Military Credit Repair Service
After military service, transitioning back to civilian life can be very difficult sometimes.
Fortunately, a variety of programs are available to help military personnel with everything, from mortgages to disability benefits. They also help with some military credit repair services. You are serving your own country and it should never sacrifice a good credit score.
Establishing good credit is important to be taken care of, specifically for users who are going to buy homes, pay down debt, etc.
Some branches of the military will conduct a credit check on anyone who wishes to enlist as part of a standard background check. While others will only conduct credit checks on those who require a security clearance in their positions or ranks.
- What is The Fastest Way to Repair Your Credit?
- What Are Some Military Credit Repair Service Tips and Tricks
- The Military Checklist for Protecting Your Credit
- Is There Someone Who Can Help me Fix my Credit?
- Who is The Best For Credit Repair?
What is The Fastest Way to Repair Your Credit?
If your credit score is lower than you’d like, there may be fast ways to bring it up. Depending on what’s holding it down, you may be able to tack on as many as 100 points relatively quickly. Scores in the “fair” and “bad” areas of the credit score ranges could see dramatic results.
1. Pay credit card balances strategically
The portion of your credit limits you’re using at any given time is called your credit utilization. A good guideline: Use less than 30% of your limit on any card, and lower is better. The highest scorers use less than 7%.
Read Also: How Soon Will my Credit Score Improve After Bankruptcy?
You want to make sure your balance is low when the card issuer reports it to the credit bureaus because that’s what is used in calculating your score. A simple way to do that is to pay down the balance before the billing cycle ends or to pay several times throughout the month to always keep your balance low.
Impact: Highly influential. Your credit utilization is the second-biggest factor in your credit score; the biggest factor is paying on time.
Time commitment: Low to medium. Set calendar reminders to log in and make payments. You may also be able to add alerts on your credit card accounts to let you know when your balance hits a set amount.
How fast it could work: Fast. As soon as your credit card reports a lower balance to the credit bureaus, that lower utilization will be used in calculating your score.
2. Ask for higher credit limits
When your credit limit goes up and your balance stays the same, it instantly lowers your overall credit utilization, which can improve your credit. If your income has gone up or you’ve added more years of positive credit experience, you have a decent shot at getting a higher limit.
Impact: Highly influential, because utilization is a large factor in credit scores.
Time commitment: Low. Contact your credit card issuer to ask about getting a higher limit. See if it’s possible to avoid a “hard” credit inquiry, which can temporarily drop your score a few points.
How fast it could work: Fast. Once the higher limit is reported to credit bureaus, it will lower your overall credit utilization — as long as you don’t use up the extra “room” on the card.
3. Become an authorized user
If a relative or friend has a credit card account with a high credit limit and a good history of on-time payments, ask to be added as an authorized user. That adds the account to your credit reports, so its credit limit can help your utilization. Also called “credit piggybacking,” authorized user status allows you to benefit from the primary user’s positive payment history. The account holder doesn’t have to let you use the card — or even give you the account number — for your credit to improve.
Make sure the account reports to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion) to get the best effect; most credit cards do.
Impact: Potentially high, especially if you are a credit newbie with a thin credit file. The impact will be smaller for those with established credit who are trying to offset missteps or lower credit utilization.
Time commitment: Low to medium. You’ll need to have a conversation with the account holder you’re asking for this favor, and agree on whether you will have access to the card and account or simply be listed as an authorized user.
How fast it could work: Fast. As soon as you’re added and that credit account reports to the bureaus, the account can benefit your profile.
4. Pay bills on time
No strategy to improve your credit will be effective if you pay late. Worse, late payments can stay on your credit reports for 7½ years.
If you miss a payment by 30 days or more, call the creditor immediately. Pay up as soon as you can and ask if the creditor will consider no longer reporting the missed payment to the credit bureaus. Even if the creditor won’t do that, it’s worth getting current on the account ASAP. Every month an account is marked delinquent hurts your score.
Impact: Highly influential. Your record of paying bills on time is the largest scoring factor in both FICO and VantageScore credit scoring systems.
Time commitment: Low. Prevent missed payments by setting up account reminders and considering automatic payments to cover at least the minimum.
How fast it could work: This varies, depending on how many payments you’ve missed and how recently. It also matters how late payment was (30, 60, 90 or more days past due). Fortunately, the impact of delinquent payments fades over time, and adding more positive credit accounts can help to speed that up.
5. Dispute credit report errors
A mistake on one of your credit reports could be pulling down your score. Disputing credit report errors can help you quickly improve your credit.
You’re entitled to free reports from each of the three major credit bureaus. Use AnnualCreditReport.com to request them and then check for mistakes, such as payments marked late when you paid on time, someone else’s credit activity mixed with yours, or negative information that’s too old to be listed anymore.
Once you’ve identified them, dispute those errors.
Impact: Varies, but could be high if a creditor is reporting that you missed a payment when you didn’t.
Time commitment: Medium to high. It takes some time to request and read your free credit reports, file disputes about errors and track the follow-up. But the process is worthwhile, especially if you’re trying to build your credit ahead of a milestone such as applying for a large loan. If you’re planning to apply for a mortgage, get disputes done with plenty of time to spare.
