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Advice on Getting a Loan With Bad Credit

Mark Cappel
UpdatedFeb 15, 2008

I need help, I don't even know where to begin on rebuilding my credit and fixing the wrong info on my credit report.

Hello, I have known for quite some time I have very bad credit. I recently looked up my score and its a 512. Bad I know. I also found that they have my birth year wrong and also that they list me a having a different last name at some point, but never have. I need help I don't even know where to begin on rebuilding my credit and fixing the wrong info on my credit report. Is it even possible to get a loan to pay everything off with such bad credit and not owning anything to do a secured loan. Please Help.

Because of your current credit score, coupled with the fact that you do not own a home or a property, it might be a difficult proposition to get an unsecured loan at this time. I would suggest that you first take the necessary steps to correct the errors on your credit report that you state in your question. Once you correct the errors, you score should improve and then you will be in a better position to apply for a loan.

You should start the process of rebuilding credit by pulling a copy of your credit report from each of the three major U.S. credit reporting agencies--Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Each of these bureaus maintains independent records regarding a consumer's credit history, so it is important that you request a copy from each agency. Under federal law, you are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the agencies once every twelve months; you can request your free copies by visiting

Once you have obtained your credit reports, you should carefully review them to make sure that all of the information appearing on the reports is accurate. Ridding your reports of any old or inaccurate information, which may be damaging your credit rating, is a good first step in rebuilding your credit. If you find any credit listing that you feel is inaccurate, you should dispute the listing with the credit bureau on whose report the listing appears. Once you dispute an item, the bureau will investigate your dispute and contact the company that reported the information; if it finds that the listing in inaccurate, it will remove the listing from your credit report. The Federal Trade Commission offers a guide to disputing credit listings, available at

You will also need to start establishing new credit accounts and making timely payment to build a positive payment history. Your payment history accounts for approximately 35% of your credit score, so creating a new payment record is essential to rebuilding your credit score. A good option to consider is a secured credit card. Secured credit cards require you to deposit cash in an account with the credit card bank and the credit line available on the card is equal to the amount of cash you have on deposit. This may sound strange; why would you not just spend your own cash? However, these secured credit cards report timely payments to the credit bureaus each month and should help you reestablish your payment history. In addition, small credit accounts, such as gas cards, can be a good option to build credit, but you should make sure that you pay off your balance each month to avoid finance charges and to prevent yourself from starting down the spiral of debt again.

As time passes, the positive impact of your new accounts will become stronger, thus allowing you to rebuild your credit score. To learn more about credit scoring, I encourage you to visit the Credit Score Information page.

I wish you the best of luck in rebuilding your credit rating, and hope that the information I have provided helps you Find. Learn. Save.