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Why Tax Season is the Time to Repair Your Credit

Posted by Chris Devin  March 11, 2014 10:47 AM

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Why Tax Season is the Time to Repair Your Credit

Why is tax season the best time to repair credit? As important as credit repair is, this process repeatedly slips to the bottom of many people’s to-do lists. They make excuses, telling themselves that it’s not quite the right time to get around to addressing credit issues.

If this situation sounds familiar, there’s good news. Tax season is a great time to take strides toward resolving your credit issues and improving your FICO score. Take a look at why you should seize this opportunity to improve your financial future.

Financial Issues Are Already On Your Mind

Whether you’re doing your taxes yourself, hiring a tax professional or using tax preparation software, the tax filing process requires you to evaluate your overall financial picture. Many people with credit issues find that this first step toward credit repair can be the most difficult part of the process.

Because you’re already taking stock of items such as your earnings, loan interest, charitable donations and expenses when you do your taxes, this is the perfect time to continue that process and delve deeper into your financial picture. While you’re researching and calculating, add up your total debt, take stock of your debt payment history, order copies of your credit reports and review them. Create an organization system for all of this information so you’ll have an easier time keeping track of your progress as you work toward improving your credit.

Daunted by the idea of tackling it yourself? Gathering all your records can also be the first step you take before turning to a professional credit repair company that can put you on a better financial path.

You Can Get a Head Start at Paying Down Debt

If things go well, tax season means you should receive a tax refund. While it may be tempting to spend that money on a new purchase, a few nice dinners or a vacation, it’s a better idea to put the cash toward improving your credit score.

If unpaid debt is one of the issues that has contributed to your less than ideal credit score, putting your tax refund toward one of those outstanding balances can be a significant step in the right direction. Don’t fall into the trap of getting discouraged if your tax refund is only a small portion of your total debt. Every little bit helps and puts you closer to your financial goal of having less – or no – debt weighing you down.

Using your tax refund to pay down debt can also inspire you to use future lump payments to cut back on debt. This small effort could be the first of many tax refunds and bonuses that go toward chipping away at your debt and making a big impact over the long term.

You'll Eliminate a Common Barrier with an Emergency Fund

Maybe you’ve tried to repair your credit in the past, but you were thrown off track by an unexpected car repair bill or health expense. One of the main reasons people continue to damage their credit score is because they aren’t prepared to handle emergencies like these.

If this situation sounds familiar, you can use your tax refund to create an emergency fund. This will give you more security and flexibility to improve your FICO score without your having to worry about getting sidetracked by unexpected expenses and financial setbacks.

You Can Invest in Professional Credit Repair

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to fixing your credit – or if you feel that you simply don't have the time to research credit repair strategies – consider using your refund to invest in credit repair services. Credit repair professionals offer services that include disputing erroneous items appearing in your credit history, providing personalized advice for your particular situation, closely tracking your progress and ensuring that you stay on the right track even after you’ve achieved a good credit score.

If you have a large enough tax refund, you may have enough money to invest in affordable professional credit repair and still have money left over to put toward other uses. Even if you feel confident in your ability to repair your credit on your own, using a credit repair company gives you access to resources that can significantly speed up the process.

Now is Always the Best Time

Perhaps the best reason to address your credit during tax season is that putting off this important financial step can have several negative consequences. For one thing, it takes time to fix poor credit, so when you put off addressing the problem, you’re delaying that positive outcome. Regardless of what your finish line goals are – purchasing a home or freeing yourself of bad debt – you’ll reach that finish line sooner if you take the first step as soon as possible.

There’s another major problem with procrastinating when it comes to fixing your credit. Bad credit costs you money. Individuals with poor credit are charged more in fees, interest rates and deposits. The longer you wait to repair your credit, the more unnecessary expenses you’ll incur. Hold on to your hard-earned cash by starting to build a better credit picture today and paying less in unnecessary charges and fees.

Tax season can be a pain for many people, but it can also provide a timely opportunity to evaluate and improve your credit situation. No matter what stage of the tax-filing process you’re in, take the time to carry out these extra steps so you can embark on a rewarding journey toward better credit and a better financial life.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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