Today’s economy often seems a little bleak even to those of us who enjoy stable jobs with healthy paychecks. Those of us living under less rosy circumstances may stay awake nights wondering what to do to stretch dollars through to the end of this nasty economic recession. For many of us, credit repair strategies will become a necessity, now if not later. But where to begin?
The first step to credit repair is to seriously evaluate all sources of income and compare them against all fixed expenses. Fixed expenses represent the things you simply cannot live without but which must be paid for every month - a home, electricity, food, the car, clothes, prescriptions, shoes, dog food, whatever. Fixed expenses vary from household to household so forget the Joneses and concentrate on just your own household needs.
The next step is to cut back, deliberately and without mercy, on any expenses you can live without or live with less of. Does the dog really need organic, gourmet dog food right now or will a less expensive brand fill his belly just the same, even if only for a few months? Yes, the kids probably do need new shoes for school but wouldn’t two pairs each work just as effectively as five new pairs would? Just this year? Can you car-pool or take public transportation? Think about what can be reduced, minimized, or eliminated and put a stop to it. If only until the economy improves.
Now consider how to increase income. Is a second job a possibility? Many of your neighbors are moonlighting so why not you? Got teenagers? Can they babysit or mow lawns for the cash to buy their school lunches or those new shoes?
Contact all your creditors. That means credit card and gas card companies. The furniture store. Your internet service provider. The cable TV company. Can you negotiate a lower interest rate with any of them? Or smaller payments? What about a cheaper line of services? Do you really need 500 channels when you only really - honestly - watch about a dozen of them?
Establish a budget and stick to it. Take into consideration your newly boosted income and your reduced fixed expenses. Determine how much, exactly, you can afford to pay toward those discretionary debts, like the cable TV service, the internet, and dining out.
Keep in mind it’s credit repair that you’re striving for so make a budget that includes regular payments to all your creditors and make no excuses about not paying them. In full and on time. Every month. This is one of the surest and quickest ways to improve a credit score so don’t let whim throw you off course.
If these steps boggle the mind, turn to a credit repair counseling service for advice and guidance. Many of them offer services free of charge. Many of them will help you establish a debt repayment plan but they will be happy to offer just guidance and education if that’s all you feel comfortable with.
Don’t wait for the economy to get better out there. Start at home to make life better in here, especially if the need for credit repair is keeping you sleepless.