For the past two days, I’ve overheard some friends and neighbors here in Littleton talking about credit cards and credit scores while sipping fancy $7 coffee drinks. If you’re in debt, you should begin thinking about ways to improve your credit score.
Please Note: I am Not a Credit Counselor
I’m a Christian bankruptcy attorney and I support my family on legal fees I earn from people who can’t pay their bills. While bankruptcy law puts food on my table, the truth is, I would rather see people spend less, save more and avoid bankruptcy.
You might be surprised to learn that bankruptcy can actually help to improve your credit score.
How Bankruptcy Can Help Improve Your Credit Score
If you’re drowning in debt, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score and get a fresh start on a stable financial future.
First, get online and get a copy of your credit report. Yes, it’s probably going to be ugly. Yes, it’s probably going to make you feel bad about yourself and sad about your prospects.
But I’m here to tell you that ignorance is not bliss.
Federal law allows you to get a free credit report each year. I like Credit Karma, where you can get a free report without getting tricked into making a new monthly payment for ongoing reporting if you don’t want it.
Next, find errors. According to the Federal Trade Commission, approximately five percent of Americans have serious errors on their credit reports.
Look for bad addresses, inaccurate payment amounts, incorrect debt totals and dispute each and every one in writing. Your creditors must correct disputed inaccuracies within 30 days or the credit reporting agency must remove the information from your report.
Tip: Save copies of each and every letter you write so you have proof for credit reporting agencies.
Now that you’re cleaning up your credit report, you want to begin cleaning up your creditworthiness. What does this mean?
It means doing the right thing even when it hurts.
Call your creditors and ask for lower payments, lower interest rates and forgiveness for any late or missed payments.
Make every payment, every month. Make watching your credit score go up a fun game. Celebrate your success with a walk in the park or a ballgame in the backyard with your kids.
Doesn’t this sound better than another $7 coffee?
When Bankruptcy is the Best Choice
Of course, if you’re too far in debt and too behind in payments to get cooperation from your creditors, bankruptcy might be for you. Our federal government created bankruptcy law to help debtors get a fresh start.
If a fresh start is what you need, I’m here for you. Contact me for a free consultation to understand your best options. We’ll sit down together in my office to look at your debts, your income and your options. I’ll even give you a free cup of coffee.