DIY Credit Repair?

So, you may be wondering what exactly DIY credit repair is all about. Well, my friend, it’s a way for you to take matters into your own hands and improving your credit score online for free, without relying on expensive credit repair services. It’s like becoming your own superhero in the world of credit!

DIY credit repair is all about understanding and fixing errors or discrepancies on your credit report that may be negatively impacting your credit score – all from the comfort of your home, using a DIY credit repair software like Dovly. This can include things like incorrect personal information, fraudulent accounts, or late payments that were reported incorrectly. By identifying and addressing these issues, you can potentially improve your credit score and open up opportunities for better interest rates on loans or credit cards.

How Can I Repair Credit Myself?

Repairing your credit yourself may sound daunting, but trust me, it’s totally doable. Here are some steps to help you get started on your DIY credit repair journey:

1. Review Reports Carefully

To get started, you’ll need to request a copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. You’re entitled to one free credit report from the credit reporting agencies every year, so take advantage of this opportunity. Once you have your reports in hand, review them carefully for any errors or discrepancies.

Look out for incorrect personal information, such as misspelled names or wrong addresses. These can easily be fixed by contacting the credit bureaus and providing them with the correct information.

2. Dispute Any Incorrect Information

Alright, credit warriors, now that you’ve reviewed your credit reports and identified any errors or discrepancies, it’s time to take action! The next step in DIY credit repair is to dispute any incorrect information with the credit bureaus.

Disputing incorrect information is crucial because it can have a significant impact on your credit score. Remember, we’re on a mission to improve your credit score, so it’s important to address any inaccuracies.

To dispute incorrect information, you’ll need to contact the credit bureaus directly. You can do this either online or by mail. Provide them with detailed explanations of the errors and any supporting documentation you may have. The credit bureaus are required by law to investigate your dispute within a certain timeframe (usually 30 days) and provide a response.

During the investigation process, the credit bureaus will reach out to the creditors or lenders who reported the information in question. If they find that an error was made, they will update your credit report accordingly. This can potentially lead to an increase in your credit score.

3. Pay Bills on Time

Alright, my credit-savvy friends, we’ve covered the importance of reviewing your credit reports and disputing any errors. Now, it’s time to tackle one of the most crucial steps in DIY credit repair – paying your bills on time.

Paying your bills on time may seem like a no-brainer, but trust me, it’s essential for improving your credit score. Late payments can have a significant negative impact on your credit history and lower your overall score.

One of the factors that influence your credit score is your payment history, which accounts for about 35% of your overall score. Making timely payments shows lenders that you are responsible and reliable when it comes to managing your debts.

To ensure that you pay your bills on time, consider setting up automatic payments or reminders to help keep your payment history positive. If you’re struggling to make payments, reach out to your creditors and see if they can offer any assistance or alternate payment options.

4. Pay Off Delinquent Balancesgirl on laptop sitting on the floor against a couch

Now it’s time to roll up our sleeves and tackle those delinquent balances head-on! Paying off your debts is a crucial step in DIY credit repair, as it shows lenders that you’re serious about taking control of your financial situation.

Delinquent balances are unpaid debts that have been reported to the credit bureaus, and they can seriously drag down your credit score. These can include late payments, credit card balances, collections accounts, or charged-off accounts.

Start by making a list of all your delinquent balances and prioritize them based on the amount owed and the interest rates. Consider reaching out to your creditors to negotiate payment plans or settlements if needed.

Create a budget and allocate extra funds towards paying off these balances. You may need to cut back on expenses or find ways to increase your income in order to make larger payments.

As you start paying off these delinquent balances, you’ll see a positive impact on your credit score over time. It’s important to stay consistent and committed to paying off these debts in order to see significant improvements in your credit.

5. Decrease Your Credit Utilization, and Pay Down Your Debt

Alright, folks, we’ve made it to step 5 in our DIY credit repair journey! This next step is all about decreasing your credit utilization and paying down your debt. Trust me, tackling this one will have a major impact on improving your credit score.

