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Credit Game – How to Win It?
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Finances and credit can be stressful. This is a huge factor that governs aspects of your life from where you work to where you live to what insurance rates you qualify for. But, it doesn’t have to be scary. Instead of getting intimidated, look at achieving a higher credit score as a game.
Do you know your credit score? Do you know where to find valid free credit reports? If not, don’t worry. Everyone is a newb at some point in the game. No one is born knowing how to manage their credit, and everybody has to learn.
Start by filling your bag with knowledge: get your free annual credit report. Read up on credit and finances. As you build your credit education, you increase your power level and are capable of tackling tougher and tougher tasks. If you feel lost, do not hesitate to engage the services of a reputable credit repair agency.
First Quest: Fix the Negatives
The first thing to do when repairing your credit is to take care of the negative marks on your report. First, make sure that nothing is on the report that doesn’t belong there. Think of your credit report as a first look beta: there will be things (in this case, reporting errors) that don’t belong in the final game. But, instead of patches of earth that won’t hold up your character, they are bills that don’t belong to you or that were paid in full at some point in the past.
For you to be held responsible for a debt, the creditor needs to provide verification on demand. If they are unable to show that the debt is valid, it is removed from your report and ceases to impact your score.
Next, slay the monsters. Contact creditors about valid debts to work out repayment. You may be able to do a little in-game RP and negotiate a lower payoff total. Credit collection companies buy old debts for a small fraction of their original totals. Usually, they will make a nice profit if they are able to collect even a portion of the original debt. Start by offering as low as 25% and negotiate upward until you and the credit company land at a number that feels fair to both of you. Remember to use the right tools for this negotiation: always communicate by postal mail and keep a record of every interaction.
Leveling Up: Adding New Positive Notes
Once you have the basics down, it’s time for the expansion pack. There are two types of credit that help your score in different ways. Installment loans like mortgages and auto loans show that you can be trusted to make regular payments over a period of time. Revolving credit, like credit cards, show that you can use restraint.
Remember that new inquiries lower your score for a period of time. Think of them as weapons that temporarily reduce your strength. Try applying for a few loans during a short period of time, then waiting awhile before going for more.
When you look at credit as a game, you make it a competition instead of a stressor. Keep on top of old debts and manage new ones to raise your level and get access to better and more exciting quests.