How fast it could work: Varies. The credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate and respond. Some companies offer to dispute errors and quickly improve your credit, but proceed with caution.
6. Deal with collections accounts
Paying off a collections account removes the threat that you will be sued over the debt, and you may be able to persuade the collection agency to stop reporting the debt once you pay it. You can also remove collections accounts from your credit reports if they aren’t accurate or are too old to be listed.
Impact: Varies. An account in collections is a serious negative mark on your credit report, so if the collector agrees to stop reporting the account it could help a great deal.
If the collector keeps reporting the account, the effect depends on the scoring model used to create your score. The FICO 8 model, which is most widely used for credit decisions, still takes paid collections into account. However, more recent FICO models and VantageScores ignore paid-off collections.
Time commitment: Medium. You’ll need to request and read your credit reports, then make a plan to handle collections accounts that are listed.
How fast it could work: Moderately quickly. On credit scores that ignore paid collections, such as VantageScore and newer FICOs, as soon as the paid-off status is reported to credit bureaus it can benefit your scores. In other cases, such as disputing a collection account or asking for a goodwill deletion, the process could take a few months.
7. Use a secured credit card
Another way to build or rebuild your credit is with a secured credit card. This type of card is backed by a cash deposit; you pay it upfront and the deposit amount is usually the same as your credit limit. You use it like a normal credit card, and your on-time payments help build your credit.
Impact: Varies. This is likeliest to help someone new to credit with accounts or someone with dented credit wanting a way to add more positive credit history and dilute past missteps.
Time commitment: Medium. Look for a secured card that reports your credit activity to all three major credit bureaus. You may also consider looking into alternative credit cards that don’t require a security deposit.
How fast it could work: Several months. The goal here is not just having another card, although that can help your score a bit by improving your depth of credit. Rather, your aim is to build a record of keeping balances low and paying on time.
8. Get credit for rent and utility payments
Rent reporting services can add your on-time rent payments to your credit reports. Rent payments are not considered by every scoring model — VantageScores include them but FICO 8 does not, for example. Even so, if a would-be creditor looks at your reports, rent records will be there, and a long record of consistent payments can only help.
Experian Boost also can help, but in a more limited way. You link bank accounts to the free Boost service, which then scans for payments to streaming services and phone and utility bills. You choose which payments you want added to your Experian credit report. If a creditor pulls your FICO 8 using Experian data, you get the benefit of that additional payment history.
Time commitment: Low. After initial setup, no additional time is needed.
How fast it could work: Boost works instantly; rent reporting varies, with some services offering an instant “lookback” of the past two years of payments. Without that, it could take some months to build a record of on-time payments.
9. Add to your credit mix
An additional credit account in good standing may help your credit, particularly if it is a type of credit you don’t already have.
If you have only credit cards, consider getting a loan; a credit-builder loan can be a low-cost option. Check that the loan you’re considering adding reports to all three credit bureaus.
If you have only loans or have few credit cards, a new credit card may help. In addition to improving the credit mix, it can reduce your overall credit utilization by providing more available credit.
Impact: Varies. Opening a loan account is likeliest to help someone with only credit cards and vice versa. And there’s more potential gain for people with few accounts or short credit histories.
Time commitment: Medium. Consider whether the time spent researching providers and applying is worth the potential lift to your score. Weigh what you’d pay in interest and fees, too, if you’re getting a loan or card strictly to improve your credit.
How fast it could work: Fast. As soon as the new account’s activity is reported to the credit bureaus, it can start to benefit you.
What Are Some Military Credit Repair Service Tips and Tricks
You should fix your credit by contacting the credit repair service or by doing it yourself. SCRA protection will help you to avoid damaging your credit.
Know Your Credit Report
You can get your credit report by contacting the Federal Trade Commission.
Give a look at your credit report properly. If you are not aware of your credit report, then you will not be able to work on military credit reports properly. And you will not be able to apply for a new credit card too.
Use Your Credit Wisely
According to the Department of Defense, the Government Travel Charge Card Program (GTCC) has been introduced. The service members should use the travel card to pay for all their travel expenses.
Since the usage of this card is a must, servicemembers have the opportunity to pay on time and begin establishing some good credit habits.
The GTCC program assists cardholders in developing better credit habits, but it is limited to a specific credit account. You must apply the good credit habits required for participation in the GTCC program to all of your accounts.
Repair Your Credit Fast
For military servicemen, the fastest way to repair your credit is by concentrating on your payment history and your available credit.
Now coming to the payment history section, make sure all of your payments are made on the due date or not past 30 days of the due date. Then, concentrating on your available credit, pay your outstanding credit balances to 30% of the available credit.
By looking into these two categories first, you can quickly improve your credit score.
The Military Checklist for Protecting Your Credit
This checklist below will help you to protect your credit when you are out of town. Follow these steps to make sure that you do not return home tensed to know about your credit scores.
You can also contact the companies that do credit repair services for improving your credits.