First things first, let’s talk about credit utilization. This is the percentage of your available credit that you’re actually using. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you’ve charged up $500 on it, your credit utilization is 50%.

Why does this matter? Well, credit utilization is a significant factor in determining your credit score. It accounts for about 30% of your overall score. Lenders like to see that you’re not maxing out your available credit, as it indicates responsible borrowing and financial management.

6. Open Different Types of Accounts

We’re on to step 6 – opening different types of accounts! This might sound a bit counterintuitive, but trust me, it can work wonders for your credit score.

When it comes to your credit mix, having a variety of account types can actually boost your creditworthiness. Lenders like to see that you can handle different types of credit responsibly.

So what do we mean by “different types of accounts”? When we talk about different types of accounts, we mean things like credit cards, loans, and even a mortgage if you’re ready for that big step. Having a diverse range of accounts shows lenders that you can handle various forms of credit responsibly and can effectively manage different types of financial obligations.

When opening different types of accounts, it’s important to consider your current financial situation and credit history. Start by researching and comparing different credit card options that align with your needs and goals. Look for cards with favorable terms, such as low-interest rates or rewards programs.

Additionally, consider applying for a small personal loan or installment loan. This can help demonstrate your ability to make consistent payments over time. Be sure to borrow only what you can afford to repay and make timely payments to avoid further damaging your credit.

When it comes to opening different types of accounts, it’s crucial to be cautious and responsible. Only take on new credit if you truly need it and can handle the financial responsibility. Opening too many accounts at once or maxing out your available credit can have a negative impact on your credit score.

7. Keep Accounts Open

Okay, my DIY credit repair warriors, we’ve reached step 7 – and it’s a crucial one! This time, we’re talking about keeping those accounts open. Now, I know it might be tempting to close some of those old credit card accounts or loans that you’ve paid off, but trust me on this one – keeping them open can actually benefit your credit score.

You see, the length of your credit history is an important factor in calculating your credit score. Lenders like to see a long and consistent credit history, as it demonstrates that you have a track record of responsible borrowing and repayment.

Closing old accounts can shorten your credit history and potentially lower your credit score. So even if you’ve paid off a credit card or loan, consider keeping the account open to maintain that positive history and lengthen your credit history.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you should keep every single account open indefinitely. If you have high annual fees or unnecessary accounts that are costing you money, it might be wise to close them. However, if the account is free or has a low fee and doesn’t negatively impact your financial situation, it’s generally best to keep it open.

8. Request a Credit Limit Increasephone screen displaying a mobile banking page that has $100

We’ve arrived at step 8 – and it’s all about reaching for the stars! We’re talking about requesting a credit limit increase. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Why would I want to increase my credit limit?” Well, let me break it down for you.

Credit utilization is a key factor that lenders consider when determining your creditworthiness. It refers to the percentage of your available credit that you are currently using. Ideally, you want to keep your credit utilization below 30%.

By requesting a credit limit increase, you can effectively lower your credit utilization ratio. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you currently have a balance of $500, your credit utilization ratio is 50%. However, if you request a credit limit increase to $2,000 and maintain the same balance of $500, your credit utilization ratio drops to 25%.

A lower credit utilization ratio is seen as favorable by lenders because it shows that you are not relying too heavily on your available credit. It demonstrates responsible borrowing and financial management.

To request a credit limit increase, follow these steps:

1. Contact your credit card issuer: Reach out to your credit card company and inquire about their process for requesting a credit limit increase. You can typically find the customer service number on the back of your credit card or through their website.

2. Explain your reasoning: When speaking to a representative, explain why you are seeking a credit limit increase. Emphasize responsible financial behavior, such as making timely payments and maintaining a low credit utilization ratio.

3. Provide supporting documentation: Some credit card issuers may require additional information, such as proof of income or employment. Prepare any necessary documents in advance to speed up the process.

4. Be patient: The decision regarding your credit limit increase may not be immediate. It could take several days or weeks for the issuer to review your request and make a decision.

