How Long Does It Take To Repair My Credit?
It doesn’t matter much where or under which circumstances you’re currently living, odds are that your credit score is going to prove to be of utmost importance for any kind of life you’re trying to build for yourself. Think about it: just about every single serious purchase we make involves your credit score to some degree or other. Whether that’s financing your first car loan, renting any kind of property long-term, or even becoming a homeowner, your credit score is a most important little number which acts as the common denominator between all of these scenarios.
What Does My Credit Score Mean?
Put simply, your credit score is a way to represent to the people who are going to lend you money how reliable you are, and how likely you are, mathematically, to repay the investment they’re explicitly making in you by lending you money in the first place. Whether you get your reports from Equifax or not, the people accessing your account to consider you for a loan are going to be looking at it and plugging it in to any number of incredibly sophisticated algorithms their actuaries have cooked up to justify the risk.
Unfortunately, not all of us are possessed of the credit score we might like to have. Some of us, in fact, have credit scores so bad that they need urgent work; this is a concept called credit repair, and it’s the strategy we’re going to be discussing in the following article. Credit scores can take due to any number of possible reasons. The most likely situations to affect it are filing for bankruptcy, being the victim of personal identity theft, or just good old-fashioned financial irresponsibility.
Let’s be honest. We’re all prone to the odd spree of impulse spending, as well as buying things we know, deep down, that we don’t really need, but when it becomes endemic enough to affect the very score that you’re going to rely on to secure the most important cornerstones to your financial existence, that’s when it’s a serious problem. In any case, it doesn’t much matter whether you need to learn about credit repair as a result of filing for bankruptcy, behaving irresponsibly, or even—God forbid—having your identity stolen. The credit repair techniques are the same across the board.
How Long Will Credit Repair Take?
The question of how long it’s going to take to completely rehabilitate your credit score to the point where you’re going to be able to secure financing for those important loans is going to vary hugely depending on what exactly your credit score is, and how bad the situation may actually turn out to be, when you get down to it.
While we can’t provide any hard-and-fast guidelines for how long it’s going to take you personally (and neither can anybody else: if they’re telling you they can, odds are they’re trying to take advantage of your situational vulnerability and hoodwink you into buying something you’d really be better off without), what we certainly can do is give you a few crucial steps to how to go about performing credit repair. From there, you’ll be able to work out an approximate timeline for your own credit repair journey, which you’ll hopefully traverse as quickly as possible in order to return to the optimal credit score you and your loved ones deserve.
To that end, here are a few of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to performing credit repair. While it’s not an exhaustive list, we’d rather give you the tools you need to come up with your own strategy than try to force-feed you a cookie-cutter financial recipe which is more likely to end up leaving a bad taste in your mouth than that delicious >700 figure you’ve been dreaming about reclaiming as your own.
Here, then are the best ways to think about credit repair, in order to secure your financial future.
Tool One: List-Making
If your tanked credit score is as a result of poor personal planning, odds are you probably haven’t gotten a chance to become proficient at making lists. If, on the other hand, it was a freak accident or crime and you do, in fact, know exactly how to make lists in order to structure your financing, feel free to skip on down the list to the other tools. WE’d recommend, though, reading this section anyway, as when it comes to something as important as credit repair it’s important to arm yourself with as much information as you possibly can, so that when something unpleasant comes up you’ll have the best possible chance of dealing with it.
It’s difficult, maybe even impossible, to finance your life properly without having a complete and exhaustive list of all your expenses. This includes long-term financial obligations, like student debts or car loans, as well as more short-term expenses, like groceries, entertainment needs, and funds spent on assorted hobbies. We’re not interested in telling you what you should or shouldn’t be spending your money on—that’s an entirely personal choice, and attempting to give you advice on that would be as insulting as it would prove to be ultimately fruitless.
While it can seem daunting, the colossal mountain of information you’ll have to climb up to even start making a thorough list of expenses, it’s important to remember that if you take it one step at a time, you will get there. You can’t help but get there, in fact, as long as you keep taking steps. With that in mind, start out your catalogue of expenses with the most serious, binding, and long-term obligations. (By the way, this is another crucial skill to become familiar with when it comes to credit repair: prioritising obligations.)
