Cleaning your credit reports
Because of the nature of the credit scoring algorithms in use today, any amount of bad credit on your credit reports can prove disastrous to your credit rating. Regardless of the number of positive credit listings you have on your credit reports, negative credit items will drive your score down. In fact, even a single serious negative item such as a 90 day late payment recorded on your credit reports can cause you to be rejected on a credit application.
With today's increasing credit restrictions, it can seem like lenders are looking for any excuse to deny credit to consumers. When you have negative marks on your credit reports, you don't force them to look far. This is why it is more important than ever to have a clean credit report. It is not enough to have multiple positive lines of credit and a long history of use, you also need to do you best to keep bad credit listings from appearing on your credit reports.
Being careful to make all your payments on time and in full will go along way towards maintaining a good credit score. If you anticipate that you will not be able to make a payment on time, try contacting your creditors to see if they will work with you. Keeping them informed and assuring them that you are doing your best to stay current may convince them not to report delinquencies to the credit bureaus. They may even be willing to set up a payment schedule that better suits your needs.
What if I'm having trouble keeping my reports clean?
If you are already late on your payments, you may still be able to work with your creditors to minimize the impact these late payments have on your credit rating. Try negotiating for a new payment plan that ensures you will be able to stay up to date on your payments as you move forward. If you have the money on hand to bring your accounts current, ask if your creditor will remove the negative items from your credit reports in exchange for payment.