5. Monitor your credit score: While waiting for a response from the credit card company, continue monitoring your credit score regularly. Requesting a credit limit increase can result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, which could temporarily lower your score.

6. Use responsibly: If you are granted a higher credit limit, remember to use it responsibly. Avoid maxing out your cards and strive to keep your overall credit utilization ratio below 30%. This demonstrates good financial management and can positively impact your credit score over time.

9. Consider Debt Consolidation

Alright, folks, we’ve made it to step 9, and this one is a game-changer. Have you ever wished there was an easier way to manage all your debts? Well, look no further than debt consolidation. It’s like a superhero swooping in to save the day and simplify your financial life.

So what exactly is debt consolidation? Essentially, it involves combining multiple debts into a single loan or payment. This can make it easier to manage your debts, as you only have one monthly payment to worry about instead of multiple.

There are several benefits to debt consolidation. First and foremost, it can help you save money by potentially lowering the interest rates on your debts. When you consolidate your debts, you may qualify for a lower interest rate, which means you’ll pay less in interest over time. This can result in significant savings and help you pay off your debts faster.

Debt consolidation also simplifies your financial life by streamlining your payments. Instead of juggling multiple due dates and minimum payments, you only have to remember one payment each month. This can reduce stress and make it easier to stay on top of your payments!

How Long Does It Take to Fix Your Credit?

So, how long does it take to fix your credit? I know you’re probably eager to see those improvements as quickly as possible, but it’s important to set realistic expectations. Fixing your credit is not an overnight process, and it can take some time to see significant changes.

The timeframe for credit repair can vary depending on several factors. First and foremost, it depends on the severity of the negative items on your credit report. If you have just a few negative items like late payments or small debts dragging down your score, it may take a few months to see improvements. However, if you have a history of bankruptcy or multiple collections accounts, it could take longer, potentially up to several years.

Another factor that affects the timeline is your own actions and diligence in repairing your credit. If you consistently make payments on time, reduce your debt, and practice responsible financial habits, you will likely see improvements more quickly.

It’s also important to note that credit repair is not a one-time fix. It requires ongoing effort and maintenance to keep your credit in good shape. This means regularly reviewing your credit report, disputing any errors or inaccuracies, and making sure to pay all bills on time.

Overall, the timeline for fixing your credit can vary from person to person. It depends on the specific circumstances and actions taken. However, with patience, persistence, and responsible financial habits, you can gradually improve your credit score over time.

How Can Dovly Help?

If you need help reviewing your credit report for errors bringing your score down, or if you want to repair your credit easily, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dovly for help. We use our proprietary AI credit engine to help you (re)build, manage, and protect your credit score. Get started HERE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Dovly Free Credit Repair?

No. We do much more than free credit repair. Dovly is a comprehensive AI credit solutions engine that monitors, (re)builds, and protects your credit. It offers a range of tools and services to assist you in achieving better financial health.

How is Dovly different?
We never sleep! Dovly is a holistic approach to credit management. We don’t just diagnose you with a credit score or problem; we’re committed to addressing and resolving your credit issues. Our AI engine finds the quickest, most effective route to boost your score so you can enjoy financial peace of mind. No more juggling multiple solutions – Dovly is your all-in-one solution for credit management.
Can I trust Dovly?

Yes, you can trust Dovly. Not only do we work with national banks, reputable businesses, and personal finance companies, we also have executive leaders who are accomplished and respected by industry peers. But more than anything our customers can attest to our value and service. Our Database is also encrypted and all personal information is stored on a segregated network to provide an additional layer of security.

How many points can I expect my score to go up?

Dovly Free members see an average score improvement of 37 points, while Premium members see a 69 point score improvement on average. Our data shows that members who are more engaged and log into Dovly regularly see significantly better results.

Tedis Baboumian

Tedis Baboumian is Dovly’s Co-Founder and Chief Credit Officer. With over 20 years of experience in the consumer credit industry, Tedis is an authority on the credit industry and has cultivated dee… Read More