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What to do When Your Credit Is Bad

Many consumers assume and hope they are in good financial shape until they go to make a major purchase and are declined. Whether you were aware of your credit issues or were just recently informed, the only way out of a bad credit situation is to take action. Below are some steps to improving your credit score. Remember there's no quick fix available.

Take a Look
Order a credit report from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion - the three credit reporting agencies. Take a look at what each report says about you. Closely look over your credit reports and see what errors exist. Common errors include incorrect account information that is not yours, payments reported late in error, aged items that should be removed, missing details and more. It's free to dispute errors and is your legal right under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can make disputes online, over the phone and via mail. Experts advise following these rules when disputing credit items:

Get Help
Feeling overwhelmed or know you don't have the time to manage such a detailed project? Several credit repair companies exist today that are relatively affordable, are experts in this field and do a great job of managing the process for you. Many companies can also give you advice to start making smart financial decisions that positively impact your credit score.

Use a Prepaid Credit Card
If you've lost the use of your credit card you can still have the same convenience of a Visa or MasterCard by using a prepaid credit card. Prepaid credit cards are purchased and loaded with the available balance you'll have access to spend. Be sure and identify what fees are accessed with your prepaid card and how future balances may be loaded for your convenience.

In summary, if you have damaged credit the only way out is to take immediate action. Investigate the damage, fight the inaccuracies and get help if needed. A prepaid credit card will help get you through until your credit score improves.

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