Once you’ve taken adequate account of your serious debts and loans that are due, move on to monthly spending amounts. Things like rent, utilities, electrical bills. Essentially, anything that you get charged for once a month. This will doubtless prove to be longer than you think it is, and you’d be amazed by just how many people don’t have the exact figure they’re paying when it comes to monthly costs.
After you’ve kept track of your monthly obligations as well, narrow the lens even further. Go for your weekly expenses. This is more difficult, given that few, if any of us, live exactly the same lives week-to-week, but it can be helpful to refer back to the monthly list in order to get an approximate amount you spend on going out, leisure, entertainment, etc, and then divide that by four to get a precise weekly amount.
Once you have your list composed and you know exactly how much you’re spending and where you’re spending it, congratulations! That’s the first, and most difficult, step of any. Adequate credit repair strategy, and you’ve got it out of the way. Keep this list neat and tidy, and make sure to take note of any unexpected expenses that can and will crop up in the course of living your day-to-day life.
Tool Two: Debt Prioritisation
Now that you know how much you’re spending, and what you’re spending it on, it’s time to prioritise your debts. Obviously, when it comes to credit repair, the most important of these is going to be any money you owe on your credit card bills. It’s vital to get these out of the way as soon as possible so that they can be registered in the system by the time your next credit report comes around.
Credit card debts are some of the most heavily weighted financial obligations when it comes to calculating your credit score, so a vitally important part of credit repair is taking care of these as soon as possible. Obviously, you can’t really forgo things like rent and electricity, but think about cutting back on some of your entertainment and leisure expenses in order to get these debts cleared as soon as possible. It’s not for us to tell you where you should trip the fat from—that’s going to depend entirely on you and the life you want to lead. But when it comes to credit repair, taking care of credit card bills should be your number one priority.
After that, consider putting some more money into clearing up any outstanding living debts you may have. While we’d never tell you to avoid long-term debts, like student loans, completely, it’s better to get the minutiae (in terms of what you’re actually spending money on) in line first, given that the student debts aren’t going to go away any time soon. As ever, with credit repair, the priority is making sure the next credit report carries with it the best possible score you can manage. This is the single biggest way to cut down the total amount of time it takes to perform credit repair.
Tool Three: Re-Imagine Your Thought Processes
Now that you’ve (hopefully) got the most heavily-weighted debts (in terms of the dent they make to your credit score) out of the way, and you’re working on some of the smaller ones, it’s time to embark on the most time-consuming part of the process. This may well extend well beyond the point where your credit score actually gets back to where you’d like it to be, counter-intuitive as that may sound.
The thing you need to instill in yourself is the skill of thinking about things long-term. While the two tools above will make a world of difference for each new credit report that you get (and you should try your best to spread out the free ones you’re entitled to so that they represent your financial year as evenly as possible), this one is going to ensure you don’t fall into the same pitfalls that tanked your score in the first place.
One Way To Think About Credit Repair
A good way to think about it is that you’re investing time into developing an ability which is going to save you tons of money and time in the future. Framing the thought like this removes it from being an abstract, lofty concept, and places it firmly in the here-and-now: you’re essentially making yourself money by doing nothing but re-jigging your thinking.
Visualisation differs from person to person: what’s important is that you come up with a way to prioritise changing your thinking frame from short-term to long-term in a manner that you’ll be able to stick to. To make use of a favourite, yet apt, cliché: it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Every five minutes you spend re-framing the way you think is going to pay you back in spades further down the line, so get started as soon as you have your more serious debts in line with a new and improved credit score.
There you have it. The three most important tools that will help you perform credit repair in order to get your score back where it should be. While we can’t come up with a definite timeline, given that we don’t know the ins and outs of your personal situation, we can promise that the longer you put off putting these credit repair tools into action, the longer it’ll take to finally get your score back where you need it to be in order to live the best life you possibly can.
If you’ve been working on credit repair but still can’t get approved for a car loan, consider sending us an email here at Oakvillebadcreditcarloans.ca. No matter what your score is, we’ll consider your application for a loan and let you know as soon as possible whether or not we can help you out.