Put Active Duty Military Alert
Choose the Active Duty Military Alert on all your credit accounts by contacting one of the three major credit bureaus. These are:
By doing this will flag your credit report and the creditor will need to take additional steps to verify that the account opened in your name is actually you.
You are protecting your account by placing the active military alert. And this choice would be considered a priority when you are out of town.
Review your Credit Report
Have a look at your credit report before leaving for your service. You could rectify some of the issues when viewing your credit report. This gives your credit a possible shape before you start from your home.
You can also clear all your negative information or any errors that are wrongly addressed on your credit report.
Power of Attorney
You can also choose the power of attorney option to look after your credit when you are away. So that you will not worry about your financial issues when you are away. This shows a huge impact on your credit score.
The credit freeze option is mainly for military service people. The three major credit bureaus introduced this option. You can lift, or remove a credit freeze option on your credit reports.
This credit freeze will prevent your credit information from being shared with someone without your knowledge. It would require your permission to give your information.
Is There Someone Who Can Help me Fix my Credit?
It’s commonly known that the better your credit reports and credit scores, the better interest rates and terms you’re likely to get from lenders and other service providers. Solid credit reports and scores indicate a lower level of credit risk, which can cause lenders to feel more comfortable offering attractive terms. If you have poor credit, however, lenders are less likely to offer you their most advantageous deals.
Because of this financial reality, people with poor credit seeking ways to improve it may consider hiring a third-party credit repair company. While it may seem like a good idea to pay someone to fix your credit reports, there is nothing a credit repair company can do for you that you can’t do yourself for free.
The words “fix” and “repair” suggest your credit reports are somehow wrong or otherwise contain inaccurate information. This isn’t usually true and isn’t really how credit repair companies operate. Instead of helping consumers correct possibly inaccurate credit report entries, they attempt to have any negative information removed—whether the negative information is correct isn’t relevant to their efforts.
Credit repair companies cannot fix your credit. They don’t have a secret backchannel to the three credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax) that allows them to get information removed. Further, the credit bureaus don’t delete credit information simply because you’ve hired a credit repair company. There’s simply nothing a credit repair company can do for you that’s any more effective than what you can do on your own.
Who is The Best For Credit Repair?
A credit repair company will act on your behalf by working with the three credit agencies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. This is important because your credit score can be the key metric when it comes to buying a car or a home. If you have a lower credit score, these purchases can be more expensive and difficult to achieve and you may have to pay higher interest rates.
The best credit repair companies are reliable, effective, and have good customer service. You may have negative marks on your credit reports from late payments, maxing out credit cards, or debt in collections, all of which may hurt your creditworthiness. If you don’t have the time or desire to fix these credit report blemishes, you can pay someone else to do the work for you.
Ovation Credit Services
Ovation Credit Services, a LendingTree company, has been in business since 2004. Founded by attorneys, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company offers proven credit repair services and has helped fix more than 1 million credit profiles, with an average of 19 improvements per customer, according to the company’s website.
Ovation Credit Services offers two credit repair service options:
|$89 first work fee, $109 per month
Unlimited challenge validation letters
Unlimited creditor goodwill letters
Ovation recommendation letter
|$89 first work fee, $79 per month
Options for personalized dispute
Personal case advisor
Financial management tools
Both plans include a free consultation and a no-risk refund policy. You will also have one-on-one service through a Personal Case Advisor.
Ovation Credit Services has had no complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Sky Blue Credit
Sky Blue Credit has been in the credit repair business since 1989. The Boca Raton, Florida-based company disputes 15 items—or five items per credit bureau—every 35 days, according to the company’s website.
Sky Blue Credit offers one simple credit repair service option:
|Sky Blue Credit
|$79 setup fee, $79 per month
Credit reports and monitoring
Faster and custom disputes
Cease and desist letters
Sky Blue Credit offers a 90-day, money-back guarantee and the process normally takes several months. You may pause the service or change the billing date any time—without paying an extra fee. These services are available in all states except for Colorado and South Carolina, according to a representative.
There have been three Sky Blue Credit complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Credit Saint, an Oakland, New Jersey-based company, has been in business since 2004. The company’s website features rankings from various personal finance websites, and its services include a personal advisory team, an online account, and ongoing credit education.
Read Also: How Does Debt Validation Work?
Credit Saint’s three simple levels of credit repair service provide customers with a clear-cut path to becoming more creditworthy:
|$99 first work fee, $79.99 per month
Challenges to three bureaus
5 items challenged
|$99 first work fee, $99.99 per month
Everything from Credit Polish
10 items challenged
|$195 first work fee, $119.99 per month
Everything from Credit Remodel
Unlimited items challenged
Credit Saint offers a free consultation by phone, and then you’ll have online access and phone support throughout the process. You’ll also rest easy with the company’s 90-day money-back guarantee.
Over the past year, there haven’t been any customer complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The first thing you need to know is that you do not have to pay a third party to repair your credit. The basic steps you need to take to repair your credit are things you must do yourself; pay on time, contest inaccurate or outdated information on your credit report, reduce your credit utilization, etc.
Military credit repair takes time, but the effort is worth it.