Some people are spending hours on the phone every day, speaking to creditors and lawyers and even more lenders, all in an attempt to break free of those bad credit chains that bind us up and keep us from enjoying life. Bad credit can weigh on your shoulders until it’s taken care of, so let’s take the steps to repair that score once and for all.
The first step to repairing your ailing credit is to create a manageable, feasible financial plan. If you want to change then you have to work hard and stick with it. Be sure to buy only the things that you need. See if each purchase is necessary and affordable and only purchase something if the answers are “yes”.
Limit applications for new credit. Every new application you submit will generate a “hard” inquiry on your credit report. These not only slightly lower your credit score, but also cause lenders to perceive you as a credit risk because you might be trying to open multiple accounts at once. Instead, make informal inquiries about rates and only submit formal applications once you have a short list.
Use online banking to automatically submit payments to creditors each month. If you’re trying to repair your credit, missing payments is going to undermine your efforts. When you set up an automatic payment schedule, you are ensuring that all payments are paid on time. Most banks can do this for you in a few clicks, but if yours doesn’t, there is software that you can install to do it yourself.
A bad credit report could influence an employer’s decision when you apply for a job. Get the best job that you can, in order to secure a steady monthly income, that you can use to pay off your debt. Once you start making more money, you should be able to build up a better credit history.
Buy in cash. Credit and debit cards have made purchasing a thoughtless process. We don’t often realize how much we have spent or are spending. To curb your shopping habits, only buy in cash. It will give you a visual to how much that item actually costs, and make you consider if it is really worth it.
When starting the process of rebuilding your credit, pull your credit report from all 3 agencies. These three are Experian, Transunion, and Equifax. Don’t make the mistake of only getting one credit report. Each report will contain some information that the others do not. You need all three in order to truly research what is going on with your credit.
Having between two and four active credit cards will improve your credit image and regulate your spending better. Using less than two cards will actually make it more difficult to establish a new and improved spending history but any more than four and you may seem unable to efficiently manage spending. Operating with about three cards makes you look good and spend wiser.
If you want to repair your credit score, avoid actions that send up red flags with the credit agencies. These flags include using advances from one card to pay off another, making large numbers of requests for new credit, or opening too many accounts at the same time. Such suspicious activity will hurt your score.
You need to carefully scrutinize credit counselors before you consult them for help with repairing your credit. Some counselors truly want to help you, while others are untrustworthy and have other motives. Other options are clearly scams. A wise consumer will find out if the credit counselors they deal with are legitimate or not.
An important tip to consider when working to repair your credit, is the fact that you cannot legally have a second credit file created for you. This is important to know because there are sammers who offer to do this, and it is completely illegal. You can only have one social security number and one tax ID.
Use your credit card to pay for everyday purchases but be sure to pay off the card in full at the end of the month. This will improve your credit score and make it easier for you to keep track of where your money is going each month but be careful not to overspend and pay it off each month.
If you are transferring large balances from one card to another – to avoid hurting your credit score and avoid interest charges – be sure to close each previous card as you pay it off. Having numerous open lines of credit will hurt your score and negate any benefit you might receive from transferring the balances.
Now that you know a thing or two about how to repair that bad credit score, it’s time to put the tips into action and get started on living a bad-credit-free life. Remember to take your time and to examine all the angles. Not every piece of advice you read related to credit will instantly work for you, but you need to keep plugging away at it until it’s resolved.