In this economy, you’re not the only person who has had a difficult time keeping your credit score high. That can be little consolation when you find it harder to get financing for life’s necessities. The good news is that you can repair your credit; here are a few tips to get you started.
Be sure that you pay all of your bills promptly if you are trying to fix a bad credit history. Don’t leave them until the last minute. Set up a schedule for when you pay your bills, and use some sort of reminder system to make sure that they all get paid on time.
Stop avoiding the phone calls and talk to your creditors. They aren’t going to just go away, they’ll just switch to a different company. Many collections agents are willing to work with you on payment arrangements if you’ll just take the time to talk to you. The majority would rather be guaranteed of a small payment each month than never receiving anything at all.
Give your cards a bit of diversity. Have a credit account from three different umbrella companies. For example, having a Visa, MasterCard and Discover, is great. Having three different MasterCard’s is not as good. These companies all report to credit bureaus differently and have different lending practices, so lenders want to see a variety when looking at your report.
To build your credit score, apply for secure credit cards. You decide in advance how much these cards will cover, so that you do not spend more than you can afford to pay back. This should help you manage your finances efficiently and build your credit at the same time.
Before choosing a credit repair company, research them thoroughly. Credit repair is a business model that is rife with possibilities for fraud. You are usually in an emotional place when you’ve reached the point of having to use a credit repair agency, and unscrupulous agencies prey on this. Research companies online, with references and through the Better Business Bureau before signing anything.
With the new credit card laws in place, banks must now decline your card in the event of a possible overdraft. They will most likely try to get you to opt out of this, claiming that it is a service they provide to approve the purchase anyways, and then charge you a small fee. These fees are high. You will be much better off getting declined and using a different bank account or credit card for your purchase, than paying their fees.
Make sure to borrow no more than 30% of the credit available to you. Your credit score will start to suffer if you have any higher credit utilization than that. Make sure to use your cards, though, because using none of your available credit hurts your score as well.
A low credit score can run your life in a number of ways, so having a bad credit score can make you feel the squeeze of a bad economy even more than other people. Following these tips will help you to breathe easier, as you find your score starts to improve over time.