My next monthly Financial Strength Seminar is tomorrow. You are always welcome to join me and my consulting clients, if you have time. The topic is Easy Credit Repair. I will talk about why it’s important to have good credit (can mean $800+ difference PER MONTH in your house payment!) and what it takes to go from bad credit today to top credit next year, even if you can’t pay off all your bills by then. The tips below are "free" but there are credit cleanup companies out there. Contact me for reputable ones, because most are scams.

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Wig's Guide to Easy Credit Repair
by Janine Wiggins

Before we begin… let me ask you a question… What if God told you that in 9 months your little girl was going to be sick, and that there was only one procedure that would successfully save her life. It will cost $15,000, and must be paid cash in advance. Would you find a way to come up with the money? How? Write down 5 things you would do to come up with this cash.

Who Cares? It Doesn’t Matter Anymore!

Your score DOES matter! Average housing price in our area is $300,000. The table below shows what a HUGE difference your credit score makes on your house payment. See, the bank’s interest rate is based on your score. Raise your score just 200 points, and you can save over $800 a month on your house payment!

In just a year, you can go from a score of 500 to a score of 760. How? By paying all bills on time, adding no new debt, and paying down debt you already have. Many people refuse to believe that’s all there is to it, but I challenge you to try! I did it. It’s hard, but you can do it, too!

What About Emergencies?

The car breaks down. Your son gets sick. Believe it or not, most people who use the card for emergencies find that there’s always an emergency. Just as you pay it down something else goes wrong and you have to max it out again. The ONLY way to stop this cycle is to make the decision to not spend money you won’t be able to pay back. When you make this decision, you will be surprised what opportunities open up. Friends who are mechanics. Lemon and honey water that soothes colds just as well as over-the-counter drugs. Begin to save for REAL emergencies that will come. You may not need $15,000 to save your little girl’s life in 9 months, but something’s will pop up. The car is going to break down. Someone’s going to get sick. Plan for it! Pay down your debt and start an emergency fund (ex: $25/month).

But I Need to Fix My Score NOW!

Perhaps you are trying to qualify for a loan or a job next week. Here’s a few quick-fix tricks to help you if you really need to improve your score now, but REMEMBER these tips don’t help if you don’t pay your bills on time and keep balances low!

1. Get your credit report and correct errors by working with the business that reported the problem. Each of the three credit bureaus must give you one free every year at Stagger them (one every 4 months) so you can keep tabs on your credit health.

2. If you can, spread out your card balances so they don’t appear to be too much on any one card. The magic number is 20%, so if you have $1000 available credit, try not to carry more than $200 on that card.

3. Don’t rush to close old, unused, accounts. The older accounts actually help your score. Close the new accounts (under 3 years) instead.

4. Once you’ve corrected errors, have your bank or financial expert do a “Rapid Rescore.” This is expensive, but can save you thousands if you are getting ready to buy a house.

5. Finally, keep in mind that the credit card companies make more money off your report when there’s derogatory information. The best defense is to pay your bills in full and on time, all the time, and don’t take on any more credit than you need. Keep from getting the derogatory information on your report in the first place, and you will consistently have good credit.

You may feel like you’re in a black hole- but you’re not! You can get out of this. It will take some time and effort, but this time next year you will be amazed at the difference in your life if you keep going. You have to make it a PROIRITY to pay all debts on time. If you can’t pay, don’t take on the debt! NEVER trip the 30 days late wire. And pay off the credit cards as soon as possible! And I’m going to tell you a secret: When you get out of debt, your marriage, your family, your whole life will change. You really don’t know how many troubles are caused by the stress of being in debt until you finally get out from under the burden.

Take Control of Your Credit!
Take Control of Your Life!
You can do it!
I Will Help!

About the author: Janine Wiggins is neither a financial nor legal expert, but she is passionate about helping God's people get out of debt. Copyright 2007. This article may not be reproduced without the written consent of the author (Janine Wiggins). Article may be distributed in electronic form as long as this notice remains intact.