03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Making a Fresh Credit Start in 2010

Like everyone, I love this time of year because it seems to be filled with possibilities. When it comes to credit, however, many people feel like there's no way around a bad score, and that the best that can be done is to wait it out. Fortunately, the possibility of an improved credit score is out there. You just need to be aware.

Bad Credit

If you already know that you have bad credit, it's time for a fresh start. However hopeless you may feel right now, just being aware of what's on your report, even when the information is bad, is good. Being in the know is better than burying your head in the sand. And knowing what's there provides the best starting point for a plan.

Begin by:

  • 1. Ordering all three credit reports from Experian, Equifax & Trans Union.
  • 2. Reviewing all three, looking for any inaccurate information.
  • 3. Disputing any inaccurate information by working directly with the credit bureaus.
  • 4. Deciding which accounts you can start paying down.
  • 5. Putting together a plan to lower your debt.

No Credit

Sometimes bad credit is the consequence of having no credit. Start building new secured accounts. When the New Year rolls in next year, your new 12 month history of accounts will give your score a boost.

Good Credit

To those who have good or excellent credit - congratulations - but remember to still be aware of what's being reported about you. I recently had a client who came to me three days before his mortgage closing because the bank pulled his credit, found a second address listed on his credit report, and refused to close the loan. While the address had nothing to do with him, it was a red flag to the lender. We worked with the credit bureaus to get the address removed and thankfully, once that was done, they closed the loan. As a credit coach, I want you to obtain the highest FICO score possible. Please email me directly with any credit questions,,

And remember to make a fresh start this New Year by adding at least one more resolution to your list:

Get Focused on My Credit!