Although many people are unaware of their credit score, a person’s credit report is significant when it comes to buying or renting a home, taking out a personal loan, a business loan, or car loan. Poor credit scores can hurt a person’s chance of success at acquiring a loan, for low credit scores make a person look like they are financially unstable.
The good news is that bad credit can be fixed. While it will not happen overnight, with a bit of dedication and consistency, a poor credit score can be improved.
1. Credit Report
First things first, pull your credit report so you know what you’re dealing with. Often, credit reports can contain errors or reflect prior transgressions that have been since dealt with. The first priority is to fix any errors, for they could be seriously hurting your credit score. Talk to you the reporting agency and open up a dispute over the mistakes so they can be remedied as soon as possible.
2. Stop Adding to Your Debt
Once you’ve established where your credit score is, the best way to break the spending habit is to quit cold turkey. Stop applying for new lines of credit and figure out a budget that will work for you.
3. Pay Down Your Balances
Once you have a budget in place, determine the best way to pay down your debt. There are plenty of methods to pick from that have been proven to work. Many people choose to start by paying down the debts with the highest interest rate, while others choose to pay off the smallest amounts first in order to start eliminating bills.
Another option for credit debt is to consolidate the debt into one payment via a balance transfer credit card. These types of credit cards offer a lower interest rate so that card users can get on top of their debt. “Balance transfer credit cards provide a service to card owners by allowing them to improve their credit score and manage their debt responsibly,” Jeffrey Weber of SmartBalanceTransfers.com states.
Make a schedule or set a reminder on your phone that tells you when your payments are due. For many, debt begins due to a couple of forgotten payments. Your credit score reflects how often you make your payments on time. If you do miss a payment accidentally, call your credit company and ask them if they would be willing to clear it from your record.
5. Don’t Close Accounts
Too often people assume closing their credit accounts will improve their credit score when, in reality, lenders are interested in the history of your accounts. Older lines of credit are more favorable than new ones.
6. Good Credit
For some, their lack of a credit score is not because of debt, it’s because they don’t have any credit lines. If this is the case, start opening up a couple lines of credit and using your card wisely in order to establish good credit.
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