If you hit a bad shot in the game of golf, you have one of two options moving forward: you can either deal with the poor shot and strive to make a better shot on your next stroke or you can drop a new ball and essentially hit a do-over, or a mulligan. In many cases, the mulligan trumps the former option.
But unlike golf, there are no mulligans when it comes many things in life – like your credit history. Yes, those with poor credit history – and thereby a poor credit score – often wonder if there’s a way for them to hit the reset switch and essentially start over. Essentially, the closest thing to accomplishing this is bankruptcy, but this method of “starting over” can actually do more harm than good over the short term, as bankruptcy can stay on your credit report for up to 10 years. Can I Start A New Credit Report?
Here’s a look at some common misconceptions that people have when it comes to their credit history and starting over:
One common misconception is that you’ll get a new credit report if you were to change your name. That’s false – in this case, one’s existing credit history is simply transferred and carried over to the person’s new name. A person’s credit report is matched to a specific individual, so any data would simply be carried over in the case of a name change.
Social Security Number Change
It’s very rare that someone is issued a new social security number, legally at least. But just like as in the case with a name change, your credit history would simply be carried over to that new number, should you qualify to receive a new social security number. Unlike what many people may hypothesize, a new SSN doesn’t mean a fresh start on your credit.
Can I Start A New Credit Report?
The best option to improving your credit score, and the closest thing to hitting the reset button on your credit report, is simply to take it more seriously. Come up with a credit repair plan that will pay down high-interest debt, aim to reduce your credit card and debt to under 30 percent of your total credit allotment and always be sure to pay your bills on time. Credit repair takes patience and commitment, but it’s certainly not impossible.
On a side note, be wary of quick fix credit repair scams, which create a new credit report by altering your identity. This is illegal – an example of fraud – and can result in much more bad than good.
As you can see, there are no mulligans when it comes to your credit report. The best way to start fresh is to commit to taking the matter more seriously and work to increase your score to make you a more attractive consumer. There’s no such thing as a credit report do-over, so aim to correct your financial mistakes with smart decisions moving forward.
For additional information, feel free to contact our office at 617-265-7900, or schedule a free consultation below.