For Connecticut residents, credit scores and strong payment histories are the best way to get low rates on loans and other types of financing. If you are in the market for a new home, or if you are applying for a credit card, bad credit can ruin your chances of reaching your goals. Thankfully, there is no reason to suffer from bad credit any longer than you need to. There are plenty of options to help correct mistakes on your report, pay down overdue balances, and even get rid of collections. The best option is to work with a licensed and certified CT credit repair company, though there are some things you can get started with on your own.
Connecticut has some of the highest rates of credit card debt in the US. While the national average is $5,193, Connecticut’s average is $5,823 per person. This is likely because of the higher cost of living in the state, with housing and utilities being far higher than the national average.
Although the credit card debt is higher on average in Connecticut, credit scores in the state are higher than average. The state average for credit scores in Connecticut is 728, higher than the US average of 714. While the average credit score is good in Connecticut, every average points to a lot of variation in scores for individuals. If your credit score is lower than what other people’s scores in the state are, or simply lower than it needs to be for what you want to do, such as get a house mortgage or a new car loan, credit repair is an option that might help you improve your credit score by removing negative credit entries that don’t belong.
There is a state law that impacts credit repair companies operating in Connecticut. The Creditor’s Collection Practices Act (CT Gen Stat 36a-700) gives a guidance about how contracts from credit repair organizations should be written. The main point it adds is that these companies must provide some specific disclosures within each contract with their customers.
The other legislation that impacts these companies is the Credit Repair Organizations Act (CROA). This is a federal law that sets boundaries for how credit repair companies are allowed to interact with customers, charge for services, and advertise their services to clients. This law covers all credit repair organizations in the country, giving a baseline for how they can operate and service clients.
Credit repair is a service that’s often offered by law firms. However, in Connecticut there’s no requirement for credit repair to be done by a lawyer. Lawyers are not the only ones who can do this service. Many credit repair organizations offer other credit monitoring or credit-related services as well, providing a well-rounded service for anyone looking to build and maintain a better credit score.
The credit repair process in Connecticut involves 3 main steps:
Credit reports are records of payments, credit accounts, and other credit-related events that have been reported to a credit bureau. Every 12 months, you’re entitled to a free credit report from each of the 3 major credit bureaus, which you can request online or through the mail. If you want to do credit repair, request all 3 reports. If you’ve already gotten your reports for the year, you can request new reports within the 12-month window, at a cost.
After you’ve gotten your credit reports, take some time to look at the details of each reported event, especially any negative entries that might be there. If there are incorrect details on your credit report, you can dispute those entries and have them removed from your report. This only applies to entries that aren’t supposed to be on your credit report. You can’t use this process to remove legitimate negative entries.
Sending a dispute letter to the credit bureau where you found the issue starts the process to challenge and remove false or inaccurate entries from your credit report. You must send a dispute letter to each credit bureau that had the inaccurate entries on their report, since these bureaus do not communicate with each other about entries.
Note: Even though the process is only 3 steps, it’s much more complicated than it sounds. You can go through the credit repair process in Connecticut by yourself, but it’s often better to work with a reliable credit repair company instead who can take you through the process from start to finish, including following up regularly with the credit bureaus.
You may be thinking that because you don’t plan to apply for credit cards or perhaps you may not be in the market for a house that your credit score doesn’t matter. Even if you don’t plan to use your credit right now, it is important to take the time to repair it while you are able. Your credit score affects so many aspects of your life starting and insurance premiums all the way to work promotions and securing home or student loans.
A person's score is a formulation of information that is pulled from the items listed on their credit report. The FTC conducted a study that found that as much as 5% of the population has errors that are causing lower credit scores. Checking your own credit report on a regular basis will help you spot mistakes before they drag your score down even further. Credit repair companies will work to banish these mistakes to help boost your score among other things. They will also keep an eye on your report to ensure the same item doesn’t come back during the next reporting cycle. The credit repair company can also work to remove accounts on your report that don’t belong to you and other legal actions such as bankruptcy that are not yours.
If you have bad credit, chances are you don’t really have much to spend on extra services. That is one reason it is important to look for a credit repair company that offers transparent pricing and one that actually can deliver on its promises. Most credit repair agencies may have a small upfront cost, and in most cases, payments will only be due each month while the repair is ongoing. It takes time to fix your credit no matter how good a credit repair company may be. Most people will start to see a big change in their scores around the six-month mark. That being said, you should also look for a credit repair company that offers stellar customer service. Regular phone and email support should be standard regardless of their pricing.
For those looking to secure a home loan having a good credit score is more important than ever. A bad score can keep you from getting approved, or it may result in being approved for a lower loan amount. Most new home purchases are planned well in advance, so working with a credit repair company is a good way to get your credit report mortgage company ready. A credit repair agency will take your homeownership goals and then create an actionable plan that will help you reach the score you desire. Sometimes this is through consolidation and in other cases it may be paying off specific debts early in order to raise your score.
When applying for a home loan, banks pay close attention to both your score and your debt-to-income ratio. A credit repair counselor will be able to help you improve your score and keep your ratios below 40%. Your specific plan will be customized according to the current problems on your credit report, your credit score goals, and what items can actually be changed on your credit report. Though the credit agency will monitor your report over the long term to track changes, they can also work with your mortgage broker to get a rapid rescore if you have already started the home loan process but need a quick boost after making some changes.
Credit scores are heavily reliant on your payment history. If there are mistakes in that payment history, such as missed payments or late payments, your credit score could be much lower than it’s supposed to be. Removing these incorrect entries on from your credit report can cause your score to jump up by a lot, especially if there are multiple incorrect entries.
Credit repair is charged as a monthly service, since it takes time and a lot of follow up to complete the process. The average cost in Connecticut is between $119 - $159 per month, with some companies charging a one-time setup fee along with the monthly fee. You can find credit repair in a wide range of prices, anywhere from $99 - $199 per month, depending on what you need with the service and what the company will be able to do for you.
Credit repair in CT usually takes between 3 – 6 months because of the tedious follow up process with each credit bureau. Although the credit bureau has to respond to your dispute letter within 30 days of receiving it, this doesn’t mean the process will be short. It often takes months to communicate back and forth until the incorrect entries are finally corrected.
Credit repair is a service that’s available everywhere in Connecticut. From larger cities like Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, and Stamford to smaller cities like Colebrook, Andover, Ashford, or Old Lyme, credit repair is a service that’s not dependent on the size or location of a city. Every town and city in Connecticut can access credit repair.