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Tips for Repairing Your Credit History

Through CFSA’s financial education portal: MyStartingPoint, you can learn how to put yourself on a better financial footing. If you have already found yourself in financial straits, below are a few quick tips on how to rebuild or repair your credit history.

Repairing Credit on Your Own:

  • Start by contacting credit agencies to get a copy of your credit report.
  • If there are errors on your credit report, you can contact the credit-reporting agency to request an investigation.
  • Contact your lenders to renegotiate payment plans.

Repairing Credit Using Credit Counseling Agencies

If you decide to use a credit counseling agency, the Federal Trade Commission provides the following tips for choosing a credit counseling agency and questions to ask regarding services and fees and repayment plans:

  • Interview several credit counseling agencies before signing a contract.
  • Before signing a contract, check with your local Better Business Bureau, state attorney general’s office, or local consumer protection agency to check whether there have been complaints filed against the company. A reputable agency will send you free information about itself and the service it provides without requiring you to provide any details about your situation. If the agency won’t do this, find another agency.
  • Ask questions about services and fees and a repayment plan. (For a list of questions to ask credit counseling agencies, see “Giving Credit Where It's Due: Choosing the Right Counseling Agency.”)

The Truth About Credit Repair

Only consistent efforts and making payments on your debts will improve your credit.

Beware of companies that:

  • Promise to erase your bad credit or remove bankruptcies and judgments from your credit file. No one can have accurate information removed.
  • Promise you fast and easy credit repair. If you have bad credit, it can take years to repair your credit legitimately.
  • Offer to create a new identity for you. If you make false statements on loan applications, or use a fake Social Security number, you will be committing fraud. You can also be charged for mail or wire fraud if you use the mail or telephone to apply for credit and provide false information.
  • Want you to pay for credit repair services before providing any service. The company might not be legitimate.
  • Will not tell you your rights and what you can do yourself. Remember you can order the credit report yourself. If you see errors on your report, you can also request that the credit reporting agencies make appropriate changes.

Keep in mind, many states have laws that regulate credit repair companies.

An Important Note:

*AS WITH EVERY FINANCIAL SERVICE OR PRODUCT, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU UNDERSTAND THE FEES. REMEMBER IT'S YOUR FINANCIAL WELL-BEING. SO, GET THE FACTS AND MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS USE PAYDAY ADVANCES RESPONSIBLY.

ON JANUARY 1, 2008, ALL CFSA MEMBER COMPANIES BEGAN PROMINENTLY DISPLAYING POSTERS IN THEIR STORES EXPLAINING THEIR FEES, AND MADE THIS INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THEIR COMPANY WEB SITES.

DISCLAIMER:

The maximum fees and APRs are provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon when applying for credit. Consult your lender for the actual cost and APR on any loan. CFSA makes no claims, promises, or guarantees as to the accuracy of the information provided above.

Connecting With Our Communities

Managing household finances can be a daunting task. However, by using solid budgeting and savings techniques, you can accomplish major financial goals. In the Customer Resource Center, CFSA offers a variety of payday advance resources that support and encourage responsible lending practices, and highlight the vital role of our members’ stores in neighborhoods near you.


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Here you will find an aggregate of industry research, comprehensive data, and benchmarking tools from the short-term lending industry. They cover all payday advance business areas – consumer demographics, media hits, the latest policy initiatives, among others. Click here to access to the partner's resource library.

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For Our Policymakers

CFSA works at the federal, state, and local levels educate legislators and regulators about the role of payday advances in the broader financial services arena. This section provides resources for policymakers who believe in access to credit, want to preserve financial options and ensure balanced, substantive consumer protections. Click here to enter the Policymaker Resource Library.