I have declared bankruptcy which included a vehicle re-possession and thank God, I now have great credit again! So good in fact, that I have three credit cards! This process will take at least ten years, but if you are in real trouble and have no other way out, it does work.
Your first step is to acquire a secured credit card. Depending on how damaged your credit is will determine how much you have to pay and how much you will receive. I applied for a Capital One Mastercard, paid $75 and had a limit of $300. Because I used the card and paid it every month, I built up a positive credit record and now have a lower interest rate, higher credit limit and pay no annual service fees.
Make sure that you use the card in place of a regular purchase then set the money aside and pay the card BEFORE your due date to avoid paying interest i.e: you have $200 for groceries, put the groceries on your credit card and put the $200 cash aside then a day or two before your minimum payment is due put the $200 you saved on your credit card, no interest, card is paid and you get kudos on your credit score. Do this on a regular, at least monthly basis and you'll see a great improvement.
I then went to a car dealership that specializes in bad credit (I'm from Canada and so went through Mac James Motors) but if you look through your local yellow pages you should be able to locate a dealership that advertises bad credit sales. The interest rate is high and the financing is usually 36 months which makes your monthly payments higher than your average vehicle loan but the improvements it makes to your credit score is well worth the price providing you can afford the payments (I financed a $10,000 car at $439/mth for 36mths at a 29% interest rate for a total of @$16,500).
You can also go to The Brick or Rent-to-Own and finance some furniture, entertainment system, etc and as long as you pay on time, everytime you will see an eventual improvement in your credit (takes a bit longer than high risk credit cards and auto financers since those typically report to credit bureau every month as opposed to rent-to-own type places that typically report every 6 mths)
To track your credit score, apply for it every 6 mths to see where your rating is, what's affecting it and ensure that it is accurate since there have been known cases of credit report errors.
The only two ways to have a negative item removed from your credit report is by disputing the negative item with the credit bureau reporting it or time. If the information is correct regarding the repossession it will be on your credit report for at least 7 years. You can contact the creditor and start a payment plan and have the credit bureau put a note in your public credit file that a payment plan has been started. If you dispute the item and it can not be proved within 30 days or their records are incorrect, they must remove it from your credit report or correct the information.
To repair your credit in general, you must have negative accounts removed and positive accounts added.
Please note that you must keep your focus on your overall credit score, not just removing that repossession. Also placing a note on your credit report does not help with your credit score. There is a process to the credit system and you mus have full knowledge in order to maximize results. Adding trade lines really helps but know your goals. If you are seeking a new car with limited credit history and that repossession it is virtually impossible to get a new car from a credible lender. You may have to go to one of those carry the note car companies. However, if you have a history of good credit and have made successful car payments with that repossession, then getting a car loan may not be as difficult with a good down payment. Just know that there is a home credit score, car credit score and credit card credit score. Obtaining credit for anyone of those categories can be different. You must know the difference.
The only real way to repair your credit is to stop buying things on credit so often. If you can not pay cash for a car, use the bus until you can buy a car.
Credit is based on your history of paying bills. If you get a bankruptcy added, you are looking at a decade of high payments for everything before you start seeing some sunlight. Even then, some companies will never give you credit after a bankruptcy. You are ALWAYS better off trying to pay your debt as opposed to running away from your promises.
Your credit score is based on 1. Your payment history 2. The amount of debt you could get from your cards and 3. The amount of debt you really have.
Not paying a bill and allowing a car to go repo on you is a big no no. Getting credit cards and never using them is a good thing, if you do not have to pay an annual charge.
What you really want is someday having financial security, not a good credit score. This is done by not living beyond your means. Do not buy stuff you do not have the cash for. Do not go on vacation if you have not paid your car off in full.
True independence and true freedom is having money in the bank, not owning the task masters at a bank. If you have allowed a car to go into repossession, pay the rest of the car off and stop over spending for a few years. That is the only honest method of repairing your credit. Remember you really want to have money in the bank, not a good credit rating to become a slave to debt again.
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