Bad credit can really detour your plans for your life in irritating ways. Bad credit makes it difficult to take advantage of any financial opportunities that arise. There are a few things you can do to improve and protect your credit.
If you’re credit needs some work, first you should make a plan you can stick with, and then follow through. Making changes to become a wise spender means you have to make a budget and rules, then follow them. Don’t buy anything unless you absolutely need it. Before purchasing an item, ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary and well within your financial means. If you cannot answer each of these in the affirmative, do not buy the item.
Look at the credit card accounts you have with a balance over 50% of the credit limit. Pay those off until they fall under this number. Carrying a balance of more than half your credit limit negatively impacts your credit score. Either pay this balance down or spread it out over multiple cards.
For those with imperfect credit, it can be hard to secure financing for a home. There is, however, alternative types of funding available that are offered by the banks. FHA and USDA are two such agencies who offer finance to those with lower credit scores, sometimes with low down payment and closing cost clauses. FHA loans offer lower down payments and help with closing costs.
You can reduce your interest rate by maintaining a high credit score. Doing this can reduce monthly payments, which will assist you in paying off any outstanding debts faster. Receiving competitive credit rates and good offers are important in having credit that you can pay off easily, and that will get you a great credit score.
To improve your credit rating, set up an installment account. There is a minimum amount each month that you will have to pay, so be sure not to get in over your head. Your FICO score will rise over time, if you responsibly manage this type of account.
Your low credit score will cut your interest rates. Lower interest rates will reduce the amount of your monthly payment, and can also make it easier to repay your debt faster. The key to paid off credit is to find a great offer and a competitive rate so that you can pay off your debt and get a better credit score.
Negative-but-correct information cannot be removed from your credit report, so be wary of promises from unscrupulous companies who promise to remove it from the credit reporting agencies. Negative info stays on your history for seven years! Incorrect information may be erased though.
Start paying on bills to help your credit. Even more important than just paying your bills, is to pay off the entire balance, and pay them on time. You will immediately see changes in your credit score when you begin to pay off your debts, especially those that are active.
You need to work with the companies from whom you have credit cards. This prevents you from sinking further into debt or further damaging your credit score. Politely ask if it is possible to have your minimum monthly payment adjusted or due date changed.
When starting to repair your credit, pay your bill on time from now on. You should always make an effort to pay your bills on time and in full. Your credit rating will quickly rise as you settle up your overdue bills.
Consumers should carefully research credit counseling agencies before choosing one with which to work. Many counselors are honest and helpful, but others may be less interested in actually helping you. Others are outright scams. To help protect yourself from fraud, investigate any credit counselors. One way to check an agency out is to check with the Better Business Bureau.
Don’t sign a debt settlement contract until you know what impact it is going to have on your credit score. Certain methods of settling your debts have less detrimental effects on your credit history. They do not worry about how your credit score looks; they want to get money.
Don’t do anything illegal. Don’t buy into scams that suggest you create new credit files. Do not attempt this because it’s illegal; you will not be able to avoid getting caught. The end result of getting caught during the crime could be expensive legal fees and a possibility of time behind bars.
Make sure you review all of the negative marks against you on your credit report. You could find mistakes in dates and other factors which can cause the whole item to be removed from the report.
If you find any errors on your credit report, you should dispute them. Write a dispute letter to any agencies with recorded errors, and include supporting documents. Also include a request for a return receipt to make sure the agency gets it.
Do not file for bankruptcy if you do not have to. It is noted on someone’s credit report for 10 years. You may think that bankruptcy is your only option to rid yourself from debt, however look at your long term financial goals before deciding to file for it. If you do file for bankruptcy, it will be extremely difficult to get approved for a loan or a credit card for many years, if ever.
If a creditor agrees to give you a payment plan, get that payment plan in writing. Having the plan in writing will protect you if the creditor reneges on the plan or if your debt is transferred to another creditor. Once you make the final payment, get a statement that verifies that the debt has been satisfied and send it to the various credit reporting agencies.
If you are having a lot of trouble with your credit, consider locking up your credit cards for a while. Try to use cash instead for all of your purchases and bills. When you do use a credit card, pay off the balance in full each month.
Having read these simple tips, the only thing left now is to apply them. Having a good credit score is crucial to getting the best interest rates possible and is definitely worth the effort.